IF your little one has an itchy, spotty rash and is feeling irritable, it’s likely they have chickenpox.
It’s a common condition which mostly affects kids but as a parent you want to make sure they are as comfortable as possible.
However, at present there is a national shortage of all chickenpox treatments and that means you might struggle to treat your little one.
Sun columnist Dr Zoe Williams explained that there is currently no poxyclin, which has led to parents’ ‘pulling their hair out’.
Her two-year-old boy Lisbon started to develop a rash last week, and soon Dr Zoe realised he had the infection.
In order to help other parents out who might be battling the red dots, Dr Zoe revealed her top tips to treat the illness.
You’ve ran around to Tesco, Boots and even tried your local pharmacy, but there are no products in sight.
Posting to Instagram, Dr Zoe said if you’re struggling to find lotions then you should turn to your nearest and dearest.
“Ask your family, friends and neighbours – many will have calamine lotion sitting in their cupboards gathering dust and you may find a hidden bottle of Poxclin which is like gold dust.
“We lucked out with calamine from a friend, but not lucky enough to source Poxclin.
“Alternatives are Eurax cream for those over 3 years old. And if the skin is dry use an emollient – Aveeno has an oat base.”
Dr Zoe said that if you can’t access traditional products then you should try Piriton to alleviate the itch.
“We usually advise non-sedating antihistamines in children, for eg with allergies and hay fever, but when it comes to treating a little sedation (especially at night) is welcome.”
If your little one has chickenpox it’s likely they are getting irritated by the itch.
An oatmeal bath will help both soothe their skin and you could also distract them with some bath toys.
Dr Zoe said: “Oats have anti inflammatory properties and can soothe and reduce itching.
“Put a handful of oats in a sock/tights and place over the tap whilst you run the bath.
“The water should look cloudy. You can also dab the sock directly onto the spots in the bath.”
What is chickenpox?
Chickenpox is a highly infectious illness caused by the varicella zoster virus, and presents itself with a characteristic rash, with vesicles on the face, spreading down over the body to the arms and legs.
Although generally mild in otherwise healthy children, it can be more severe in pregnant women and immuno-suppressed individuals.
Children with chickenpox should remain at home until they are better and the rash has gone.
It’s a very itchy condition and can make little ones feel miserable, even if they don’t have very many spots.
Before a rash appears, you might get a high temperature, aches and pains with a general feeling of illness and a loss of appetite.
Adults who get chickenpox will usually have symptoms for longer and in most cases will have more spots.
The NHS says that it is possible to get chickenpox more than once but that this is unusual.
If you are worried about any of your signs and symptoms you should call 111 for advice.
In an emergency, always dial 999.
Dr Zoe also advised that you keep your little one’s fingernails short.
She added that you should use mittens at night if they are scratching while they sleep.
The medic said that along with the above, you should give your little one lots of fluids, lots of cuddles and to not worry if they have to miss school or nursery for a few days.
Don’t do it
But Dr Zoe also warned of the one thing parents must not do if their little one has chicken pox.
She said while you can give paracetamol for fever, pain or discomfort, you should not give your child ibuprofen if they have chickenpox.
Dr Ranj Singh previously explained that ibuprofen shouldn’t be used – unless it’s been medically advised.
This is because ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication, which can react with chickenpox, making them go deeper into the skin tissue.
NHS guidance states: “Do not use ibuprofen unless advised to do so by a doctor, as it may cause serious skin infections”.