Chicken pox just wouldn’t be chicken pox without a week to ten days of acute itching, followed by the appearance of a few small scars that eventually fade away to nothing.
Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chicken pox is characterised by tiny blisters that are usually less than one-quarter of an inch wide. They eventually fill with fluid and then pop, leaving sores which crust over and then flake away.
Scars do not usually form when chicken pox occurs. Scars can form, however, when a blister becomes unbearably itchy and is then scratched, occasionally leading to an infection. So it’s not the pox that leads to scars, it’s the severity of the infection - and how well it is handled.
Some people choose to pay privately for the chicken pox vaccine, which is not 100 percent effective but will definitely lessen the severity of the infection should you get it, and therefore reduce the possibility of scarring. If you are interested, ask your GP for advice.
Others choose to handle the pox in a well-informed and sensitive manner, using local anaesthetic creams such as calamine lotion, fever reducers, pain medications and baths in lukewarm water to make the sufferer more comfortable.
Ways to Avoid Chicken Pox Scars
When it comes to avoiding chicken pox scars, then prevention, of course, is the best cure.
The best way to avoid scarring is to stop the itching - before it leads to infection. Here are some tried and tested methods to make your child as comfortable as possible:
Get medications from your GP, such as calamine lotion, or other anti-itching creams. An ice cube placed directly onto the affected area will also make it feel less itchy.
Take an antihistamine. Ask your GP about which one is best, based on the age of your child. This will also help your child to sleep better – a bonus for both of you!
Pour a mugful of uncooked porridge oats into a muslin bag. Tie with a string. Run a lukewarm bath, then drop the bag in the water. Squeeze the oats repeatedly when wet, and a cloudy substance will emerge in the water. This will help stop the itching.
For very young children, wearing scratch mitts may be necessary. You can also wrap their hands in gauze if they are too young to understand that they mustn’t scratch. Older children may still need constant reminding not to scratch.
When cases of severe chicken pox do lead to infection, often antibiotics will be required to clear the problem up completely. Some children look awful if they have very large blisters before the infection dries up all the way, but don’t worry: this doesn’t mean they will be more prone to permanent scarring.
Getting Rid of Scars
In some cases, however, those chicken pox scars are just that little bit deeper, and they don’t seem to fade when the infection is gone, no matter what you do. So what can be done?
If your child has a few chickenpox scars, try buying a silicone-based cream that contains zinc oxide. Apply it regularly and hopefully the scars will fade.
Adults who are worried about the look of their own childhood chicken pox scars can see a dermatologist and ask about a chemical peel, which can take off the top layer of the skin and make the scarring less noticeable.
For deep scars, laser therapy might also be of help to get rid of noticeable scarring in adults. Ask your GP for a recommendation of a qualified professional if you are concerned about scarring and want to try this route.
Better Now Than Later
The severity of a chicken pox infection will vary from child to child, and it’s a well-known fact that children who contract chicken pox from a sibling will probably have a more severe form of the infection. As a result, they will need more care to prevent scarring from occurring.
Whatever happens, keep in mind that getting chicken pox as an adult can have much more serious complications than getting the infection as a child. Chicken pox is almost always harmless to children, despite the appearance of that tell-tale scar in the middle of their forehead!
If no muslin for oat bath, use an old pair of tights or even socks. Run in bath water and bathe.
Savvy - 16-May-18 @ 7:57 PM
@Jnr - I think it's more that you have to keep the child clean. How else would you bathe your child without water. Chicken pox can last weeks.
ON - 14-May-18 @ 2:38 PM
NEVER LET WATER TOUCH CHICKEN POX!! No baths, no showers, no water at all! I don’t know why the western world doesn’t know the basics of chicken pox. Any spots that touch water will be at risk of scarring. Where I come from, the name for chicken pox is “water rash” and people would scream at you if you told them you put your child in an oat bath. PLEASE don’t do it. Just use calamine CREAM (not the lotion, as that makes the skin dry and itch even more). Please please PLEASE. I speak from experience.
Jnr - 11-May-18 @ 10:32 PM
Out oats into a sock and then rubbed over skin ??
Sannyb - 9-May-18 @ 7:20 AM
Hi...I have chickenpox now and it itches a lot. I've applied calamine lotion but the itches still persist. I don't have a muslin bag and it's not sold anywhere close, please which other way can I get the oatmeal into the water without it scattering all over?
Alista - 27-Apr-18 @ 8:27 PM
Hi i had chickenfox before7months,now scars arenot prevent so there has any method to prevent its
Rahulchoudhary - 4-Jan-18 @ 2:04 PM
Where can I buy silicone-based cream that contains zinc oxide in UK please?
Or just suggest some creams and I see where I can find them?
sorina - 14-Oct-17 @ 1:35 PM
Hi, I had chicken pox recently and it's been almost a week now since I recovered.. but there's is one deep scar on my forehead which I really hate. So my question is, will it still fade? Or it's gonna be permanently stay there? Other than laser process, is there any treatment?
