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Chickenpox in children: photos, symptoms and treatment


Chicken pox in children Chickenpox is an acute infectious disease, predominantly of childhood. Every year, this pathology affects several million babies, who later develop a strong immunity to the disease.
What does chicken pox look like in the photo, how long the incubation period lasts, what are the symptoms and methods of treating chicken pox from this article.

Causes of chickenpox

The correct scientific name for “chicken pox” is chicken pox. This is due to the fact that the clinic of this pathology somewhat resembles smallpox, which is now completely eliminated in the world.

The direct causative agent of the disease is the varicella zoster virus (scientific name Varicella zoster). This pathogenic agent is found in the fluid bubbles on the skin from 3-4 days after the first signs of the disease. A week after the debut of the disease, it is no longer possible to detect the varicella-zoster virus in the pathological elements on the skin. In the event that, under the influence of therapy, the virus was not completely eliminated from the body, it can persist and multiply in the ganglia of the central nervous system, causing a person to develop such a disease as herpes zoster.

Infection occurs by inhalation by inhalation of infected air. The source of the spread of chickenpox is a sick person or a healthy carrier of the pathogen. Casuistically, vertical (transplacental) transmission of the disease from mother to child in her womb is rarely possible.

Brief Characteristics of the Chickenpox Pathogen

The varicella-zoster virus belongs to the herpes virus group. Outside the body, this pathogenic agent dies within 5-7 minutes. Sunlight and high temperatures also have a detrimental effect on it.

An interesting fact is that the pathogen can live exclusively in the human body. Outside him, he dies within 5-10 minutes.

Prevalence of chickenpox

The most susceptible to chickenpox are children who belong to the younger preschool age (6-7 years). Especially fast the disease spreads among kids in organized groups, such as kindergartens, schools and pre-school groups.

An interesting fact is that there are no people who would be immune to chicken pox. This means that any person who has never had chickenpox before, in contact with a patient or a virus carrier, can get sick with 100% probability.

When is a person contagious?

High probability of infection of others exists up to 5 days after the disappearance of the last element of the skin rash. Also, people can become infected when the patient is in the incubation period (one day before the onset of signs of the disease). Epidemiologists advise to isolate patients on day 21 after the diagnosis of chicken pox.

How does chickenpox develop?

After the virus has invaded the epithelium of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, its active reproduction begins. Soon it penetrates the bloodstream and infects skin cells, especially its epithelial layer. There arises a complex of the following pathological reactions:

  • cell death with the formation of bubbles filled with serous fluid;
  • local inflammatory response, which is accompanied by the release of inflammatory mediators, edema and vasodilation of the microvasculature.

Naturally, the virus, which is contained in a high concentration in the blood, produces an immune response, which is accompanied by the release of biologically active substances - interleukins. They penetrate the nervous system and cause febrile reactions on the part of the body.

A toxic effect on the central nervous system in chickenpox is exerted not only by the products of the immune response, but also directly by the virus particles themselves.

Symptoms of chickenpox in children

During the course of the disease, the following periods are distinguished, each of which is characterized by its own specific symptoms.

  • . Chickenpox incubation period . This is the time period that starts from the moment the varicella-zoster virus penetrates the child’s body. It ends on average in 12-14 days (minimum - in 5, maximum - in 21). The main sign of its termination is the appearance of the first visible symptoms of the disease.
  • . Prodromal period . As a rule, with chickenpox, its duration does not exceed 1-2 days. It is characterized by the appearance of general nonspecific intoxication symptoms in a patient (fever, chills, increased sweating, fatigue, depressed mood). The child often refuses to eat, it may become moody. On a walk, he quickly gets tired and asks to go home. In addition, the baby's appetite is significantly reduced; As a result of the toxic effect of the virus on the nervous system, vomiting can occur, which does not bring relief. Some patients may not have a prodromal period.
  • . The appearance of lesions on the skin . In most cases, it is accompanied by a maximum increase in body temperature. What is important is the fact that the pathological elements on the skin appear as if in waves, that is, the second follows the subsidence of the first wave of eruptions.

