Guide on Chicken Pox and other Infectious Skin Conditions in Babies
5 mins read
Health & Safety for Baby
Baby illnesses can be quite stressful for you as parents. However, it is important to identify if your baby is showing signs of infection and ensure that the right course of treatment is followed so that you can avoid potentially dangerous conditions.
Chicken pox can make your baby quite uncomfortable and irritable. Though it does not qualify as a serious health issue, you cannot afford to take it lightly. It has the potential to develop into something more serious if not treated properly. In the same way, skin condition in your baby also requires attention and proper care from your part. Here are some pointers to help you deal with chicken pox and other infectious skin conditions in the right way.
How can you know that your baby has chickenpox:
Chickenpox is a viral infection. The classic symptoms are red itchy blister-like rashes. Chickenpox is very rarely seen in babies under a year, even if it appears; it is usually very mild. Your baby may run a fever. She may even have a runny nose. If your baby has these symptoms then it is most likely that she has chickenpox. It usually lasts for seven days.
How your baby may have got infected:
Chickenpox or Varicella is highly contagious. It can spread through touching an infected person or through air, when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In this condition, the infected person may become contagious even before the blisters appear, so there is virtually no way of identifying the source from where your baby might have contracted it from.
How dangerous is it for your baby:
Chickenpox by itself is usually not dangerous. It causes tiredness and irritation in your baby. But remember, that it is a condition which has a potential of developing into dangerous conditions if taken lightly. So ensure that you consult your doctor and follow his advice, especially if your baby has a weakened immune system.
Best way to treat chickenpox:
Chickenpox is a condition that causes a lot of discomforts, especially in babies, as they cannot voice their discomfort. Ensure that you keep your baby as comfortable as possible. Get your doctor to explain the right way to deal with the rashes. The rashes can be itchy, and your doctor may prescribe lotions to soothe the rashes. Ensure that you clip your baby’s nails to prevent him from worsening the condition by scratching. You can even get your doctor to prescribe an oral antihistamine (anti-iching medicine) appropriate for your baby, to ease his discomfort. Ensure that you keep an eye on your baby’s temperature and administer medicines at the right time. Comfort your baby and give him as much attention as he needs.
Vaccination is your best bet against chicken pox. Follow all your baby’s vaccination schedules religiously.
Other Skin Conditions in Babies
This is the skin condition usually seen in kids below the age of five. The skin becomes scaly and dry, and in some cases it shows up as tiny rashes which oozes. It can start on the baby’s cheeks and spread to other areas like back of knees or inside elbows. Although it is not contagious, it can be very uncomfortable and cause itching and can look unsightly. Your baby can get eczema if there is a family history. It can be triggered by environmental factors like heat or allergens in something that comes in contact with the skin like chemicals in soap or perfumes or even clothes. Help your child by taking care of his skin and identifying and avoiding the triggers which may cause eczema in your child. Consult your doctor and take his help to chart out a suitable skin care regimen and stick to it religiously.
Hives are an allergic reaction on the skin. They look like red welts of different shapes and sizes. They are not contagious, but they can spread all over the body. Hives appear on the skin when the body releases a chemical called histamine. It is usually not possible to pin point what may have triggered hives in your baby as there are innumerable reasons. It can be an insect bite or allergy of certain food. Your baby can get hives if she is allergic to your pet cat or even if she has a viral infection. If your baby has developed hives like symptoms, you can try giving her a bath or apply a soothing lotion. Consult your doctor if she is uncomfortable. If your child develops difficulty in breathing or wheezing, or feels light-headed or has difficulty in swallowing along with hives on the skin, then get her to the hospital as quickly as possible.
This condition usually comes up if your baby’s skin is very sensitive to insect bites like flea bites or even mosquito bites. It usually manifests on the skin as a raised patch which turns hard. It is not contagious but can be itchy. Usually the itching can be soothed by an anti-histamine lotion, but if your baby is very uncomfortable, your doctor can prescribe an oral anti-itching medicine to ease his discomfort. Most children outgrow this sensitivity by the time they are 10 years old. It is important to comfort your child when he is not feeling well. Give him lots of attention and help him get back on his feet.
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