Chicken Pox : Debunking The Myths


4 min read

Chicken pox is a viral condition where uncomfortable and highly contagious blisters erupt all over the body of the child. It is caused by virus Varicella Zoster and in most cases, children recover within 1-2 weeks. The incubation period is most painful for the child. These days, chicken pox, vaccines are available which can control the intensity of the pox virus if your child gets affected by it. However, note that the vaccine does not promise to chicken pox prevention but only reduces the symptoms. Common symptoms associated with chicken pox can range from rashes to blisters, loss of appetite, low to high fever, body ache, etc.

But with chicken pox, come a lot of myths, especially in parts of culture where it is associated with the wrath of a deity rather than a simple viral infection. Here we debunk some popular myths.

Myth 1 : Bathing during chicken pox is not advised

It is a non-scientific myth that one should not bathe when affected with chicken pox. Bathing can give your child psychological relief that the skin is clean enough and also bring down fever; however, using soap isn’t advisable as it can make the skin drier, which can lead to more itching. Also, do not scrub with a towel after the bath as that can exacerbate the boils. Pat down to dry the child.

Myth 2 : Bathing with neem leaves water leads to faster recovery

Neem has high antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic properties. But when it comes to bathing with it during chicken pox, it depends on the child. Doctors advise against it since it can cause allergic reaction and make the child further uncomfortable, but if your child’s skin can and has tolerated it in the past, you can give it a shot. Few also believe that bathing with neem water removes the scar of the pox; however, it does not hold any research back up.

Bathing or washing hair during chickenpox is absolutely fine. But make sure your child does not rub or itch those blisters as that can cause infections

Myth 3 : Staying in isolation

Most believe that one should not expose the blister to fan, air conditioners or coolers. That isn’t true, in fact, there has to be some ventilation to prevent scratching on the scabs. Chickenpox is just a disease and no way a punishment.

Myth 4 : Refraining from having chickpeas

Chickpeas are highly nutritious, loaded with essential nutrients. There is this common myth that consumption of chickpeas can aggravate the formation of blisters. There is no scientific connection between chickpeas and chicken pox, except the fact that the boils resemble the shape and the colour of a chickpea. The protein present in chickpea helps in better recovery instead. But, chickpeas can be heavy on digestion and if the chicken pox infection is accompanied with fever, you may want to give your child some easy-to-digest food instead.

Myth 5 : No treatment needed to cure chicken pox

The prevalence of medicines used for treating chickenpox was not present until the late ’90s. With the advancement in medical facilities and researches, over the counter drugs are readily available to make the patient feel better and give symptomatic relief. However, complete rest remains the most important factor for better and long term recovery.

Maintain a healthy diet

  • One needs to take plenty of fluids, a soft diet like porridge, khichadi, and mashed rice to provide adequate rest to the digestive system, ensuring a speedy recovery.
  • Include fruits and vegetables high in water content like tomatoes, green vegetables, cucumber, melons, etc. to improve the intake of vitamin and mineral doses naturally.
  • Soups and juices like carrot, tomato soup, and coconut water can help in better nourishment.
  • Keeping usage of spices and oils to minimum to not upset the stomach.
  • Rest plays a crucial role.
  • Junk and heavy meals can make a recovery sluggish.
  • Excess consumption of dairy products, processed and refined products can slow down the bodies natural disease-fighting ability and thereby delay recovery.

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