ZocdocAnswersWhat do chicken pox look like and how can I differentiate it from other rashes?

Question

What do chicken pox look like and how can I differentiate it from other rashes?

I have a 3 year old who started with what looked like dipar rash on his butt, now it is on his back belly and hands. Also last night he sleep terribly and he says he's itchy . They are bright red spot some look like white filled pimple, some look like yellowish blister, and some are scabby. Do we have chicken pox

Answer

Certainly what you are describing could be the chicken pox. They are generally described as small red sores that can blister and crust over. If your child has a concomitant fever then some sort of viral infection is likely the cause of this illness and the skin findings. There are a couple of different ways you can approach this. I think your approach should start with a call to your child's pediatrician. He or she will likely want to you schedule an appointment so that the child can be examined more closely and these skin lesions can be looked at. Most pediatricians will have no problem ruling in chicken pox if that is what this is. If there is any diagnostic uncertainty, then your child's pediatrician may opt to test him for antibodies to the chicken pox virus. This can determine if you child was exposed. If your child already was vaccinated to for the chicken pox, then this approach would not be useful because he will already have antibodies to the virus. Finally, if you pediatrician does not know what this rash is and it isn't chicken pox, then you might need a referral to see a pediatric dermatologist for further evaluation of this problem.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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