Chicken pox, otherwise known as Varicella, is a childhood disease that occurs most commonly between the ages of 2 and 8 by the herpes zoster virus.

The first symptoms usually show up 11-21 days after being exposed to the virus. The first few days usually present cold-like symptoms, low fever, low energy, poor appetite, and headache. The chicken pox rash usually appears within 24 hours on the chest, back and upper parts of the arms and legs. It starts off being flat red spots, and within 24 hours blisters develop on the red spots, "dew drops on rose petals" is a common description. Over the next few days new vesicles appear. Later the vesicles turn darker and cloudy, and eventually turn into a scab. The rash last from 3 to 5 days and the scabs fall off within 10 to 20 days. The rash can appear in different stages in any one area. Chicken pox is considered to be contagious from a few days before the rash, till the lesions have crusted.

Chicken pox is a self-limited disease that will resolve without treatment in most cases. The following are ideas to speed up the resolution or provide symptomatic relief.

Nutrition - Give foods easy to digest such as vegetables, fruits and soups, rather than meats, white flour or sweets. Eliminate all dairy, eggs, and meats. Fluid intake is important, especially water, diluted juice or herbal tea to prevent dehydration.

Tepid baking soda bath (1/2 box of baking soda) in tepid bath. Relax.

Homeopathic: Rhus toxicodendron, Mercurius, Aconite, Belladonna, Antimonium might be used depending on your childs case.

By having chicken pox, your child will be immune to the virus for life. However in immune-suppressed people the virus, herpes zoster, can reappear and cause shingles, and inflammation of certain nerve endings that can be very painful. Most commonly this occurs in adults over age 50. Infection in the ruptured vesicles is a possible complication. If there is a wide spread infection and high fever (104 F and above) or anything unusual, contact your doctor.