The incubation time of chickenpox is 2 to 3 weeks. Chickenpox is contagious from just before the rash, to 5 days later or until the blisters are crusted, whichever period is shorter. It takes about 2 weeks for the scabs to fall off.
- use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) unless there is an allergy to Tylenol.
- do NOT use Aspirin® – this could lead to Reyes Syndrome which causes brain and liver damage.
- use an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl® plain, or Benadryl Elixir® for children
- use plain calamine lotion on the rash, but not on any sores in the mouth
- use lukewarm water baths for the first few days – add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water – the person can bathe for 30 minutes – oatmeal bath products like Aveeno® many help
- keep cool and dry – sweating and overheating will make the itch worse – avoid the sun
- keep fingernails cut short
- wash hands with soap that kills germs
- put socks on your child’s hands at night
If there are mouth sores …
- use mouth wash or gargle with double-strength tea with a little sugar – popsicles may help soothe the mouth
Give plenty of fluids:
Use cool liquids like water, milk and apple juice. Avoid orange juice and salty foods.