About Dr. Nivedita Dey

Nivedita Dey (M.Sc, PGD, PhD*) is an Assistant Professor at Osmania University College For Women. A staff member of the Department of Genetics and Biotechnology, she specializes in Medical Biotechnology, Human Medical Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry. She has five years of professional experience, and is also a Medical Research Scholar.

Chicken Pox Treatment Measures – How To Counter The Condition

Chicken pox is usually a self-limiting viral infection that gets resolved in a period of 9 to 10 days, and there is no permanent cure for this condition. Chicken pox treatment measures are aimed mainly at alleviating the symptoms of the condition, while the body’s immune system fights the chicken pox virus, Varicella-Zoster, and clears it from the body.

A characteristic symptom of chicken pox is an extremely itchy skin rash that consists of red spots and liquid-filled blisters. Besides the rash, the other major chicken pox symptoms are mild fever, malaise, headache, and loss of appetite.

Chicken Pox Treatment – What It Usually Involves

Since the virus is highly contagious, the primary way of countering its spread is by keeping the infected person indoors until all of his blisters have crusted over. Chicken pox treatment involves measures that help soothe the itch and ease the discomfort.

Antiviral Treatment

Acyclovir (or Acycloguanosine, ACV) is a drug given to lessen the severity of the typical skin rash caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus. It does not kill the virus, but stops it from multiplying. It can help reduce the symptoms if taken within 24 hours of the onset of the rash. This drug can also cause side-effects like diarrhea, nausea, and joint pain.

Marketed under trade names such as Acivirax, Zovirax, Zoral, and Xovir, Acyclovir is available as a tablet, capsule, and liquid suspension. It is generally recommended for certain people with chicken pox, such as:

  • Pregnant women
  • Adults
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • Newborn babies

Easing The Itch

Not scratching the skin rash is an incredibly hard part of having chicken pox, but it is also important, as scratching the rashes can result in scarring. You can take steps to lessen the urge to scratch and reduce scratching by:

  • Cutting your fingernails
  • Wearing gloves or even socks over your hands while sleeping
  • Applying a soothing skin lotion (calamine) or gels that have a cooling effect on the skin
  • Taking antihistamines, as they help relieve the itch and also act as a sedative – a particularly useful option when the itch prevents sleep
chicken pox treatment

Chicken pox treatment measures include using calamine lotion to soothe the blisters

Dealing With Discomfort

The low-grade fever that occurs with chicken pox can make the patient feel uncomfortable, and especially be uncomfortable when its chicken pox in babies. Coupled with the malaise, this can further cause irritability. To reduce the temperature,
you can give the patient paracetamol, which is available both as a tablet and a liquid. It helps ease the discomfort, headaches, and body pains.

Avoid ibuprofen and other non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) while pursuing chicken pox treatment as they may increase the risk of developing serious skin infection complications in children.

Other Steps You Can Follow

1. Wear Cool And Airy Clothing

Since the skin is sore and fever occurs often, the patient must wear appropriate clothes to feel comfortable.

  • Light, smooth and loose-fitting cotton fabrics are advisable.
  • Clothes can be taken off a child if the room is at normal temperature.
  • Maintain a gentle flow of air in the room. Avoid using a fan directly over the person to cool him. Instead use a fan on the other side of the room to keep the air circulating.
  • Do not cold-sponge a person who has fever.

2. Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking lots of water is a must, especially when antiviral treatment is being given. This prevents dehydration by compensating for the water lost from the body because of the fever, or the side-effects of antiviral treatment, such as diarrhea.

3. Stay Indoors

If you suffer from chicken pox, it is highly likely that you’re infectious, especially from about 2 days before the rash first appears to the time all the spots have dried and crusted. For this reason, don’t venture into crowded public places and stay indoors. Children with chicken pox should stay at home and not be sent to school.

Chicken pox treatment measures can alleviate the symptoms to some extent, but the condition will take time to resolve itself. Chicken pox prevention is definitely better than cure, especially in adults who have not had chicken pox before, as the symptoms tend to be more severe in such cases.

The Chicken Pox Virus – All You Need To Know About The Disease

Chicken pox, caused by the chicken pox virus, is an infection that involves the development of a very itchy red rash all over the body, and includes flu-like symptoms too. It occurs mostly in children and on rare occasions, in adults.

An Introduction To The Chicken Pox Virus

Chicken pox is a mild but highly contagious disease caused by the Varicella-zoster virus. Nowadays, children can be protected from the chicken pox virus by the Varicella vaccine, which first became available in 1995.

chicken pox virus

The Varicella-zoster virus is commonly called the chicken pox virus

Effects Of The Chicken Pox Virus – Some Notable Symptoms

The key symptom indicating chicken pox is the appearance of red spots on the body. These spots turn into liquid-filled blisters and are extremely itchy, and eventually, they dry and fall off. This process is called crusting and scabbing.

The incubation period of chicken pox is around 10 to 21 days. Before the rash appears, you could develop flu-like symptoms like fever, malaise, sore throat and stomach ache as mentioned before. The rash becomes visible after 1 or 2 days.

During the course of the disease, new spots appear every 5 to 7 days, and each crop of spots goes through the same cycle. The rash tends to appear on the upper back, face and neck, and then spreads to the rest of the body.

In many cases, children can also have other symptoms for 1 or 2 days before the rash appears. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Low-grade fever (38.3°- 38.8°C)
  • A sore throat
  • Stomach ache
  • Malaise, irritability, and loss of appetite

These symptoms of chicken pox appear 10 to 21 days after the individual comes into contact with someone who’s carrying the disease.

The Causes Of Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is an airborne infection, so you can contract the disease if you are exposed to an infected person coughing or sneezing around you. You can also get infected if you come in contact with the liquid that fills the blisters of an infected person.

