Thank you, chicken pox, for those “interesting” few weeks, but we learned a couple of tricks for dealing with you and since you won’t be coming back to us again, I thought I would pass on these tips to ease chicken pox.
I caught chicken pox when I was, I think, around six or seven. I have a couple of scars from it, so clearly I was not so good at not scratching, but the only memory I have of it is having baths in water and bicarbonate of soda to ease the itching.
Even before O started complaining that the spots were itchy, we were bathing him in water with about 2-3 tablespoons of bicarbonate in. This worked for a day or two but then the spots started getting very itchy.
The next stage was to try oats in the bath. I put about two tablespoons of oats in the middle of a thin tea towel and tied it up with a hair band. I then used a second hairband to fix it to the bath tap, so that the pouch with the oats was hanging directly in the flow of the water.
When the bath filled up, the water was slightly cloudy but O didn’t seem to mind, especially when I told him what it was. After that, these became known as “breakfast baths”! During the bath, I unhooked the tea towel from the tap and used it as a sponge to dab on the chicken pox spots.
This worked a treat to calm down the itchiness and the effect lasted quite a while too. It was much more effective a remedy than the bicarbonate of soda.
I remembered that my mum had put calamine lotion on me to help the spots. It is not available here, so I asked at the chemists and was recommended a specific mousse for chicken pox. It is called PoxClin. You can put it in the fridge too, to help calm the spots even more, but O complained that it was too cold when we did that.
In the end we used PoxClin more when we were bathing him with water and bicarbonate of soda as we needed it more then. After we switched to the “breakfast baths”, that worked well enough that we did not need to use the PoxClin as well.
The worst time we had with O was at night when he would scratch at the spots in his sleep. For most of the nights that he had it, he was in our bed with us, as then we were able to keep an eye on his fever and try to stop him scratching so much. We had a couple of nights when we had to bathe him to calm the itchiness down. We came out of it pretty tired, which is why we were glad for the few nights of proper sleep that we had before E’s first spots appeared.
E seemed to handle having chicken pox a little more easily and I wonder if the difference wasn’t to do with age. He also had the spots differently. O had them spread with regularity all over his body and head, whereas E had few on his arms and legs and the spots were concentrated on his shoulders, his neck, face and scalp and around his waist, although he has twice as many in total.
Luckily though, he has not suffered at night from itchiness and has actually managed to sleep in his own bed the whole time. So Husband and I are at least not as exhausted as we were when O had it.
And the best part is that now it is drawing to an end and we’re over it and it won’t be coming back.
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