Chicken Pox Complications

Chicken pox is a common minor childhood illness that is not so common anymore due to widespread immunizations. When it was common it ran its course with discomfort to the sufferer but with few complications.

There is always risk of serious illness from the varicella-zoster virus but with modern day medicine it can be treated quickly. Those who have other health issues are at the highest risk of developing complications.

Women who are pregnant or come down with chicken pox within a week after birth are at a higher risk of having a baby with complications.

Uncomplicated Cases In Children

Children usually get chicken pox from being exposed to the virus before the classmate or playmate has any chicken pox symptoms. The child will often get one or more of the following symptoms before the rash breaks out:

Over about 10 days a rash will develop with new bumps appearing over several days. The bumps will blister and then scab over.

Can't Stop Itching!

The symptom that causes the most discomfort is the itching. It is also how infection can enter the body. Good hygiene and trimmed nails will reduce the risk of a serious infection.

What Are The Possible Complications?

A common complication of a chicken pox infection is dehydration from having a fever or not feeling like drinking anything because of an upset stomach. It is important to remain hydrated to avoid other complications associated with dehydration.

Other known complications include the following:

Pregnant women have an increased risk of complications if they get chicken pox during their pregnancy.

Pregnant Woman And Complications That Can Affect The Baby

An unborn baby of a mother who is exposed to the chicken pox virus, Varicella-zoster is at higher risk of birth defects and of being born with a chicken pox rash. These are two of the complications that affect babies:

  1. Congenital Varicella Syndrome - when a pregnant woman hasn't had chicken pox or been vaccinated and is exposed to the virus her baby can be born with this complication
  2. Neonatal Varicella - a pregnant woman who has chicken pox the last three weeks of her pregnancy may give birth to a baby with a chicken pox rash.


Keeping healthy, having a strong immune system, and avoiding contact with the chicken pox virus will prevent an infection that can lead to complications.

Chicken Pox In Babies

Learn about Chicken Pox In Babies.