Friday, 13 April 2012

Chicken Pox

There hasn't been much time for blogging recently.

What with the challenges of getting used to our new baby, dealing with a 3 year old with tonsillitis and chicken pox within the space of a month, travelling to wet west Wales to the in-laws for Easter and having some sort of flu-like bug myself, spare time has been pretty limited!

But once again I have been learning to be a better pharmacist by testing the product range* available for dealing with a small boy with chicken pox and felt it timely to share my (ahem) wisdom.

So here goes:
  • Paracetamol and/or ibuprofen suspension are great to bring down the high temperature. Remember to check the dose is right for the age of child and the advice has recently changed. If in doubt as your pharmacist.
  • Chlorphenamine (Piriton) is a good choice if your wee one is incredibly itchy. It can help them get a good night's sleep as well. Although had no noticable effect on my boy!
  • Topical products seem to stop the itching for a little while. Take your pick from:
    Calamine lotion - the smell took me back to a far away place in time. Very soothing and my small boy liked dabbing it on himself.
    Calamine in aqueous cream - not as messy as the lotion or as drying to the skin
    Virasoothe gel seemed to be the best we tried. Nice to apply, very cooling and soothing.
    There are some new products just out that we didn;t get round to trying this time. We'll need to wait for the next child to get chicken pox to test more products!
Other things we learned from this round of illnesses:
  • It is possible to get chicken pox twice. We are pretty sure that our boy had it when he was about a year old, but a very mild dose. Perhaps not a good enough whack to give him immunity?
  • A 3 year old can be too poorly to even watch peppa pig! Now that must be proper poorly.
  • The spots in the hair itch the most.
  • Breast feeding really does protect newborns - or so it would seem. That means we'll go through it all again when the younger brother goes to nursery.
  • Small children can't often explain where things hurt. A sore neck turned out to be tonsillitis!
*Remember that some of the products above may be available free of charge on the minor ailments services. Come and discuss your child's symptoms with the team at Barnton Pharmacy.


  1. Glad to hear everyone is recovered.

  2. morag maclachlan28 April 2012 at 23:56

    is virasoothe on minor ailments?

    1. Hi Morag,
      Thanks for the comment.
      The NHS formulary we work with for the minor ailments service does not include virasoothe at the moment. The first choice under the minor ailments service would be calamine lotion or cream with an antihistamine if required.
      Hope that helps

  3. Fantastic post, itchiness from the Chicken Pox is definitely uncomfortable and not fun to deal with. I'll be sure to test out these different ailments and see how they work.