Anyone Ever Have an Older Child Get the Chicken Pox Virus?

Updated on September 04, 2008
K.C. asks from East Hartford, CT
8 answers

My youngest daughter, who is eleven, has a case of shingles. She, along with her older sister and brother, had chicken pox when they were young. She was only six months old at the time. Well, one week ago, on the first day of school (of all days) she asked us to look at her nose and we thought that she possibly had developed a rash on the bridge of her nose from her glasses rubbing on them. She was already nervous about meeting all new kids in her classroom and now she had this rash (it was very subtle and hardly visable with her glasses on) we soothed her fears about it and told her that we were sure that when she got home from school and took her glasses off this "rash" would go away. She's had glasses for over a year and never has gotten any irritation...but, it was a bit red...and a little sore....we (her Dad and I) thought...heat rash. And then the next day the rash looked like poisen ivy...a couple of "bubbles" there, we called the pediatrician's office...and they told us to use 1% hydracortisone cream topically and give her Zyrtec once a day for any discomfort until it cleared. The next day the spot was, we had her take the day off from school and got in to see the doctor when he told us she had a case of the shingles. She's very upset about needing to miss school so soon into the new year (she's in the sixth grade in a new school) and we understand. There's really no medicine for her to take to help clear this up sooner...although since the spot is so close to her eyes the pediatrician did prescribe a antibiotic (Cephalexin) to help prevent any infection. If anyone's has any "helpful hints" on how to keep her more comfortable and/or how to prevent any scarring...we'd apprciate any advice.

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answers from Boston on

Hi K.,

When my oldest son was in 1st grade he too brought home the chicken pox. He missed the vaccination due to a bad batch and a change of pediatricians. A few weeks later my 9 month old and my 36 year old husband both came down with it as well.

This past spring we went for a hike and the next day my baby, now 8, complains about an itch. It looked like poison ivy. I put calamine lotion on it and sent him to school but told him if it itched to go to the nurse for more calamine. The patch was under the waist band of his underpants. I called the nurse and told her he may be by and to let me know if she agreed it was poison ivy.

A few hours later she calls and says she thinks it is shingles. I call the pediatrician. I bring him in the back door in case he is contagious. It was shingles but they are only contact contagious. So we applied calamine and covered it with gauze and he went to school. That will be a bit more difficult for your daughter being on her face.

It did take a few weeks for it to pass and he still has a bit of discoloration in the area. I heard from other parents that the kids may not have a reoccurrence for many years if ever.

Good luck
D. C
Mom or 4: F 16, M 14, 11 & 8

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answers from Boston on

This sounds like what happened to me!
When I was in the sixth grade my little brother was 4 or 5 and he got chicken pox. Since I had them as a kid I was the one to stay at home to watch him while he was out of daycare. Well.... low and behold I got the chicken pox very badly. every inch of me was covered with pox! I mean EVERY INCH! use your imagination.I used jars and jars of Calamine lotion like it was foundation make up! Whatever you do, and I know this will be hard for her, don't let her pick them!! I did and have a few scars on my face. They have faded over the years but it was devasting for me. When I got back to school the kids wanted to call me Scab! It is a bad memory! Good luck!

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answers from Hartford on

I too just recently had shingles myself and I will tell you they are not fun. It's very dangerous to get them on the face though. So keep a close eye on her that it doesn't spread. I was put on a lot of different prescriptions to clear mine up, but maybe that's because I'm an adult. Aveeno baths were soothing for me, but I guess it will be hard to do that with the rash being on your daughter's face. I did scar though where the worst of it was on my back. I had a huge patch back there. There was a smaller patch under my arm which did not scar. It also didn't dry out the same as the spot on my back did. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with my putting deoderent there or what. I have to say during it's worst moments I was very relieved that mine was able to be covered by clothing it was not pretty. I would think that it is probably helpful that your daughter is young though. She'll probably heal up better than I did. The scar on my back isn't all that noticeable now though. It took a few weeks for it to look better though. Good luck keeping this away from your daughter's eyes. I hope she's able to go back to school soon.

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answers from Boston on

Have you looked into Reliv nutritional supplements? They are great and designed to support the immune system. They are 99% absorbed (vs. vitamins or many other supplements which are maybe 25-40% absorbed and therefore much more expensive in the long run). I know lots of people have had great results with things like shingles which flare up a lot when the immune system is compromised, and there is also a product for heart health. They are food, not drugs, so there is nothing in them that can interfere with prescriptions. They are safe as a prenatal, for infants, and for people 95 years old, and everyone in between. My family swears by them - my son had a miraculous recovery from mono (in less than 48 hours, he was back in school) and my blood pressure and cholesterol are way down. My internist is THRILLED and said to keep taking them! I'd be happy to give you more info and get you in touch by phone with others who have had good luck. Email me or call me at ###-###-####.

Good luck!

D. Brown

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answers from Boston on

I would think twice about the antibiotics, especially if she doesn't even really have an infection yet. They are very suppressive of our good bacteria (as well as bad) and the immune system repsonse, and will make it harder for her to fight this off. Part of the reason older people have a harder time with pox is because they take medications that suppress the natural immune response for no good reason. Lots of rest, good nutrition, perhaps some homeopathy...and at least look on the bright side, now she will have a natural, lifelong immunity that vaccines can never provide!

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answers from Springfield on

Hi K.. The chicken pox virus never completely goes away and can come back as Shingles. It is usually seen more in elderly because of their weaker immune systems. Just like with chicken pox if she doesn't touch it it should leave very little scaring the only thing to do for it is to treat it with the medication that they use for herpes bc its a herpes virus but w/ her being so young I doubt she can take it. If sure its painful so she could have tylenol and benidryl for any itching that she has. Hope it clears up soon. Good luck.

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answers from Boston on

I just got over the shingles. I am 29. I can tell you it is very painful and well very itchy. The doctor told me it is usually brought on by high stress levels that wear down the immune system. Seems like she was so stressed about starting school that it brought it on. Just tell her what ever she does do NOT scratch them and they should go away. I used a cream called panaten creme. You can get it at a German store like the sausage kitchen on Rt1. It is about 15.00 for a jar but it is amazing. It is a very think white cream. I used it and it would complete cover the rash and I did not scare at all. The main ingredient is Zinc so it drys out the rash in a couple days. I used it for a few days before I got to the doctor thinking I was only having an egsama outbreak and he agrued with me on how long i had the rash. it was so dry he thought at least 2 weeks. I had only had it for about 5 days.
Good luck and maybe try to talk to her about finding something that helps her work through stress like walking or quiet time...i know easy said then done...I should talk! we all need an outlet.

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answers from Portland on

Diet can help play a big roll in putting the virus back into remission. Check out this link...
If you have an herbalist in your area, believe it or not, lemon balm is a powerful antiviral and will also help reduce the severity and longevity of this outbreak. Skullcap will help calm nerves as well.

Now that she's also on antibiotics, be sure to get her eating some yogurt with live cultures to get her gut flora back in balance. All herpes virus forms are auto-immune in nature and upsetting the digestive system can worsen the body's ability to fight illness.

Poor thing - I hope she's feeling better soon!

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