What is Chickenpox?

An infection that provokes a red rash that blisters on the skin is called varicella-zoster also known as chickenpox. This health condition can be prevented with a vaccine. In addition, it is a very contagious condition and can pass from one person to another through body fluids and body contact.

What is Chickenpox?

The primary cause of this infection is a virus called varicella-zoster. While it is a very contagious condition, it is now less common because of the vaccine that protects you. Although adults can get this health condition it is more likely to develop in children. The first chickenpox vaccine was produced in 1995. Before that time, roughly any toddler or young child suffered this infection. Nowadays, approximately all children receive a chickenpox vaccine.

If you experienced this infection maybe you should not want to get it again. However, if you do not receive a vaccine, you may get it at any age. Unfortunately, experiencing this infection in adulthood, a person may become very sick.

Chickenpox Stages

  • I – A person experiences a red and bumpy rash that usually lasts several days.
  • II – The second stage is when a person notices a fluid-filled blistered rash that usually breaks open during one or two days.
  • III – The duration of the third stage also is two days and it starts when the blisters scab over.

Someone may experience all three bump types at the same time while this condition goes through 3 stages. In most cases, the rash lasts about 10 days.

The symptoms of the infection usually begin on the face and trunk (chest and back). Thereafter, it spreads throughout your body including your fingers and toes.

Additionally, this varicella-zoster infection is less common due to a vaccine against chickenpox. In case you do not receive a vaccine when you are a child. You can experience this condition between the ages of 3-6. Now, this infection is not as common as it once was because of a vaccine against chickenpox that decreases significantly varicella-zoster cases.


In most cases, it is easy to notice varicella-zoster symptoms. Check below some chickenpox symptoms:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Skin rash (very itchy)
  • Bumps filled with liquid
  • Scabs
  • Blotchy skin
  • Crusty spots

However, the chickenpox vaccine is not 100% effective, which means that you also can get the infection nonetheless by being vaccinated. Fortunately, infections that you can get being vaccinated usually are very mild.


The varicella-zoster virus is the cause of chickenpox. Moreover, it is highly contagious and can spread to others through bodily fluids (such as sneezing, coughing, and others) or bodily contact (touching the rash).

At higher risk of developing chickenpox are those who have not ever experienced it and do not receive a vaccine. Furthermore, your risk also increases if you are around school, daycare facility, or work.


While chickenpox complications are rare they may happen. Examples include:

Healthy children usually have mild chickenpox cases. However, the complications listed above are more likely to develop in adults over 18 years old.

Who is More Susceptible to Varicella-zoster Complications?

Severe chickenpox cases are dangerous in the following cases. Examples include:

  • People over 18 years old
  • Those who experience cancer, HIV infection, or an autoimmune disease
  • People who experience chemotherapy or an organ transplant
  • Pregnant women who did not have this infection

In addition, about 30 people died due to chickenpox in the United States in 2022. In any case, people usually recover without any complications. As a result, the chances that you will die due to varicella-zoster infection are very low.


In most cases, healthcare professionals diagnose chickenpox easily by performing a physical examination. However, if your doctor is not sure that you have this infection, you may need to do some blood tests. These tests will help your physician to confirm whether you have chickenpox or not.


It is recommended for your children to drink enough liquids and plenty of rest. Mostly, varicella-zoster infection goes away on its own within 14 days. Additionally, the following tips may help your children to reduce itchiness. Examples include:

  • It is advised to keep your child cool and you can also press a cool moist rag on the rash.
  • You can also trim your child’s fingernails to decrease scratching.
  • Diphenhydramine and Cetirizine are some over-the-counter antihistamines.
  • Daily cold baths or showers are recommended for your child.
  • If your child experiences this infection, it may lead to dehydration. Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water.

Do not give your child who has a fever Aspirin. Use Acetaminophen (pain reliever) to reduce your child’s fever. Consult with your doctor if you are not sure what medicine to give your children.

However, if your child is 3 months of age and gets chickenpox, inform your physician right away because it is very dangerous for newborns compared to healthy people.

The treatment usually is the same for children and adults and includes antiviral medications. In addition, this infection continues to be contagious until all bumps on the skin become scabs. In case the fluid-filled blisters do not break or scab, you may spread the virus to other people. This health condition commonly goes away after 2 weeks.


Healthcare providers give the vaccine to children in two doses. The first dose is given to a child between 12-15 months of age and the second before 13 years old. In most cases, this is a combination vaccine that also helps to protect you against measles, mumps, rubella (MMRV), and others.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is it not recommended to administer the chickenpox vaccine?

  • Tuberculosis
  • Immune system problems
  • Pregnant women
  • Allergy
  • Recently had a blood transfusion
  • Have received other vaccines recently

Discuss with your healthcare provider for more details.

When should adults with chickenpox seek medical care?

It is advised to visit a doctor right away if you suspect you have a varicella-zoster infection, especially if you are in a house with a pregnant woman or a person with suppressed body defense (immune system).

How does varicella-zoster infection spread?

  • contact with someone who has chickenpox
  • sneezing or coughing of an infected person
  • contact with bodily fluids (including nose, mouth, or eyes)

Ask your physician if you have any other questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You were not leaving your cart just like that, right?

Enter your details below to save your shopping cart for later. And, who knows, maybe we will even send you a sweet discount code :)