Chickenpox (Varicella) (cont.)

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What are the possible complications of chickenpox?

Complications can and do occur from chickenpox. Infection of the open pox sore by bacteria can injure the skin, sometimes causing scarring, especially if the patient scratches the inflamed area. Bacterial skin infection is, in fact, the most common complication of chickenpox in children. The next most common complications in children affect the central nervous system and include a disorder of the cerebellar portion of the brain (cerebellar ataxia with wobbliness, dizziness, tremor, and altered speech), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain with headaches, seizures, and decreased consciousness), damaged nerves (nerve palsies), and Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal combination of liver and brain disease that can be associated with aspirin. (Children with fever should not take aspirin.) Especially serious complications can occur in patients with AIDS, lupus, leukemia, and cancer. Complications also occur in people taking immune-suppressing drugs, such as cortisone-related medications. Newborn infants whose mothers have chickenpox in the last trimester of pregnancy are at increased risk from the disease. If the mother develops the disease from five days before to two days after delivery, the fatality rate for the baby is up to 30%.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/5/2013

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Chickenpox (Varicella) - Side Effects Question: Did your child experience any side effects from the chickenpox vaccine?
Chickenpox - Adult Experience Question: Please describe your experience with being infected with chickenpox as an adult.
Chickenpox - symptoms Question: How did you first notice you or your child was infected with chickenpox?
Chickenpox - Treatment Question: What did your doctor recommend to treat chickenpox?
Chickenpox - complications Question: Did you or your child experience complications from chickenpox? What happened?
Chickenpox - prevention Question: Were you or your child vaccinated against chickenpox? Why or why not did you decide to get the vaccine?