What is chickenpox, the stages, manifestations, types, duration and treatment
Varicella is a very common disease. Most often it affects children of preschool and primary school age. In most cases, the disease is not dangerous, since small patients carry it easily. However, many parents are interested in information about what the chicken pox has, how they manifest themselves, what methods of therapy and prevention of this disease exist.
Our article offers information on how this disease spreads. Also consider the question of what symptoms should be paid attention at different stages of chicken pox in children. Although this disease is considered not particularly dangerous for life, it can lead to some complications. It is important to know what effective methods of chickenpox therapy exist. If treatment is carried out correctly, this ailment passes without a trace.
What is chickenpox
It should be said that the disease is so called in the people. His medical name is chicken pox. This disease is a viral nature, which is accompanied by the appearance of skin rashes and symptoms of general intoxication of the body. This ailment is attributed to a group of childhood infections, as in most cases the virus affects children of preschool and primary school age. The human body is extremely sensitive to the causative agent of chicken pox.
Transmission routes of infection
We repeat that chicken pox is a viral disease, the causative agent of which is the so-called herpes zoster. It is a DNA-containing virus that is very sensitive to ultraviolet and the effects of the external environment( the spread of infection by household means is almost impossible).
The source of the pathogen is a sick person who becomes infectious 1-2 days before the onset of the first symptoms and is so until the complete disappearance of the rash. The virus very quickly spreads through the air, moving from the carrier to a healthy person. Most often, the victims of infection are children, although they tolerate the disease much easier than adults. Gateways for infection are the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
Stages of chickenpox in children: photos and general information
Many parents are interested in questions about what signs need to be paid attention. What does the rash with chickenpox look like in the initial stage? The photo below shows the disease at the first stages of its development, when the rashes are not so extensive and are concentrated on small areas of the skin.
The first stage is infection. The virus penetrates the body through the organs of the respiratory system and settles on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract, where it begins to proliferate actively, spreading to other tissues. The incubation period lasts from 11 days to 3 weeks. At this time a person is not contagious, and any external signs of the disease are absent.
Gradually, the viral particles penetrate the blood. As soon as their amount rises, the immune system begins to produce specific antibodies. The initial stage of chickenpox is characterized by a general intoxication of the body. There is an increase in body temperature, weakness, the appearance of headaches and aches in the body. This period lasts approximately 1-2 days.
Next comes the acute stage of chickenpox, which is characterized by the damage of nerve cells and skin tissues. It is during this period that a specific rash appears. First, a small red spot develops on the skin, but after a few hours a papule is formed at this place, and then a vesicle. Rashes are small bubbles with transparent contents. Already after a day, the liquid inside the vesicle becomes cloudy. During the next 2-3 days, the vesicles begin to dry out, forming crusts on the surface of the skin. Rashes may appear on the mucous membranes.
The acute stage of the disease lasts from 3 to 7 days. It is worth noting that the rash appears gradually. That is why on the skin of the patient at the same time you can observe small vesicles with clear contents and dried crusts. They fall away without leaving a trace. This type of rash affects only superficial tissues, therefore scars after it do not form. But given the fact that the disease is accompanied by severe itching, there is a risk of scarring due to the constant scratching of the skin.
Features of the recovery stage
If the patient has a sufficiently strong immune system, the disease usually passes 3-7 days after the onset of the first rash. In place of the bubble, a crust is formed. Visually, the patient's well-being improves, his temperature returns to normal, weakness disappears, and appetite appears. It is worth noting that the virus does not disappear from the body completely. A small number of viral particles remain forever in the structures of the nervous system.
Further course of the disease
We have already examined what the chickenpox looks like in the initial stage, the symptoms of the disease and recovery. But if it is a patient with a weakened immune system, then the development of the disease is possible. In this case, skin reactions( in particular a rash) will be localized in the area of that nerve, which contains the largest number of viral particles. During the re-activation of the infection, the patient is contagious, so for the duration of therapy it must be isolated.
Atypical forms of the disease
Again, a rash with chicken pox appears when the virus has already mastered the body and got with the blood flow into the nerve fibers. Rashes are very small at the initial stage. Chickenpox in children( photo, how the rash looks at different stages, presented in the article) manifests itself in several forms. Above we considered the typical. There are also atypical forms of chickenpox. It is worth familiarizing with their features.
- Rudimentary chickenpox leaks concealed. Most often, patients do not even suspect the presence of the disease, but can spread the infection.
- Pustular pathology is accompanied by suppuration of rashes. They stay for a long time, do not dry out, their contents become cloudy. Most often, such a severe form of chickenpox affects adult patients.
- Bullous chicken pox is quite dangerous. The rash on the skin becomes gigantic and very difficult to treat. The disease is characterized by severe intoxication. Patients, as a rule, slowly recover.
