Symptoms usually occur 10-21 days after contact with the chickenpox virus. Initial symptoms may include:
- General feeling of discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
Within 1-2 days after the initial symptoms, a rash develops. Characteristics of the rash include:
- The rash usually develops on the skin above the waist, including the scalp. Exposed areas are often most affected.
- The rash may sometimes appear on the inside of the eyelids, in the mouth, nose, throat, upper airway, voice box, rectum, or vagina.
- At first, the rash consists of small, flat, red spots.
- The spots become raised and form clusters of round, itchy, fluid-filled blisters on a red base.
- The blisters usually burst to form sores which finally crusts and scabs over before healing.
- New clusters form over 5-6 days, so for awhile there will be a variety of spots visible at the same time.
- In healthy children, the rash usually crusts over by day 6-7. The crusts are gone within three weeks, usually without scarring. Note: Some people who are immunocompromised may have more severe cases that last longer.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Review Date: 03/2017 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2015 -