Chicken Pox. How Does It Start?

Updated on September 25, 2008
K.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
10 answers

I have already called my pediatrician, but wanted to ask other mama's who's kid have had the chicken pox. The ped told me to keep her away from other kids until we can determine if it's really chicken pox. She has been vaccinated, but I guess that offers no guarantee.

My 3 year old woke up with about 40 red dots on her back, side and lower ab.
She is scratching them a little bit, but not much, and they haven't really changed throughout the day.

When chix pox start, do they change pretty quickly? Do they multiply quickly too?

She hasn't had a fever, but does seem much more tender and high maintenance than usual.

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answers from Dubuque on

I just wanted to share my experience. We had a very odd experience. When my son was about 2 he broke out with the red bumps. I took him to the doctor and was told it was chicken pox. He also had the vaccine. We treated it as chicken pox and it slowly went away. Well then 2 weeks later he broke out again. I took him back in and was told it absolutely can't be chicken pox, they don't return. We saw a dermatologist who swore it was flea bites. We have animals but I have worked as a vet tech and know flea bites. We still had the animals checked scrubbed everything in his room and even threw out his mattress and got a new one. The spots still continued to come and go. At one time it was so bad his entire body was covered so we went back to the doctor, saw the same dermatologist who said "There is no way this could be flea bites he would be living in a flea infested house." Out of desperation they gave him Zyrtec for an allergy and low and behold it went away. We never definatively figured out what the allergy was but I think he was ultra sensitive to the sizing in new clothes and I started washing new clothes several times before he wore them. We have never had the problem since. I think the biggest difference was that he really wasn't that itchy and I think with chicken pox they get really itchy. Just a story to let you know there are so may different things that could be going on and some times it is just a wait and see game.
Good luck I hope she is feeling better soon!



answers from Madison on

When my daughter was younger, and after she'd had her Chx pox vaccine--so she must have been under a year--we thought she had gotten chicken pox. Took her into Urgent Care. Turns out, she had Roseola (infantum), only with hers, the little red dots/pimples were very pronounced. (They went away in about three days). Needless to say, the doctors and nurses at Urgent Care were relieved they didn't have to worry about chx pox spreading through the urgent care unit.




answers from Milwaukee on

My daughters, who have all had the chicken pox shot, all got chicken pox. The chicken pox when you have the shot are not like normal checken pox when you don't get the shot. They do itch, but they do not usually get so big and blistery like they normally would.
When thay get a fever it is usually before they break out, but they are cranky with it.



answers from Appleton on

Hi K.,
My son got chickenpox when he was 3 yrs old. He had gotten the shot and yes, it's no guarentee that it won't prevent them. Doc told me that the time will be shorter(it was) and should have less symptems. He played the whole time and was grouchy and itchy(got no itch med from store). Poor kid had red spots all over him. Yes I had to quarentine him too. Kids get them from other kids that have them and some kids are carriers without parents knowing it.
She should be fine, whiney and itchy, but fine. Talk to your doctor about no-itch powder or cream to use.(What's easier for you to use on her. I used Gold Bond Medicated powder, they also have cream). Keep the No-itch stuff close to you as you will be using it alot.
BTW - His Doc told me that he could still get them AGAIN. He is 7 now.
I'd really like to know why we got the shot in the first place. I'd rather them have it and get it over with,never have it again.


I am a stay-at-home Mom of 3. Boy(7yrs), Girl(4.5yrs), Boy(3yrs) Married 10yrs.

I just read Deb's responce and remembered something. I also gave him soaks in the tub with 4 tablespoons of Baking Soda. Luke warm water. That takes care of the itches AND the grouchies.
Good luck Hon. Take her to the Doctor to make sure that's what they are.



answers from Minneapolis on

Chicken pox from my experience with my own children and with daycare kids is they look almost like pimples - red with white pussieness in the middle. It does take them awhile to scab over.

I took my children into the doctor so I could know for sure, he got me in and out as quickly as possible because it is airborne.



answers from Appleton on

My daughter just recently had a reaction to her chicken pox vaccine. She is only 1 and just had the vaccine the month before, so obviously this isn't what your 3 yr old is dealing with. But, because it is the modified virus, her rash did not look typical to regular chicken pox.
I'm imagining that kids that get the pox these days after being vaccinated also do not show the typical symptoms we had as kids.
Our doctor said chicken pox usually looks like little blisters, but our daughter only had a few spots that were like that. Most of her spots were just tiny red bumps that never had that white blistery look. They all scabbed over and disappeared within two weeks.



answers from Grand Rapids on

K., chicken pox is more blistery or gets blistery looking, it could also be prickly heat, or measles, or just a heat rash, its been so long i dont remember much soryy, but i would have it checked out just in case, a bath with soothing oatmeal stuff in it will help the itchies no matter what it is, any way enjoy life and have a great day. D. s



answers from Omaha on

Hi K.

My son who is 10 months had dots all over him too. I took him to the dr. and the dr. said it was just a viral infection. It took about a week for it to go away. She also said that there were a bunch of kids with it in the hospital because they were getting dehydrated. He did throw up a couple of times. So make sure you keep her hydrated. I'm not saying that your daughter has that, but it could be. Just thought I would let you know.



answers from Davenport on

Chicken pox is a virus. Once you get it, it stays in your body forever. It is a big myth that you can only get chicken pox once. The virus usually stays quiet until you get older and then it sometimes comes "alive" again, we call those shingles. The vaccine sometimes prevents children from having a break out of the pox, but sometimes it only helps to reduce the number of pox. (The average amount of pox back in our day before the vaccine was 500!!) You'll have to just keep an eye on it and see what happens. Keep in mind, if it is chicken pox, she was contaigious starting 2-3 days before she broke keep a look out on your other child too just to be safe.



answers from Rapid City on

My kids were pre-chicken pox shot and when one came up with little red pimple looking spots, usually on the chest or back, we watched it and also they say if you put them in a bath of warm water with baking soda for the itching, it will bring more spots out if it is Chicken pox. My older two kids had them and it was pretty normal, but my breast fed 5 month old son had them so bad he looked like one big chicken pox. I was hoping he wouldn't have it because they claim that breast milk will carry immunities from the mother to the child. One big thing with his, he ended up with all the food allergies after going through Chicken pox, my only child with food allergies so I always thought there was a connection to the chicken pox and food allergies.

The reason I mention that is because with the shot being so new, I wonder if it could cause that in your child also and the red bumps you see is more hives then chicken pox.

Also, you aren't suppose to get chicken pox twice but my niece had them twice. My sister was told that if it is a light case the first time they don't get the immunity that they get with a bad case and sometimes will get them a second time.

Next question: Can Chicken Pox Look like Flea Bites? Hives?