How To Soothe The Skin When Chickenpox Hits

Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes itching and flu-like symptoms. 

Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes itching and flu-like symptoms. It also causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off.
Some children have only a few spots, but in others they can cover the entire body. The spots are most likely to appear on the face, ears and scalp, under the arms, on the chest and stomach and on the arms and legs.

If your little one does get chickenpox, treatment involves managing symptoms until their body fights off the infection.

Here are some remedies that can help you or your little one feel better while you have the chickenpox.

Calamine lotion
Calamine lotion can help reduce itching. This lotion contains skin-soothing properties, including zinc oxide. Using a clean finger or cotton swab, dab or spread calamine lotion on itchy skin areas. Note that you shouldn’t use calamine lotion on or around chickenpox on your eyes.
Sugar-free ice pops
Chickenpox can also appear inside your mouth. This can be especially painful. Encouraging a child to suck on sugar-free ice pops can be a good way to soothe mouth sores. As a bonus, this allows your child to get more fluids and avoid dehydration.

Porridge oat baths
Porridge oat baths are really soothing and itch-relieving for chickenpox. Taking a bath won’t spread the chickenpox from one area of your skin to another.

While you can purchase lots of oat bath products at most pharmacies, you can just as easily make your own porridge oat bath using the following steps:
  • Use one cup of oats for an older child or 1/3 cup for a baby or small child.
  • The oats can be instant, slow-cooked oats, or quick oats. You can use a food processor or coffee grinder to make the oatmeal flakes very small. Placing oatmeal in a muslin cloth or a sock also works and is less messy if your little ones has some toys in their bath, as mine do.
  • Draw a bath of warm (not hot) water. Place one tablespoon of ground oats into a glass of warm water. If the oats appear to be absorbing water and turning the water a milky shade, the oats are ground enough.
  • Place the oatmeal or bag of oats into the bath. Soak for no more than 20 minutes.
  • You may also apply oat lotions to the skin. This can have a soothing and moisturizing effect on itchy chickenpox blisters.
Baking soda baths
Another itch-relieving option to add to a bath is baking soda. Add one cup of baking soda to a shallow, lukewarm bath. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Your child can take up to three baths a day if they find this approach soothing.
Give approved pain relievers
If your child’s chickenpox blisters are especially painful or they have a fever, you may wish to give them medication.
However, it is important to speak to your GP or pharmacist before giving any medicine or antihistamines to your child. Dosage is EXTREMELY important.

When should you see a doctor?
While most cases of chickenpox will go away with time, there are some instances where you should call your GP.
These include:
  • if your child is under age 1 and has the virus
  • if your child has a history of a weak immune system or is immunocompromised due to chronic illness or cancer
  • if your child has a temperature greater than 102°F/39°C or if their fever lasts longer than four days
  • if your child has a stiff neck, confusion, problems breathing, or a rash that’s bleeding
Sometimes your doctor may recommend antiviral medications to reduce the duration of chickenpox.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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