Does Sunlight Cause Problems With Chickenpox?

Does Sunlight Cause Problems With Chickenpox?

I've heard that kids with chickenpox shouldn't be exposed to sunlight. Is this true, and if so, why?
- Angie

It's wise to avoid the sun during a chickenpox infection (and also soon after) because the skin is more susceptible to being burned. And sun exposure may increase the risk of scarring. Also, heat and sweating (often caused by spending too much time in the sun) will make the pox itch more. If this is a problem, putting cold, wet washcloths on the affected areas should bring your child some relief.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: May 2015

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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Related Resources
OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC (the national public health institute of the United States) promotes health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Dermatology Provides up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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