Chickenpox: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes an itchy, blister-like rash. Most cases are in children under age 15, but older children and adults can get it. It spreads very easily from one person to another, who have not had the disease nor been vaccinated against it.

Recovery Time

  • Chickenpox is usually mild and lasts 5 to 10 days.
  • The blisters gradually dry up and scab. They slowly fade over a week or so, but may take 2-3 weeks to go completely. A dry cough may persist for a while after all the other symptoms have gone.


  • Physical examination (skin rashes)
  • Blood and lesion samples test

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Chicken pox?
Chicken pox is an acute infectious, highly contagious disease caused by Varicella zoster virus in susceptible individuals. It is associated with high grade fever and characteristic rashes which come in crops.

Q2.  How do I get Chicken pox?
Chicken pox is an airborne disease and spreads from person to person. The person suffering from Chicken pox is highly infectious 1-2 days before the appearance of rash till the rashes are crusted. 

Q3.  How do I know it is Chicken pox? How long does it last?
Chicken pox is diagnosed clinically by the appearance of the characteristic rashes. There are no laboratory tests in regular practice to confirm Chicken pox. The rashes appear 2-3days after being infected and last for 6-7days, and heal without leaving any marks.

Q4.  What is the treatment for Chicken pox?
Chicken pox is treated with antiviral medications. Patients are advised home quarantine as it is a highly contagious disease.

Q5.  What are the complications of Chicken pox?
Chicken pox can sometimes spread to the eyes if the rashes are very close to the eyes. If proper treatment is not given it can cause permanent damage to the cornea leading to vision loss.
Late complication is herpes zoster shingles, in which the dormant virus reactivates and causes rashes along the involved nerves. They are always unilateral. They are associated with severe pain.

Q6.  How do I prevent Chicken pox?
Chicken pox is a vaccine preventable disease. Although there are no serious consequences of Chicken pox the stigma and the disease can be avoided by getting vaccinated.

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