Busting Chickenpox Myths

by Ritika on December 18, 2011 · 17 comments

Busting Chickenpox Myths

Sitting in my room, bedridden due to chickenpox makes me wonder about all the different myths associated with this particular disease.  I cannot understand why it can’t be treated like any other normal disease?

Busting Chickepox Myths

I understand it is contagious but well then “eye flu” is contagious too, why aren’t myths associated with that ? Anyway, first of all, I want to tell you chicken pox is a disease cause by varicella zoster virus commonly caused in children up to age 12 (I am 20 by the way 😀 ).  Common symptoms are fever and red marks but I didn’t have any of them in the starting, instead, I had a lot of body pain and blisters.  So, if you or your kid faces any of these symptoms, you should definitely rush to see the doctor.

In Hindu religion it is believed that someone suffers from chicken pox when ‘Mata’ enters our body and she stays there till the next 10-15 days . As much as I believe in God and Kaali Ma, I refuse to believe in this.  If “Mata” really enters our body, then why are we set to be in solitude instead of being around everybody ? My maid told me this Mata story by the way.

Lets us just take these myths one by one:

    • Do not take medicines, they don’t do anything.  This I think was believed by our ancestors because medicines even now cannot help reducing the amount of blisters you get.  There is a certain time span which the body follows and the medicines cannot help you with that, but they can certainly help reduce the irritation and fever.  Even if you don’t take medicines, your chickenpox will get cured, but it will probably take more days and might leave more scars.
    • Remain in solitude, confined to one room.  This I feel was basically said because it’s a very contagious disease, so its beneficial for the people not to go around the patient much plus its also good for the patient, since people coming from outside bring a lot of germs with them.
    • Stay away from girls who are on their menstrual cycle.  This is one myth I completely disagree with, this myth is probably derived from the same myth that doesn’t allow women undergoing their menstrual cycle to enter the temples.
    • Do not take bath for the first one week – The first one week is when the red bumps appear on the body and I think our ancestors advised not to take bath basically because of the fear of scrubbing the blisters. There is nothing wrong with bathing though, my doctor told me I could, though its another thing that my mother didn’t let me.
    • Before first bath, oil blessed by ‘Mata’ to be used all over body.  I am not trying to mock our traditions, I belong to a typical Brahmin family but just sometimes, things get a little over the top.  So, according to this myth, mother of the patient has to take oil to Mata’s temple, wish for the wellness of her child and then the patient uses it all over the body before the bath . As much as I tried to run from it, my mom made sure I did this.  I personally didn’t feel any difference by it, I still rely on the lotions given by my doctor though my mother believes, it helps in preventing scars.  I will keep you guys updated about this one 😀
    • First bath after a week should be taken with neem water.  This was probably done because neem has anti-bacterial properties, but we don’t need to do that now, we have Dettol with us, isn’t that easier and less stinky ? 😉

Neem

  •  We don’t get chickenpox on feet, because ‘Mata’ wouldn’t touch our feet, I got 3 red bumps on my left feet right now, need I say more ?

So, these were a few myths that I had to face, did you or your kid ever get chickenpox ? Are there some other myths you have heard ? Please do share.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

srishi December 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Gr8 article Ritika! there’s indeed a lot of myths,one was not to eat pickle coz ‘MATA’ only likes sugary things but the reality is that it(pickle/khatta) aggravates your acne and red bumps.

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srishi December 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

n yes get well soon!

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Ritika December 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I am all fine now Srishi 🙂 ,I ate only khichdi for a week and it actually helped me A LOT ! I did not even eat anything sweet . And you are right it really did help my acne . After 2 weeks of chicken pox,my face was like completely clear . Months of medecines from different dermas couldnt do that 😀

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Nandini December 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Get well soon, Ritika! Also, great article, there are so many myths that are followed even today and they can be so misleading and sometimes silly. The one about menstruating women is rather discriminatory – maybe in the ancient times when pads and tampons etc didn’t exist it would have been unhygienic but not anymore. The mata one is also laughable…I guess we need to just use common sense and follow traditions only when they make sense and not for the sake of it.

