Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To help ease the symptoms of an uncomplicated case of chickenpox, follow these self-care measures.

Don't scratch

Scratching can cause scarring, slow healing and increase the risk that the sores will become infected. If your child can't stop scratching:

  • Put gloves on his or her hands, especially at night
  • Trim his or her fingernails

Relieve the itch and other symptoms

The chickenpox rash can be very itchy, and broken vesicles sometimes sting. These discomforts, along with fever, headache and fatigue, can make anyone miserable. For relief, try:

  • A cool bath with added baking soda, uncooked oatmeal or colloidal oatmeal — a finely ground oatmeal that is made for soaking.
  • Calamine lotion dabbed on the spots.
  • A soft, bland diet if chickenpox sores develop in the mouth.
  • Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl, others) for itching. Check with your doctor to make sure your child can safely take antihistamines.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) for a mild fever.

Don't give aspirin to anyone with chickenpox because it can lead to a serious condition called Reye's syndrome. And don't treat a high fever without consulting your doctor.

Mar. 26, 2013