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Therapeutic Approach to Chickenpox (Varicella)

Thierry Clerc
Written by Thierry Clerc

Chicken pox and its homeopathic remedies.

Description:

Chickenpox is a viral illness due to the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This virus is part of the herpes virus family and is the same organism that causes herpes zoster (shingles). The virus usually spreads in the air or via an infected vesicle. It is possible to contract chickenpox from a case of herpes zoster and vice versa.

Signs and Symptoms:

The Incubation period is from 14 to 21 days. In children the first sign is usually the appearance of an itchy rash. Adults may suffer a short constitutional upset and also have a more severe illness.

All herpes infection rashes appear in a similar way : The first appearance is that of a macule, which stays stable over a period of 18-24 hours. Then the macules go through stages of change, to papules, pustules and vesicles. The rash is more marked on the trunk and in areas such as the axilla. The mucous membrane of the mouth is also affected. New spots continue to appear throughout the illness.

Incidence:

It usually appears in the 5-15 years age group, more commonly under 10. Outbreaks are very common in schools, families, care centres etc. A person usually has only one episode of chickenpox in his or her lifetime. Second attacks are possible but rare.

Chicken pox is considered very contagious (80-90%).

Possible Complications:

The most common complication is skin infections: the blisters and crusts are infectious and itchy. Scratching may lead to bacterial infection and scarring. In that case, there is discharge and redness around the pustules. In very severe cases, there is bleeding into the vesicles. For this reason, it is always important to clean the pustules and have a high level of hygiene.

Sometimes, there is infection at other sites such as the bones, lungs, joints and the blood. Encephalitis and pneumonia can also occur (rarely in children but in 20% of adults). This is often a sign of a compromised immune system. Indeed, people who receive corticosteroids or immune-suppressants are more severely affected. Chickenpox is one of the biggest killers for immuno-suppressed patients.

The virus can lie dormant within the body and can cause a different type of skin eruption later in life called shingles. It occurs most often in the late winter and early spring.

Allopathic Treatment:

Since 2006, a live-virus vaccine has been marketed in most countries. Symptomatic treatment by bathing and keeping the skin clean is important for prevention of skin infection. Antibiotics will be given if there is infection.

Homeopathic Management:

Every patient should be advised to use a blend of Hypericum & Calendula (HyperCal) lotion topically, to prevent infection.

The following remedies can be considered during an outbreak or as preventative:

Rhus Tox is often the similinum and covers most of the symptoms: intense itching with restlessness mind and body. It is often the only remedy that is needed for chickenpox.

Antimonium Crudum can be tried if Rhus Tox has failed.

Some other remedies to consider:

Aconitum Napellus: Sudden violent onset, intense fever with restlessness and a fear of death.

Antimonium tart: This remedy will work very well if there is also a cough or bronchial issues, delayed or receding blue or large pustule like eruptions.

Belladonna: Very severe headache with hot flushed skin, drowsiness but inability to sleep.

Pulsatilla: Itching vesicles not relieved by scratching. Thick yellow discharge from the nose, eyes and ears. The patient craves attention and is very clingy.

Varicella Nosode: Can be administered as a preventative and is especially useful in children who are immune compromised.

Kali Mur tissue salt can also be administered as an adjuvant, especially for stressed, “burned out” patients.

 

About the author

Thierry Clerc

Thierry Clerc

Thierry Clerc LCPH, MSc practices homeopathy in Cambridge (England). He is a graduate of the College of Practical Homeopathy (London). Prior to this, he enjoyed a successful career as an executive in the telecommunications industry. When fate hit him with a severe bout of arthritis, he went back to France to see his old homeopath, and after prompt cure, decided to study and become one!

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6 Comments

  • What I have found with Chicken pox and indeed measles where eruptions occur is that it is very important for all eruptions to be expressed on the skin usually 3-4 days aftering the beginning of rashes. If remedies are prescribed too soon there is a danger of some suppression.

    The other thing I always do at the end of chicken pox is to give a dose of Varicella 200c night and morning to eradicate anything left in the nervous system.

  • I have read the article on Chicken pox by Dr Thierry Clerc and wish to add here that Antimonium Tart removes pox marks, if given during and after chicken pox for at least two months.

  • Very useful article on Chicken Pox. If Variolinum 200 be given to the patient as well as to the family members residing in patient’s house, the epidemic will not spread to them.

  • I am interested in homeopathy and try to use homeopathy as much as possible. But for chicken pox, we were saved by timely advise that don’t give homeopathy for chickenpox for my wife. I really appreciate the advice given because i have heard stories of people suffering with full blown chickenpox using homeopathy.I think homeopath’s will do good, if someone comes to them for medicines for chickenpox and refer them to use allopathy.I know 2 instances.one instance, a person of 60-65 years went for homeopathy for chickenpox. After starting on homeopathy,the chickenpox went severe.It seems there were 46 eruptions in the back of palm itself.After one month, he died.I was surprised with the news that someone could die of chickenpox.He had high cholesterol.Not sure what was the reason In another family of 5, one person took homeopathy and other 4 took allopathy.The person who took homeopathy, he had severe eruptions and he suffered like anything.

    I think doctor’s should accept the limitations of homeopathy and advise the patients accordingly.Its after all, for the benefit of patient.

    But i am quite astonished, with my experience of using medicines, after taking homeopathy, there will be some improvement or aggravation.If no improvement or any reaction, that means chosen remedy is not right and i will go to doctor again for another medicine. But after hearing about chickenpox, i am not sure how to manage specially in case of infections of my son. Why in case of chickenpox, they say the eruptions will increase and then decrease?