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I have not had much of a chance to write much the past few weeks for various reasons, such as my mother visiting and repairmen in and out for various broken appliances and whatnot. But also the fact that we’ve gone through two bouts of chicken pox lasting the past three weeks: first with little brother, then with big sister.
Luckily Nicky had a very easy time of it with relatively few spots, just a few hours of low fever and hardly any itchiness. Sofia got it worse, though not as badly as some people I know (like our neice, who got a blister inside her eye, or my sister-in-law, who got the chicken pox and the measles simultaneously). I didn’t want to resort to the antihistamine prescribed by the pediatrician because we always try to go the more natural route as long as it is possible. So I’d like to share two of the ways we kept her itching under control.
Right when we were starting our chicken pox adventure, a friend of ours suggested using St. John’s wort infused oil topically on the blisters and spots to help soothe them and make them less itchy. This flower is well known as a natural anti-depressant, but it turns out that it’s fantastic for all sorts of skin issues, from burns to bug bites, bruises to sprains, and is also very useful in case of chicken pox or shingles. I bought this little bottle of it from some acquaintances who prepare the infusion themselves, but you can also find it online and in natural health stores or make it yourself if you have access to the fresh flowers. (If you google “St. John’s Wort oil recipe” you’ll get plenty of instructions on how to prepare it.)
You do not need much of this oil. I squeezed a few drops with the eyedropper into the palm of my hand, dipped my index finger into it and gently rubbed it into the irritated skin areas as often as needed. A little bit of it goes a long way.
I had also heard that oatmeal is wonderfully calming on itchy chicken pox, but I didn’t want to buy an oatmeal preparation for the bath or for rubbing into the skin. So I ground up about half a cup of oatmeal flakes in a food processor until it became a powder and added it to a warm bath. This worked miracles. All itchiness, even on the worst day of all, was soothed away to nothing with a nice relaxing soak in a natural oat bath. The spots became much less red and stopped itching for the rest of the day. The bathroom also smelled wonderful. Sure, there was a bit of oatmeal sludge left in the tub afterwards that I had to clean up, but it was definitely worth it to see tears turn into a relieved smile.
We’re now towards the end of our double chicken pox journey. This afternoon we’ll go to the pediatrician and hopefully get her OK for Sofia to go back to school again. I’m very happy that we won’t have to be dealing with this again and also that we managed to deal with it in the most natural way possible.