3 Stages of Chickenpox: Unforgettable Symptoms

February 8, 2023 by 1 Comment

Chickenpox is a communicable disease that shows different stages. The disease ends slowly after showing 3 different stages of chickenpox.

What is Chickenpox?

Chickenpox is a highly transmittable sickness that is caused by the virus called varicella-zoster (VZV). It is said that people will surely get affected by this disease once in their lifetime. It is normally seen in kids, but there are many cases where adults who have never been affected or vaccinated also get affected by this infection which means most people suffer from this disease when they are kids. Only a few suffer as an Adult. The patient with this disease gets a feeling like getting sick and feels itchiness all over the body before other symptoms.

chicken pox
Fig:1 Chickenpox

How can we identify chickenpox?

Chickenpox can easily be recognized by those who know what it looks like. It gives blisters to the person after more than a week of getting exposed to the VZV. It looks like pimples. The amount of blisters depends typically from person to person. Some people are covered with blisters everywhere in their body parts and some have very few blisters. 

Stage of chicken pox symptoms

There are three stages of chickenpox. It shows its symptoms after 15 to 21 days of getting exposed to the virus and takes almost 2 weeks to recover from the infection.

stages of chicken pox
Fig 2: Stages of chicken pox
  • First Stage

Chickenpox in its first stage is called Prodromal Phase. It shows its symptoms for the first 4 to 6 days after getting exposure to the virus. This phase shows symptoms like:

  1. Malaise
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle Ache
  4. Runny Nose
  5. Cough
  6. Nausea

In this stage, the VZV travels all the way to lymph nodes from the eyes or respiratory tract. After traveling to lymph nodes the virus spreads in one’s bloodstream. The virus gets activated and starts showing normal symptoms. This is called primary viremia. Even if the formation of the blister has not started, it is very infectious and can be transmitted to those who come in contact with the victim.

  • Second Stage

The second stage of chickenpox is named secondary viremia which is also known as the blister stage. This is the stage that starts after 10 days of getting exposed to VZV. The virus starts showing blisters forming on the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. The stage starts with very itchiness and rashes all around the body when we start seeing the red dot spots all over the body which convert into red-colored blisters. It is so fast that when it starts its spreads all over every part of the body in 10 to 12 hours.  During this stage, the patient often gets a slight fever. Some of the symptoms:

  1. Muscle ache
  2. Headache
  3. Small blisters are seen
  4. Itchiness
  5. Mild fever
  • Third Stage

The second stage of Chickenpox is called the scabbing stage. It is in its third stage after 15 to 20 days of getting affected. In this stage, all the blisters will have already appeared and will start turning yellow and then dry. The blisters start breaking, then sore crust and heal. During this stage, there is very less possibility that chickenpox will transfer to others. These sores are normally very dry, and crusty on the screen. Symptoms of the third stage are:

  1. Itchiness
  2. Burns when blisters break

Is chickenpox preventable?

Yes, surely chickenpox can be prevented through vaccination. Vaccine for prevention is recommended for all age groups. Though taking only one vaccine is not enough. A person should take two vaccines to prevent Chickenpox. It is said that 98% of cases are completely protected after taking Sometimes in a very rare case even the person who is already vaccinated suffers from this disease. The difference is just that the blisters are less and it recovers fast. 

Though the vaccine is available to prevent chickenpox, There are some criteria where people should not take the vaccine.

  1. Those people have different reactions and allergies because of the first dose of the vaccine.
  2. Those women who are in their pregnancy phase or willing to be pregnant.
  3. Those people who have weak immune systems due to other health conditions.
  4. Those people who have recently gone blood transfusion.
  5. Those people with active tuberculosis.
  6. Those who are sick except getting cold.

Must read : Melasma: 5 Effective Measures to Clear

 Symptoms in people who are vaccinated

First of all, normally people do not catch chickenpox if they are vaccinated but in some cases when people catch the VZV, symptoms like mild fever, very few blisters, milder rash and itchiness, and a lot of them do not fully change into big blisters.

But in very few cases people who are vaccinated also suffers from the same symptoms as unvaccinated peoples.


Complication in Chickenpox

Sometime chickenpox shows its complicated nature. Most Adults when they get chickenpox are at higher risk rather than kids. Also, all those groups of people who are suffering from TB, cancer, HIV, or any other disease that has weekend their immune system faces complications at some point during the chickenpox period.

When to seek help?

As given above there are some cases where chickenpox results in a complication. Normally, anyone with no other complicated health condition does not suffer from complex chickenpox experience. But there are some symptoms which should seek help and call the doctor at least once.

  1. If a person caring a virus gets a fever for more than 4 days or has a fever of more than 102 degrees.
  2. If the rash that has appeared warms up or begins leaking pus.
  3. If the person is suffering from frequent nausea.
  4. If the person is having difficulty in breathing.
  5. If the person is suffering from a severe cough.
  6. If the person is suffering from severe abdominal pain.

The risk of getting pneumonia and encephalitis can increase if you don’t consult when the above symptoms are seen.

Is it fine to scratch during feeling itchy?

All the people who get chickenpox sufferers from itchiness. But scratching your body after the formation of blisters is not good. If you scratch your body during or after blisters are formed your body will have a lot of scars. Not only are scars but there is a high chance to spread the virus so it is completely not fine to scratch your wounds many with your nails.

How do we reduce Itchiness?

The following things can be done to reduce itching:

  1. Try the oatmeal bath.
  2. Calamine lotion is very commonly used and also recommended by doctors.
  3. Use of Benadryl. 
  4. Trim the nails of your finger.
  5. Cool your skin with cold water.
  6. Wearing soft socks on hand.
  7. Choose to wear soft and loose cotton clothes.
  8. Keep your bedroom cool.

Can chickenpox cause death?

Yes, chicken pox causes death very rarely when a patient is not vaccinated and are adult or child.

How long should stay away from people who have chickenpox?

Chickenpox is infectious for 1 to 2 days before the rash appears and until all of the blisters have dried and turned into scabs. Within 5 to 7 days of the rash’s onset, the blisters usually dry and turn into scabs. Children should remain at home and away from other children until all blisters have scabbed over.

What happens if chicken pox is scratched?

Itchy feeling, but better not to scratch them. Scratching the blisters can cause skin tears and scarring. Scratching can also allow germs to enter and infect the blisters.

Which soap is effective against chicken pox?

It is better to wash any items that have been soiled with fluid from chickenpox blisters with a household cleaner such as Lysol or Pine-Sol. Bathing every day with a soothing, mild soap containing ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera, or lavender will help in chickenpox.

How should we sleep if we have chicken pox?

Itchy spots can disrupt sleep, so apply a cooling cream or gel liberally before going to bed. Soft bedding that does not overheat them can also be beneficial.

Is it possible for chickenpox to spread through objects?

Chickenpox is spread by tiny droplets of saliva released into the air when a contagious person breathes, coughs, sneezes, or speaks (this is sometimes referred to as “droplet transmission”). Viruses can also be transmitted through direct contact or by touching objects or clothing.

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