As a rule, the first morphological elements on the skin appear in the region of the head (its hairy part), as well as on the back. In the subsequent rash can be found not only on any part of the skin, but also on the mucous membranes of the mouth or eyes. The skin of the feet, as well as the palms, is never affected by the pathological process.

What does a rash on a chicken pox look like?

Chickenpox first signs
It is necessary to take into account the fact that the characteristic rash on the skin in the form of bubbles never occurs in the first days of the disease. The chickenpox rash goes through the following metamorphosis:

  • . the stain . Its appearance is due to the local expansion of the vessels of the microvasculature in the place on the skin where the introduction of the pathogen occurred. The sizes of these spots do not exceed 5-6 mm, they do not rise above the level of the rest of the skin and have clear edges (see photo);

  • Windmill photo . a bubble . Appears on the place where there was a stain in 5-6 hours after the first morphological element appeared on the skin. The contents of the vial are serous (clear) fluid, where the virus cultures are contained in high concentrations (see photo). If suppuration occurs, deeper-lying layers of the skin may be affected and then ugly scars form;

  • Chickenpox photo symptoms . crust . After some time, the bubble vial breaks, its contents pour out, and a crust forms at the place where the primary morphological element was located (see photo).

As mentioned above, new rashes can appear on the skin almost daily for 3-5 days. Therefore, the patient has various options for morphological elements: spots and bubbles, and crusts.

Typical and atypical signs of chickenpox

There are several options for the manifestation of the disease, which, depending on the similarity of external manifestations with known clinical signs, can be typical and atypical.

In a typical variant of the flow of chickenpox, the general condition of the child, as a rule, is not disturbed. The temperature may occasionally increase, but it rarely exceeds the febrile threshold (38 0 С). On the skin there are many morphological elements that are at different stages of their development. A characteristic rash on mucous membranes (it is called enanthema) is found in 7 children out of 10. Unlike adults, complications in children suffering from chickenpox are extremely rare.

Atypical variant combines several clinical manifestations of varicella: gangrenous, bullous, rudimentary, hemorrhagic and generalized.

Gangrenous form of chicken pox is characterized by a progressive lesion of the deeper layers of the skin with their gradual death (necrosis). The process of death begins a few days after the appearance of the first rash. Its characteristic feature is the appearance of thin dark purple rims around the skin blisters. The contents of the latter (as opposed to the classic version of chicken pox) is not a transparent liquid, but a dark red ichor. After the morphological vesicle has burst, a rough crust (eschar) forms in its place, under which there is a deep ulcer surface that is extremely difficult to heal. The clinic of this disease is dominated by the phenomena of severe general intoxication and damage to the nervous system. Mortality in this variant of chickenpox continues to be at a very high level even despite the use of modern standards of treatment of patients. Gangrenous type of chicken pox, fortunately, is extremely rare, mainly in children with severe immunodeficiency.

The bullous form of chickenpox is characterized by the appearance of huge blisters on the skin, which are filled with muddy yellowish liquid. Tires of these formations are flabby, and when they break, long-lasting ulcers are found on their bottom. Occasionally, several large bubbles can merge into one giant one, after a rupture of its walls, a deep wound remains on the skin. Its bottom is often covered with fibrin.

Generalized (general) form is characterized by the defeat of all internal organs. With a delay or incorrect treatment tactics, the patient may die. In most cases, this variant of varicella occurs in people with severe defects in immunity. For example, when taking steroid hormones or anticancer drugs.

In contrast to the generalized, the rudimentary form is one of the easiest manifestations of chicken pox. Rashes, as a rule, extremely scanty, often they do not reach the stage of bubbles or crusts. Skin rash often remains at the stage of such a primary morphological element as a spot.

The hemorrhagic version of the disease is also quite difficult for the patient. As its name implies, the contents of the bubbles are not serous (inflammatory) fluid, but blood. Many patients have coagulation disorders that are manifested by bleeding from the nose or gum pockets. Crusts formed in place of the bubbles have a dark red color, after their falling away there remain deep scars. As a rule, the hemorrhagic form of the disease occurs in patients with pathology of the hematopoietic system (for example, thrombocytopenia).