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Ritika December 21, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I still do not get that one ,but these myths have been so strongly set in our minds that now even if i want to ,i dont enter temples in those days . It just feels weird somehow 😐

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Nandini December 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Oops, there’s a typo in the title 😛 chickepox instead of chickenpox!!!

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Preeti December 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Actually bathing with neem water is very beneficial during chicken pox. It soothes the itching and reduces scarring. I took bath even on day 1 of my chicken pox and yes with neem water only. Additional benefit – taking bath with neem water cleared my acne and dandruff too! Now that’s 3 birds with one stone! :p
P.S: I got chicken pox when I was 18 and it was pretty severe since I had pustules on my tongue and throat as well which made eating and drinking very difficult!

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Ritika December 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Hawww :(( :((
I hope you are all fine now 🙂
My mom didnt let me bath for the first 3 days ,and after that i just used dettol 🙂 Neem stinked so bad ,I couldnt stand it :stars:

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keirti December 18, 2011 at 10:31 pm

i find this articl really informativ ritika… gr8 work… :yes: :yes: :yes: u know reading all this reminded me of the pain & suffering i had gone through… i was some 15-16yr old… its really painful upar se these mata wala concept makes things miserable :idk: :idk: :idk: … i wanted to eat maggi n my mom didnt allowed it bcs of onion & garlic content in its tastemaker… :hihi: :hihi: :hihi: :hihi:
get well soon dear… 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Ritika December 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm

You have no idea how much oily food I ate after I got all well ,atleast for a week continuously . I would start with samosas ,kachoris and end my day with gulab jamun and balushai 😀

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Rati December 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm

reteeka i had chicken pox in bachpan and i am sure i must have gone through the whole traditional process. :giggle: :giggle: :giggle: :giggle: then one of my freind had chicken pox during hostel days so our hostel aunty didnt let us get over all the myths. after reading the article, i do feel educated. :specs: :specs: thanks for sharing. hope you are fine now. :-* how did you get rid of the scars?

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Richa December 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

Wow gr8 article Ritika…really informative…

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Richa December 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

😉 n yaa get well soon n tc 🙂

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Pragnyadeepta December 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I haven’t had chicken pox yet….But everyone in my family has….and I’ve been around at least 3-4 people with chicken pox in the past year.Nothing happened to me. :preen: :shying: I guess I’ve been immunised to it. :dumb: :dumb: :dumb: :dumb: :dumb:
:thanks: for this article! I’ll show it to my friends and make them believe that they are fussing over small issues. :pompom:

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Bhavana Bhagya October 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

I am currently suffering from chicken pox…a disease which is not considered as a disease by my parents and grand mother…thats kinda annoying.For the first time in life i wish to consult a doctor, to redice my pain and irritation but im not supposed to that because of the spiritual beliefs associated with this disease.I fail to understand why only goddess why not other gods’ anger is associated with any disease. Anyways nowI have decided that i would definitely consult a doctor..:-D

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Demika July 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for the share!

I agree totally!

I am 23 years old and currently sitting with the chickenpox at home! Its so sad.

I am using lotions from the doctor but also using hurdee and ground seringa berry leaves to bath and drink as well as paste as It does cool the itchy feeling and also helps dry the blisters.
No denying our Indian home remedies do work to a large extent but the myths!! gosh!

Nice to know I have not gone through this alone.

🙂

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Megha April 27, 2016 at 8:15 pm

Now a days m suffering from chicken pox. Everybody z saying its called mata…. Its called mata. I cant take medicine even during high fever. I cant use mirror, comb.m not bathing. ????????there r many myths lk these.cant eat onion nd garlic coz everybody z saying mata hs cm in ur home. But KYa karien manna padta h Ye India h mere dost.

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