Jaytan - 17-Jun-17 @ 7:26 PM
When i have a Chicken pox somany bubbles are shown in my body what shoud do the bubbles going method cwn you say please
iron - 28-Apr-17 @ 1:44 AM
The article is helpful.I wanna ask a question.I m 14 years old and suffering from chickenpox since not more than a week.I m worrying how long those scars will last?Can you please tell me?
Vidhi - 14-Apr-17 @ 1:38 PM
This is my second day of chickenpox I had a chickenpox on my forehead it was very itchy so I scratched it now I am worried that the scar might be there forever..
Plz tell me how do I get rid of it
sushant - 26-Mar-17 @ 7:04 AM
its Chickenpox not Chicken pox.
Mahd - 7-Nov-16 @ 5:28 PM
I got chickenpox and I have scratched it does the marks of that will go or not I am really worried about it
neen - 9-Aug-16 @ 11:16 AM
Plz sir help me .....I have ques. to ask u....my 1) Tell me shop to remove chickenpox spot from the body? Nd for face which face wash i use or not? My age is 18.
virat - 29-Jul-16 @ 9:59 PM
Plz sir help me .....I have ques. to ask u....my 1) Tell me shop to remove chickenpox spot from the body? Nd for face which face wash i use or not?
virat - 29-Jul-16 @ 9:57 PM
swt - Your Question:
Today I got 2 spots of chicken pox and I dont want to grow any more in body. specially in face. what can I do?
Unfortunately, there is nothing your can do to control where your spots are going to appear. Some people only have a few spots, some lots, we hope you are one of the latter. Your best option is to ensure you try not to scratch them when they do appear and follow the advice in the article which will help.
SkinHelp - 10-Jun-16 @ 10:44 AM
today i got 2 spots of chicken pox and i dont want to grow any more in body. specially in face. what can i do?
swt - 9-Jun-16 @ 10:25 AM
sir i was got chiken pox on childhood on tht time i was 3 month old baby now ma age is 24 and i hv lot of black chiken pox mark in my face plz tell me how to remove all marks
yash - 26-May-16 @ 12:09 PM
Hello. Im suffering for chickenpox now, i have a lot on my head and face. How can avoid the scars on my face? Coz im look ugly now :( thankyou
Tobyy - 26-Apr-16 @ 1:04 AM
this is my second day of chicken pox and after 6 days i have to go to another city itz friends marraige wt shuold i do
hani - 19-Apr-16 @ 11:09 AM
Hello, I am a 35 female and I contracted chicken pox 7 days ago. 3 days ago I developed a skin bacterial infection which I am now treating with antibiotics. The doctor forgot to tell me how to wash/clean my body and face given the infection. I am using for both face and body a soap for sensitive skin; is that fine or shall I avoid using any product and just wash with water? Apply, after washing, can I apply on the face any moisturising cream? Finally, I accidentally scratched an infected pustule and broke it, is there further risk of infection? Is it very serious? I don't care about the scar but more for the health risks. Many thanks!
Bea - 4-Apr-16 @ 3:47 PM
I want to know if we scratch the dark black spots which occurs on the face after the completion of chicken pox process . Due to this scratching black spots are made on the face where I scratched but other spots are getting cured in a good way rather than that which i scratched how it can be removed
shubh - 10-Mar-16 @ 2:37 AM
ann - Your Question:
I have a chicken pox now and im worried that it will leave scar in my face. Is it accurate that I wont get scars if I wont scratch it? Im trying really hard to resist the itchyness
You would need to follow the advice in the article such as obtaining medications from your GP, i.e calamine lotion, or other anti-itching creams, to things you can do yourself to prevent itching, such as placing an ice cube directly onto the affected area. It is important you try to avoid itching the scars on your face as they are the most visible.
SkinHelp - 2-Mar-16 @ 2:02 PM
I have a chicken pox now and im worried that it will leave scar in my face. Is it accurate that i wont get scars if i wont scratch it? Im trying really hard to resist the itchyness
ann - 1-Mar-16 @ 11:00 PM
i didnt scrach any blisters but i fall off when i change my clothes it that leave any mark???
jini - 27-Feb-16 @ 4:03 PM
I have 6 days for my 11th std exams. Its been 5 days since I got chicken pox. What to do?
Pk - 19-Feb-16 @ 10:34 AM
I got told I have chicken pox but when I went in the bath they went then I went to bed woke up and they back but when I go in the bath they go . Are these chicken pox or not ?
Cait - 13-Feb-16 @ 10:34 PM
Is it ok to hace a chest pain while having a chickenpox and how to ease my chest pain
Fritz - 28-Dec-15 @ 6:54 PM
vk - Your Question:
I am suffering from chicken pox and I am in my second day today.My exam is starting after four daysWill I be able to do?
You would need to speak to your school as the virus is extremely contagious. Approximately 90% of people who have never contracted the virus, could if they come into contact with it. Therefore, it is advised you remain at home until you're no longer infectious, which is usually seven days or when the last blister has burst and crusted over.
SkinHelp - 21-Dec-15 @ 9:52 AM
I am suffering from chicken pox and I am in my second day today...
My exam is starting after four days
Will I be able to do?