I’m a GP and here’s the mistake so many parents make when it comes to chickenpox

CHICKENPOX is a common childhood illness and as a parent, it’s important to know what to do if your little one gets it.

With lots of information online, it can be hard to get the right advice.


Chickenpox is a common childhood illness, but one doctor has revealed the mistakes that parents could be makingCredit: Getty
Dr Ranj Singh posted his advice for parents who have children that are suffering with chickenpox


Dr Ranj Singh posted his advice for parents who have children that are suffering with chickenpoxCredit: Instagram/@drranj

One doctor has revealed a common mistake many parents make when their kids catch chickenpox.

Posting to Instagram, Dr Ranj Singh said that as kids start to mix again following Covid lockdowns, it’s no surprise that infections like chickenpox are doing the rounds.

A common treatment that many people use on their children when they have itchy skin is calamine lotion.

But Dr Ranj said that this can actually make chickenpox worse.

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He explained: “Did you know that using calamine lotion can make it feel more itchy? It cools the skin (which feels nice at first), but can then dry it too (eurgh!)!

Dr Ranj also revealed his top tips on what parents should be looking out for when it comes to chickenpox and how it should be treated.

He said that chickenpox is caused by a virus and that because of this, antibiotics won’t help unless the spots become infected.

He explained that parents should look out for classic red/blistery/scabby spots, that your children complain are ‘really itchy’.

“Chickenpox is usually better in 1-2 weeks- you’re infectious from two days before until all spots have scabbed over”, he explained.

In order to treat chickenpox, the NHS says that you first need to check that this is what the spots actually are.

Official guidance states that an itchy, spotty rash is the main symptom of chickenpox and that it can be anywhere on the body.

The illness happens in three stages, with the first being the appearance of small spots which spread or stay in a small area.

The spots will then become blisters which are very itchy and then could burst.

The third and last stage is that the blisters then become scabs, with some being flaky and others leaking fluid.

Other symptoms that could appear both before and after the rash appears include a high temperature, aches and pains and generally feeling unwell and a loss of appetite.

While it’s more common in kids, adults can also get chickenpox and for kids, they will likely feel miserable – even if they only have a few spots.


In order to treat chickenpox, Dr Raj recommended the below remedies:

  • stay hydrated (jelly & ice lollies are great for this)
  • paracetamol for pain/fever (avoid ibuprofen & aspirin unless medically advised)
  • use anti-itch medicine/cream (e.g Eurax, Poxclin, antihistamines – avoid calamine lotion as it is drying!)
  • try oatmeal in the bath using cool water (pat the skin dry afterwards)
  • use cool wet flannels/cooling gels on the skin
  • trim nails/use mittens to reduce scratching
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“Get medical advise if your child is getting worse, they are under three months, or you are pregnant.

“Chickenpox vaccine is not routine in the UK currently and is only available privately”, he added.

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