Physical examination for chickenpox

Your health professional may examine you or your child to confirm a diagnosis of chickenpox and to look for signs of complications. During a physical examination, the health professional will check:

  • Skin, for chickenpox rash and also for signs of bruising or skin infection. Both bruising of the skin without a known injury and skin infection are possible signs of complications from chickenpox.
  • Eyes, for sores. If sores are found on the clear covering of the eye (cornea), you may need treatment with a special eye ointment.
  • Nervous system, for signs of inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or the tissues surrounding it and the spinal cord (meningitis).
  • Lungs, for signs of pneumonia.
  • Joints, for signs of arthritis.

If complications are present, you or your child may need closer watching and special treatment. Adults with chickenpox may need to be admitted to a hospital.

Last Updated: May 21, 2008

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