- The hemorrhagic form of the disease is also dangerous. In this case, the papules formed on the skin begin to fill with blood. Over time, the rashes turn into sores. Possible appearance of foci of necrosis. Such a disease can become a gangrenous form, which sometimes causes the patient's death.
- Visceral chickenpox is accompanied by the appearance of rashes not only on the skin, but also on the membranes of internal organs. As a rule, a similar form of the disease develops in newborn children with immunodeficiency. Unfortunately, in most cases, the ailment ends with the patient's death.
In fact, it is rarely difficult to diagnose a disease such as chicken pox. The stages of the disease are accompanied by very characteristic symptoms. Their presence is sufficient for the doctor to diagnose.
Nevertheless, additional tests are also conducted. In particular, virological studies that help to isolate viral particles from tissues are informative. Serological tests are conducted to determine the presence of antibodies of certain classes in the patient's blood.
Treatment with medication
Most often, the initial phase of chickenpox in children is not an indication for hospitalization. Only patients with severe forms of the disease get to the hospital. Of course, the doctor appoints a set of certain drugs.
- Rashes on the skin 3-4 times a day grease with solutions of antiseptics, for example, green, fukortsin, manganese.
- Antiviral drugs, such as Acyclovir, Valaciclovir, etc., are necessarily included in the treatment regimen. These drugs are available in the form of tablets, as well as gels that need to be treated with dermal vesicles.
- If there are severe symptoms of intoxication( fever, weakness), then it is advisable to take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Nurofen, Ibuprofen, Panadol.
Recommendations for the care of the patient
Regardless of the stage of the chickenpox( photos of the symptoms were presented above), the patient needs care. Undoubtedly, medicines will help, but the proper regimen, nutrition and some therapeutic measures will help the patient's body recover.
- The issue of hygiene is an object of dispute between domestic and foreign doctors. In Europe, experts do not recommend refusing water procedures even during the appearance of the rash. Our doctors say that taking a shower or a bath, pustules on the skin are easily damaged, which increases the risk of secondary bacterial infection. But when the weather is hot, the baby must be washed, since the skin will scratch even more from sweat.
- The initial stage of chickenpox, as already mentioned, is accompanied by the appearance of the first nodules of the rash and severe itching. That's why patients are recommended to wear long-sleeved clothes( there the baby will not have the opportunity to comb the skin).All items of clothing and bedding should be made from natural fabrics - this will ensure the flow of air to the skin. Of course, you need to wash items of wardrobe at high temperatures( this applies to towels, bed linens, etc.).
- For a patient with any infectious disease, drinking is extremely important. Abundant drink speeds up the process of removing toxins from the body.
- Nutrition during illness should be easy, but high-calorie. In the diet must necessarily be present foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Baths with decoctions of medicines help to speed up the processes of skin regeneration. Experts recommend adding to bathing water extracts of lemon balm, chamomile, sage.
How many times can I suffer from chickenpox
? Some patients are sure that this illness can only be ill once a lifetime. In most cases this is true, but the virus settles in the body for good. He behaves quietly and calmly, until a person does not have serious health problems, as a result of which his immunity decreases. That's when the insidious virus again reminds itself of itself, but is manifested by another disease called shingles.
Varicella in adults: features of the clinical picture
Despite the fact that the ailment is considered childish, adults are also not insured against the disease with chickenpox. The stages of development of the disease look the same way, but pathology takes place in more severe forms.
For example, symptoms of intoxication in adult patients are more pronounced. The temperature at them rises to 40 degrees. Patients complain of severe weakness, dizziness, nausea. Infection affects the nervous system, which is accompanied by the development of photophobia, increased sensitivity to sounds. Delusional states are possible.
The rash covers almost the entire surface of the skin and the outer mucous membranes. If you rip off the vesicles, you can notice the formation of deep sores, which heal very slowly. Chickenpox in adults is often associated with suppuration of rashes, there is a risk of further necrosis. Mucous membranes of the mouth, genitals, respiratory tract are covered by enanthems.
Possible complications of
In children, in most cases, the disease proceeds relatively easily. But to exclude the possibility of complications is not worth it. These include:
- Lesions of the respiratory system( tracheitis, laryngitis, pneumonia, respiratory failure).
- Brain edema, inflammation of the meninges, paresis and paralysis of the muscles, cerebellar ataxia and other disorders of the nervous system.
- Severe disorders of the cardiovascular system, including thrombophlebitis, myocarditis, hemorrhagic syndrome.
- Diseases of joints and muscles( myositis, fasciitis, arthritis).
- To the list of possible complications it is also possible to add nephritis, hepatitis and liver abscesses.
You already know how the stages of chickenpox look and what symptoms you should pay attention to. But are there prevention methods?
Modern medicine offers a specially developed vaccine. This tool is effective, as it helps to start the production of antibodies without the full development of the disease. If this procedure was performed to a patient with weakened immunity, there is a risk of complications.