Chicken pox commonly spreads in spring season and early summers, although one may suffer from the same during any part of the year. If you are suffering from chicken pox, the simple measures below should be of help.
1. Stay isolated in a well ventilated room. Avoid going to public places / crowded areas / meeting young children and very old individuals. You can potentially infect others who have never suffered from chicken pox in the past or who have not been vaccinated. Your disease is contagious to others until all the vesicles or water filled lesions on your body are brown and dry (till scabs are formed and they begin to fall off) - this usually takes 5 to 7 days from the onset of illness. You can also infect others in the doctor's waiting room area - so request to be seen early if your doctor obliges or be seated in a separate room.
2. Drink lots of oral fluids - water / ORS / juices / buttermilk / tender coconut water. Diet must be light - avoid oily and spicy foods.
3. You must have a bath daily with a mild soap. You can add a few drops of antiseptic solution or few crystals of potassium permanganate (the water should be very light pink, almost transparent; not dark pink, adding excess crystals can burn the skin) to your bathing water.
4. Do not pick or pluck or burst the vesicles or blisters. This can increase the chances of one having marks.
5. You should have seen your dermatologist and must have been started on oral antiviral medication - if not do that at the earliest.
6. Its better to get 'unvaccinated' members of the family - vaccinated against chicken pox.
7. Pregnant women in the family must stay away / or if the patient herself is pregnant - she must receive - detailed treatment and counselling from the gynecologist and dermatologist.
8. If lesions are painful / infected with oozing fluid or pus - antibiotics may be needed with your dermatologist's prescription.
9. Continue taking paracetomol as advised for fever. You can ask your doctor for creams / lotions to be applied over the lesions and mouth ulcers-if any.
10. Take adequate rest for at least 3-5 days since onset of infection.
In case of any complications - see a qualified dermatologist near you.
Warm regards, Dr Govind Suresh Mittal, Bengaluru.