Chicken Pox Scars
Chickenpox is a communicable disease. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Chickenpox usually affects children. It may not be a serious problem in childhood, but it can be very severe in adults. The pox may be more in number as well as painful.
Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the varicella zoster virus, usually affecting children. While not a serious problem in childhood, it can be more severe in adults.
The most common symptom is an itchy rash. The rash occurs in three phases, reddish bumps all over the body, progressing to fluid-filled blisters which eventually crust over with a scab before falling off and healing. Before the scabs are formed, the itching is almost impossible to resist. It is this picking or popping of blisters that can result in scarring. The changes in the skin during the healing process, fluctuations in collagen formation are contributing factors. This leads to an uneven skin tone as well.
Chickenpox scars look like angular scars that are sunken, with well-defined edges. Measuring more than 3 mm in diameter, they may be superficial or deep.
Chickenpox scars are not only an unwanted reminder of an unpleasant experience, but they can also be ugly and affect a person's self-esteem. People may be stuck with red marks everywhere on the body, not aware of the fact that it is in fact possible to be rid of the scars completely.
Do & Don't for Getting Chicken Pox Scars
DO: Wash your hands before applying any medication.
DO: Drink plenty of water.
DO: Use a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen.
DO: Bathe with neem.
DO: Eat foods rich in vitamin K and citrus fruits.
DON’T: Expose your skin to the sun.
DON’T: Scratch the blisters on your skin.
DON’T: Let your skin get dirty or infected.
Formation of chickenpox scars:
A scar is left behind once a wound heals. Age, the intensity of the wound and the nature of the skin determine the nature of the scar, it’s depth and appearance.
Lesions that appear on your skin due to chickenpox are usually filled with pus or fluids. They dry up and die as your body kills the infected cells, leaving behind pitted or sunken scars.
Maintaining a healthy diet that includes beneficial fruits such as papayas is helpful to prevent sunken scars. It has antiviral properties that help fight the infection and thereby reduce the probability of sunken scars. Medication during the illness is a big factor too and affects the nature of post-illness scars.
- Chickenpox is easily communicable. Therefore it is very important to vaccinate yourself against it.
- Do not scratch these pus-filled itchy blisters as they leave stubborn scars behind if you do.
- Use Calamine lotions reduce the itchiness, act as a drying agent and facilitate the healing process.
- Use anti-itch creams and lotions containing antihistamines or cortisone-type anti-inflammatories.
- Cover hands with gloves so that itching does less harm
- Use antibacterial soap so that lesions don’t get infected as this causes stubborn scars.
- Use sunscreens once your blisters heal.
Precautions you need to take to avoid chickenpox scars:
- You must use the medicated calamine lotion and apply it to the affected area so that the skin remains cool and the scars do not aggravate much.
- One of the first steps to take is to ensure that you avoid scratching. This definitely causes infection and scarring. You must wear gloves to prevent scratching. Also, remember to clip your nails quite often.
- If you have sores in your mouth, then eat extremely soft and bland food, so they do not get aggravated.
- Additionally, remember to gargle with salt water if you get a lot of blisters in the mouth.
- Make sure to get plenty of rest.
- Stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.
- Keep your skin clean by taking sponge baths roughly about 1-2 times a day.
If the rashes get very warm or painful, or if they end up spreading to the eyes, then get in touch with a doctor immediately. Do the same, if you experience disorientation, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, tremors, stiff neck, worsening cough as well as the loss of muscle coordination, vomiting, or even a high fever.
Treatments of chickenpox scars
A dermatologist can help erase these scars but they will not disappear in totality. Moreover, each scar is different and needs to be dealt with a unique approach. There are several ways to deal with them.
They contain different acids like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acids. Dermatologists administer peels with different severity to cater to different intensities. These peels help burn the top layer of skin that contains dead skin cells. Moreover, they stimulate collagen production, Lastly, they aid the growth of new cells. The lack of the top layers makes the skin photosensitive, so wearing sunscreen is essential.
