Chickenpox is characterized by a number of different symptoms, among which the leading role belongs to external manifestations, namely, vesicular (vesicular) rash. Often, this disease is accompanied by various systemic manifestations: deterioration of general well-being, headaches and dizziness, fever, nausea, vomiting.
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Can lymph nodes get inflamed in chickenpox? This symptom, characteristic of many infectious diseases, is rarely observed in chickenpox patients. However, this can still happen – especially if the underlying disease is complicated by the addition of an additional bacterial infection. Inflammation of the lymph nodes in children with chickenpox occurs especially often in children, since their immunity does not yet have sufficient ability to resist the effects of various infectious agents.
Why do lymph nodes increase in chickenpox?
The lymphatic system performs many important functions in the body, including the protective and barrier functions. It is here that produced special protective cells, lymphocytes, the activity of which is part of the body’s immune response to infection.
Once in the body through the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx and other parts of the upper respiratory tract, the chickenpox virus multiplies, and, passing through the lymphatic ducts, inevitably finds itself inside the lymph nodes. They act as a kind of filter, preventing the further spread of infection within the body.
In case replication (reproduction) of a virus occurs quickly, the lymph nodes do not cope with the increased load. In the lymphoid tissue contained inside the nodes, an inflammatory process begins, which leads to an increase in the lymph node.
Inflammation of the lymph node in chickenpox, as with other infectious diseases of a viral nature, does not always occur and is rather the exception to the rule. Most often, an inflammatory reaction occurs in response to the accession of a secondary bacterial infection that occurs as a result of a decrease in the immune status during the period of varicella. In this case, the inflammatory reaction of the lymph nodes – lymphadenitis – often develops.
What do inflamed lymph nodes look like in chicken pox?
As a rule, the lymph nodes on the neck, head, behind the ears become inflamed with chickenpox. The increase can also affect the submandibular, occipital and other regional lymph nodes close to the entrance gate of chicken pox – the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. However, with a long and severe course of the disease, there may be an increase in other lymph nodes on the body, for example, located in the region of the clavicles or axillaries.
The increase occurs gradually and begins simultaneously with the appearance of lesions on the skin. An enlarged lymph node is easily felt through the skin. The skin in this place often turns red. Usually palpation (palpation) of nodes is painless; only in rare cases are the lymph nodes in chickenpox sore.
What to do?
Even if lymph node lymph nodes are enlarged – special treatment is most often not required. The inflammatory process in them subsides along with the disappearance of rashes and other symptoms of the disease.
In the most severe cases, especially those complicated by bacterial infections, treatment with antibiotics and even surgical opening of an enlarged lymph node may be necessary to ensure outflow of pus.