Chicken Pox - Symptoms

Chicken Pox Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom of chicken pox is the red, itchy rash of fluid filled blisters.

Mild flu-like symptoms usually occur before the appearance of the rash, and may cause fever, body aches, headache, nausea and loss of appetite. These symptoms are generally more pronounced in adults than they are in children.

The rash usually appears on the stomach and back and then spreads to the face and arms and legs. The rash starts as small, itchy, red spots.  Fluid filled blisters (dew drop) develop over the area of redness. This 'dew drop on a rose petal' lesion is typical of chicken pox. The blister breaks down in around 12-14 hours and crusts over within 14 days.

Chicken pox blisters are very contagious and it is typical for new skin blisters appear every day for several days.


The number of blisters in a person with chicken pox varies. Though usually ranging in number from 100 to 300, older children and adults are prone to develop significantly more lesions. Chickenpox symptoms are usually more severe when caught from household members rather than from community contact.

People with conditions like sunburn or eczema may also suffer a more severe symptoms from chicken pox. Besides affecting the skin, blisters may also appear in the eyes, mouth, and vagina.

Remember that it is important to contact your doctor if you are pregnant or have a weakend immune system and have been in contact with someone that has chicken pox, even if you don't have any symptoms.

Chicken Pox Complications

Although chicken pox is generally a mild disease with uneventful recovery, a small number of people may develop complications. Newborns, people with weak immune systems and adults form a high-risk group.

The most common complications are skin infections and pneumonia.

Other more serious complications include encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and hepatitis. Reye’s syndrome is a serious complication that may be induced by treating chicken pox with aspirin.

Chicken pox may occasionally be problematic for pregnant women, causing stillbirths, birth defects, or infection of the newborn during childbirth.



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