This is a non-invasive facial treatment that works to revitalise and regenerate damaged skin. It effectively removes the surface layer of skin, resurfacing it and evening it out. Works well for superficial scars, but hyperpigmentation is a potential side effect.
This gets rid of any types of scars and irregularities on the skin. It uses an electrical gadget to remove layers of the skin thus leaving behind a much more evenly contoured version. Moreover, the number of abrasions depends on the severity of the scar. However, this does not cause the scar to absolutely disappear but has dramatic results.
This is also a non-invasive facial treatment, one which is effective for deeper, more severe chicken pox scars. This photo rejuvenation technique uses laser light to break apart the pigment that gives the scar its colour. Moreover, it promotes collagen growth in the deeper tissue layers, helping to even out the outer layers of skin.
This is an invasive treatment used for deep-pitted scars. While the surgery, too, will leave you with a scar, it will be minimal in comparison to your original scar.
This involves the use of stitches to close the holes produced by the tiny skin punch. The doctor will remove the stitches in five to seven days.
This technique helps to avoid even the minimal scarring after the surgical excision of the scar using a punch biopsy tool. The doctor will fill the space with a skin graft and tape or glue it into place. Punch grafts are small pieces of regular skin, usually from behind the ear. A small instrument is used to punch out the scarred skin and then the normal skin is grafted into the location.
This method uses high-energy light beams to get rid of the affected skin. Different types of lasers are available depending on the skin defect. A pulsed dye laser, for example, uses yellow light to remove scar redness and to flatten out raised scars. The new layer of skin appears pink for a few weeks after.
Soft tissue fillers:
These refer to collagen injections and fat transfer operations. These can work only for sunken scars. The injection can raise the scar tissue to make it even with surrounding tissue. However, the effect is temporary and there is a risk of permanent flattening and allergic reaction. The patient's own fat can be used to fill the depressions left behind by the lesions.
Probiotics contain lactobacilli, which remove dead skin cells, soothe dry skin and prevent acne breakouts. In addition, it’s an inexpensive way to get rid of scars.
Available in the form of gel, sheets, and creams. However, an open wound may become infected, so it should be applied on only a fully healed wound.
This treatment involves freezing the upper skin layers which causes blistering of the skin. Subsequently, these blisters fall off.
This is a chemical that can be given by injection and may help reduce the hardness of the scar. Subsequently, this improves the appearance of the scar.
These contain ingredients that can stimulate collagen production. Moreover, this will potentially improve and reduce the appearance of scars. A doctor has to prescribe these medicines.
Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments:
Over-the-counter(OTC) topical treatments, like silicone-based gels and creams, can help lighten and soften chicken pox scars.
Vitamin E and aloe vera:
Rubbing moisturisers containing vitamin E and aloe vera onto areas with scarring, many times a day, is the best way to flatten deep scars. They both facilitate wound healing. In addition, vitamin E being a powerful antioxidant neutralizes free radicals. Moreover, it also minimises cellular damage. The aloe vera nourishes skin and lightens the scars. Moreover, vitamin E repairs damaged skin by promoting collagen production. It also improves skin elasticity, decreases fine lines and wrinkles.
Topically, vitamin E is to be applied twice a day. Moreover, it can be mixed with vitamin C as natural protection from the sun and with a moisturizing lotion at night. Orally, up to 670 mg of vitamin E in synthetic form can be consumed for scar removal.
Scarring is the most long lasting effect of chickenpox. However, now there are several treatment modalities to improve the appearance of these scars. READ MORE
The treatments take time to show results. They may require multiple sessions of the medical procedures.
Chicken Pox Scars – Q&A
Chicken pox scars can be treated very effectively. Chicken pox scars treatments & results may vary from patient to patient depending upon when you have got chicken pox. Early the treatment, better the results. Chicken pox scars can be of different types. Types of...