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The most commonly recognised symptom of chicken pox is the angry red spots that can cover the entire body. However, for a couple of days before the rash appears children are typically under the weather, off their food and generally unhappy and grumpy.
When they do appear, the spots are normally in clusters which can be anywhere on the body: inside the ears or mouth, on the palms and soles and even inside the nappy area. Although the spots start small, within 12–24 hours they will grow and develop into a blister. It’s at this point that they become intensely itchy.
Over the next few days, the fluid in the blisters will go cloudy and they will start to dry out and scabs will form. New spots can keep appearing in waves for 3 to 5 days, so different clusters of spots may be at different stages of blistering or drying out.
It’s important not to scratch chicken pox spots in order to minimise the risk of infection and to avoid future scarring. Most chickenpox scars are the result of bacterial infection caused by scratching.
One way to stop the scratches is to keep fingers nails clean and short, however, it may also be necessary to cover the hands of children who are too young to understand that they shouldn’t scratch or those children who scratch their spots while they are sleeping.
ScratchSleeves’ unique double-layer mitts minimise the risk of scratching, while the cool silk outer mitts is calming on the skin. The loose-fitting sleeve design avoids irritation of any chicken pox on the hands and wrists that can occur when wearing conventional scratch mitts (or socks over the hands). See more on how ScratchSleeves work and what parents have told us about their experience of ScratchSleeves and chicken pox.
You can also soothe the itch with cooling foams and gels. Here at ScratchSleeves, we got on best with PoxClin foam for our two kids as it doesn’t drag on super-sensitive skin when applied. To calm really intense itching, children’s Piriton (which contains chlorphenamine) is available from your GP or over the counter from the pharmacy.
Need more information? This is a good place to start: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chickenpox/