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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.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Current as of August 23, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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