People with chicken pox usually carry the disease until their rashes have dried, crusted, and scabbed over. You can read more about chicken pox causes here.

Diagnosing The Condition

You should see a doctor as soon as you suspect that the signs you are seeing could be chicken pox. This is because a doctor can easily diagnose chicken pox by examining the rash and by noting the presence of accompanying symptoms.

If there are visible key symptoms like mild fever, followed by an itchy rash, blisters and scabs, the condition can easily be diagnosed as chicken pox. Laboratory tests can help confirm the diagnosis too.

Treatment Options You Can Try

Treatment for chicken pox mainly focuses on alleviating the symptoms, while your own immune system fights the virus and clears it out of the body. Here are some things that are recommended for you if you have been infected by the chicken pox virus:

  • Trim your fingernails or cover your hands with gloves to prevent scratching, as this can lead to scarring and other secondary infections.
  • Apply wet towels to the skin to ease the itchy sensation.
  • Keep your skin clean by washing it regularly, and then apply lotion (like calamine lotion) to soothe the itching.
  • Wear cool, light, and loose bedclothes.
  • Never use aspirin to reduce the fever, as this could cause serious complications involving the liver and brain. Instead, you can use Acetaminophen i.e. paracetamol.

Your doctor will prescribe the antiviral medication Acyclovir within the first 24 hours of the rash as chicken pox treatment.

How To Prevent The Condition

A Varicella vaccine is now available to help protect children from chicken pox. The chicken pox vaccine should be given when the child is 12-15 months old, followed by a second dose at least 3 months later to up to 4 years of age.

Sometimes a child may still get the disease despite being vaccinated, but in such cases, the symptoms will be milder.

Chicken pox is difficult to avoid, as the disease is airborne and very contagious. Its spread can be prevented by isolating the patient. If you think you or your child might have been exposed to anyone with chicken pox, you should see a doctor without fail.

Immediate preventive measures taken could preempt the disease or, at least, lessen the severity of the symptoms if it does occur. There are a few other methods of chicken pox prevention that you can use to protect yourself from contracting the disease.

If you have been infected with the chicken pox virus, it is ideal to take the prescribed medication and follow the recommended soothing measures, while also taking plenty of rest.

Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment – An Overall Look At The Complication

Why Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment?

Diabetic Neuropathy is a common late complication in patients with diabetes mellitus. Most people who suffer from diabetes develop some form of nervous tissue damage in their lifetime. This is a very painful condition and causes much suffering in patients. Diabetes Neuropathy can lead to foot ulcerations, deformities, and amputations without proper foot care.

Diabetic Neuropathy Risk Factors

The following factors increase the chance of having diabetic neuropathy:

  • Poor blood sugar control
  • Increased duration of diabetes
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Mechanical injury to nerves
  • Autoimmune dysfunctions
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol abuse

Diabetic Neuropathy Causes

In order to understand the diabetic neuropathy treatment measures, it is essential to learn about the causes.

The mechanism through which diabetic neuropathy develops is still being researched. It has been proved that increased blood sugar levels cause abnormal fat levels, and this issue ultimately leads to neuropathy. The glucose that enters the cells is broken down into a product called sorbitol, which causes an abnormality in the metabolism of cell, thereby causing damage to the nerves.

Reduced nerve blood flow also leads to nerve damage. The nerve fibre repair mechanism is impaired in diabetic patients.

The Symptoms And Signs Of Diabetic Neuropathy

The most common form of diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, and this generally affects the hands and feet.

The symptoms and signs are:

  • Pain
  • Abnormal sensation
  • Loss of vibratory sensation
  • Alteration of temperature sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Ulceration and blisters
  • Deformities
  • Amputations
  • Nail changes

The nerves that control the internal organs may also be affected. This causes urine retention, erectile dysfunction, diarrhoea, constipation, fall in blood pressure, and exercise intolerance. Once one or more of these symptoms are noted, diabetic neuropathy treatment measures should be considered.

Blood sugar levels must be checked regularly to monitor a patient of diabetic neuropathy. Electromyography studies are done to check nerve conduction and muscle weakness.

diabetic neuropathy treatment

Acupuncture is used in pain control during diabetic neuropathy treatment

Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment Measures

The treatment of diabetic neuropathy includes:

  • Foot Care
  • Glucose Control
  • Pain Control

Foot Care: Patients are first advised to keep their feet elevated. The swelling due to neuropathy is reduced through drugs, and support stocking increases the blood flow as well. Any ulcer or infection detected is treated immediately with antibiotics.

Glucose Control: Blood sugar is controlled by hypoglycaemic drugs. If adequate control with drugs cannot be achieved, insulin therapy is used.

Pain Control: Pain is treated with tricyclic antidepressants such as amitryptiline or desipramine. Topical pain relievers like capsaicin cream may be added if the pain still persists. Anticonvulsants are used if the above mentioned remedies do not alleviate pain, and in some cases, alternative therapy like electrical spinal cord stimulation and acupuncture is also used in treating pain.

Long term diabetic neuropathy treatment includes aldose reductase inhibitors and nerve growth factors. Aldose reductase inhibitors act by reducing the production of sorbitol, which causes many problems in this disease. Nerve growth factors help in regenerating the damaged nerves and bring down the complications in this malady.

How To Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

When the condition is controlled through preventive measures, diabetic neuropathy treatment becomes unnecessary. Foot care is essential in order to control diabetic neuropathy. The patients should be advised to follow these instructions:

  • Use lotions to prevent dryness and cracking
  • Keep their foot clean and dry
  • Never walk barefoot
  • Wear properly fitting shoes
  • Inspect their foot for calluses, infections and blisters

This can help in managing the problem.