Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Chickenpox Treatment

In most cases, chickenpox does not require any treatment and will resolve on its own after about two weeks.

However, healthcare providers often recommend taking certain measures to help minimize the discomfort caused by itchy, painful blisters.

The following at-home treatments18 may be used to help relieve discomfort:

  • Oatmeal baths: Colloidal oatmeal, which can be purchased at most drugstores, can be mixed with lukewarm water to create a soak. This home remedy has been known to reduce the itchiness associated with chickenpox blisters.
  • Topical lotions: Your healthcare provider may recommend the use of a topical anti-itch lotion, such as calamine lotion or hydrocortisone.
  • Over-the-counter fever medications: One of the symptoms of chickenpox is fever. Your healthcare provider may recommend taking acetaminophen (generic Tylenol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen (generic Advil, Motrin) to help reduce your fever. You should not take aspirin while you have chickenpox, as this has been associated with Reye’s syndrome.
  • Trimming fingernails: Having shorter fingernails can help prevent you from injuring yourself while scratching blisters. Generally, however, it’s best to limit scratching and picking at chickenpox rashes, as doing so may lead to skin infections.

Chickenpox medication

Your provider may prescribe the following medications for chickenpox:

May be prescribed

Savings Spotlight

Just because it's covered by your insurance doesn't mean it's the best price you can get. Use RxSaver to compare and save.

Chickenpox vaccine

The chickenpox vaccine19 has been found to be extremely effective in preventing infection with the varicella-zoster virus, protecting 80–90% of people who receive it from the disease. The remaining 10–20% of people who do not receive full protection are still at risk of developing chickenpox if they are exposed; however, they usually develop much milder infections than those who aren’t vaccinated at all.

In the United States, it’s advised that children receive their first chickenpox vaccine between the ages of 12 and 15 months, with a second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Children may receive either a standalone chickenpox vaccine or a combination vaccine that immunizes against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV).

Adults can also receive a varicella vaccine if they did not have chickenpox as a child. This is especially recommended to those who are likely to come into contact with people at risk of getting chickenpox (such as young children), including daycare employees, elementary school teachers, healthcare workers, and those who travel often.

Most people do not experience any side effects from the chickenpox vaccine other than redness or slight soreness at the injection site.

If you are not sure whether you’ve received the varicella vaccine, your healthcare provider can order a blood test that checks for chickenpox immunity.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.