Chickenpox: Preventing Skin Infections

Chickenpox: Preventing Skin Infections

Topic Overview

Scratching chickenpox blisters can lead to skin infections, not to mention scarring. In rare cases, infected chickenpox lesions can lead to toxic shock syndrome .

To keep children from scratching chickenpox blisters:

  • Clean and closely trim your child's fingernails.
  • Have a small child wear mittens or clean cotton socks on his or her hands to prevent scratching. Or use light bandages over open blisters.
  • Wash your child's hands often.
  • Distract your child when you find him or her scratching.

To help prevent irritation of chickenpox blisters:

  • Use loose-fitting cotton clothing.
  • Change clothes and bedsheets daily.
  • Use a household cleaner such as Lysol or Pine-Sol to wash any items that are soiled with fluid from chickenpox blisters.
  • Bathe daily with a soothing, mild soap that contains ingredients such as chamomile, aloe vera, or lavender. Look for soaps that are made for sensitive skin or are recommended for babies. You can also try a soap that contains oatmeal or an antibacterial soap such as Phisohex.
  • Use a mild laundry detergent if clothes or linens seem to be irritating the skin.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last RevisedOctober 13, 2011

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