Young girl with chickenpox symptoms wrapped in a blanket

Spotting the signs: What does chickenpox look like?

We've all heard of chickenpox, the childhood rite of passage marked by itchiness and discomfort. But can you recognize chickenpox when you see it? What does chickenpox look like?

This common childhood illness can cause a distinct rash that's easily identifiable. In this article, we'll walk you through the key characteristics of chickenpox, making it easier for you to spot the signs.

What does the start of chickenpox look like?

Let's dive into the beginning stages of chickenpox.

Imagine waking up one day feeling fine, only to encounter an unexpected red spot on your skin. These red spots first appear on the face, chest, and back. Yet, their unpredictability might lead them to develop elsewhere.

And then there’s the itchiness. This sensation goes hand in hand with the red spots, causing discomfort. But remember, scratching is a no-go because it will complicate your recovery.


What does chickenpox look like? Signs and symptoms of chickenpox

Let's look at the signs and symptoms of chickenpox to see what you can expect from this viral infection.

  1. Initial red spots. Chickenpox often starts with the appearance of red spots on the skin. These spots are telltale signs that something's underway.
  2. Blossoming blisters. As time goes on, red spots can transform into small blisters. These blisters contain clear or slightly cloudy fluid, a noteworthy sign that chickenpox is progressing.
  3. The itch factor. With blisters comes itchiness. Though it's tempting, avoid scratching to prevent potential complications.
  4. Scabbing stage. After a while, the blisters burst and turn into scabs. This natural process contributes to the classic appearance of chickenpox.
  5. Feeling under the weather. Chickenpox isn't just about the skin. You might also experience symptoms like fever, fatigue, and feeling unwell.
  6. The contagious factor. Chickenpox is contagious, spreading through the air or by direct contact. Take precautions around those who haven't had it before to prevent its transmission.
  7. Watching for complications. While chickenpox typically runs its course, watching for potential complications is essential. If the blisters show signs of infection, like redness, warmth, or discharge, seek medical advice from your local CityMD urgent care.

Chickenpox has various stages.  One of the distinguishing characteristics of the chickenpox rash is that you will see lesions on the body in different stages. Some lesions will be flat red spots, others will be blisters or scabs.


Chickenpox treatment at CityMD

CityMD dedicates itself to providing comprehensive treatment for chickenpox. Here's what you can expect from our experienced health care professionals.

  • Accurate diagnosis. At CityMD, diagnosis is the first step. Our urgent care team will assess your symptoms and medical history to confirm whether chickenpox is the cause.
  • Symptom relief. We recognize that the itching and discomfort associated with chickenpox can be challenging. Our health care providers can recommend over-the-counter remedies and strategies to help alleviate itching and provide relief.
  • Preventing complications. While chickenpox often resolves on its own, our medical team can continue to monitor your condition to identify any potential complications. We can provide guidance on managing symptoms and preventing secondary infections if needed.
  • Supportive guidance. Our health care professionals are here to answer your questions and guide you through recovery. We can offer advice on how to care for the affected areas, manage the itching, and monitor your overall well-being.
  • Individualized approach. We understand that each patient's experience with chickenpox is unique. We base our approach to treatment on your specific needs, ensuring that you receive the best possible care.
  • Monitoring progress. Are you experiencing any concerns or changes in your symptoms? Our medical team can evaluate your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
  • Aiming for a comfortable recovery. CityMD is committed to making your recovery as comfortable as possible. Our health care professionals help you manage symptoms and promote healing so you can return to your daily routine.

Varicella is the chickenpox vaccine, which is first given in childhood. At CityMD, we offer varicella booster shots to adults who need it. The primary varicella vaccine should be given at your pediatrician’s office.  

We're dedicated to ensuring you effectively manage chickenpox. Our goal is to provide personalized care that helps you find relief and recover as quickly as possible.

Health and Wellness

We’re ready to care for you.

Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.