Depending on the severity of the patient’s condition, the course of chickenpox can be: mild, moderate or severe.

What are the possible complications?

Fortunately, most children recover from chickenpox safely. However, in some categories of patients, the disease may have adverse outcomes, such as:

  • pustular skin lesions : phlegmon, abscesses or boils. They are the result of the penetration into the fluid inside the vesicle of pathological microorganisms, which, upon contact with neutrophils, can form pus;
  • encephalitis . This pathology is manifested by severe damage to the central nervous system, manifesting seizures seizures. This is due to the high affinity of the virus to the nervous tissue. In most cases, this complication is found in patients on the 7-12 day of illness. Relatively rarely there is a persistent violation of higher nervous activity in the form of idiocy;
  • myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. It is manifested by deafness of heart tones, pains in the region of the heart, as well as changes on the cardiogram;
  • pneumonia . Most often diagnosed in adults. A feature of chickenpox pneumonia is the extreme scarcity of clinical symptoms. The diagnosis can only be made radiographically, while small inflammatory foci are found on the image almost throughout the lung tissue;
  • pathology of the structures of the eyeball (keratitis) ;
  • hepatitis ;
  • Nephritis is an inflammatory disease of the kidneys that most often occurs on the 10th – 12th day of the illness. In most cases, this pathology resolves independently and does not require any specific therapy.

Diagnosis of chickenpox in children

Diagnosing chickenpox is not difficult if the disease is in a phase of extensive clinical manifestations. If we are talking about atypical variants of the disease, then it is necessary to perform the following examination program:

  • clinical blood test;
  • biochemical examination of venous blood samples with mandatory determination of the quality of the functioning of the liver, kidneys and pancreas;
  • antibody titer to varicella zoster virus.

If there is a violation of the functions of the internal organs, a comprehensive examination of the body is carried out, while the laboratory and instrumental program is adjusted at the discretion of the doctor.

Treatment of chickenpox in children

When the first signs of chickenpox appear, it is necessary to immediately show the child to the doctor to establish an accurate diagnosis.

First of all, to prevent possible complications, it is necessary to adhere to strict bed rest throughout the febrile period.

For detoxification of the body, a large amount of fluid is indicated, but it should be remembered that excessive perspiration can worsen the flow of skin rashes by suppuration.

The varicella-zoster virus belongs to intracellular pathogens, which means that it is practically impossible to influence it with drugs without damaging the cells of your own organism.

The use of such an antiviral drug as interferon has not found application in wide clinical practice. It is believed that this drug can somewhat reduce the external manifestation of the disease, as well as reduce the surface area of ​​the rash. Sometimes doctors can prescribe drugs cyclic nucleotides (acyclovir and its analogues).

Many doctors widely practice the appointment of homeopathic medicines and traditional medicine. For example, recommended for use flakosid, alpizarin and chelepin.

Since chickenpox belongs to the class of viral diseases, the use of antibiotics in this case is not shown.

In cases of fever in children, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or paracetamol can be used.

Mandatory appointment of local treatment. So, it is good to process dried up morphological elements with local antiseptics (methylene blue, Castellani solution). If possible, the use of ultraviolet rays to accelerate the formation of crusts is shown.

How to prevent chickenpox?

Concerning the prevention of chickenpox, the opinions of scientists are fundamentally different. Some believe that it is necessary to specifically infect children so that they will be ill with this infectious disease. Others, on the contrary, believe that long-term persistence of the virus in the autonomic ganglia can lead to the development of severe complications. One of the means of specific prevention of varicella is vaccination (means Okavaks, Varilriks).

| September 29, 2014 | | 39 650 | Uncategorized
  • | Victoria | March 19, 2015

    What we just did not do was smeared with brilliant green, used poksklinom, but it is still terrible :)))

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Michael McGoldrick: I got chickenpox when I was 17. One year later I got a minor case of shingles. (Small patch, lasted a week with meds). Now, I’m 20, and I just got shingles AGAIN in the same spot. Weird...