This is a disease, confined almost entirely to childhood, running its course rapidly, and is attended with but little, if any danger. It is somewhat similar to Small-Pox, but is distinguished from it by its mild character, and rapid course. In Small-Pox the face never escapes, while in Chicken-Pox it is but slightly affected, the eruption appearing more on the scalp, shoulders, neck, and breast The fever, before the eruption, is also of short duration, seldom lasting more than twenty-four hours, and notwithstanding there may be headache, the swimming in the head and back-ache, which are characteristic symptoms in Small-Pox, do not appear.
The eruption is composed from the first, of transparent vescicles or blisters, having but one cavity, the liquid seldom becoming turbid, but shrivels upon a spongy crust, while in Small-Pox the pustule has a dent on the top of it, contains cells like an orange, and in the commencement, presents the appearance of a little point like the head of a pin.
Often no medical treatment is required, but if considerable fever is present, Aconite may be given every two hours. Should there be great heat and pain in the head, Belladonna may be given in alternation with the Aconite, two hours apart, until better.
Great nervous excitement, restlessness, anxious and disturbed sleep with dreams and moaning, will be relieved by three or four doses of Coffea, given at intervals of two or three hours. Should there be spasms, as is often the case during dentition, Belladonna and Ignatia may be given in alternation, one hour apart, until two doses of each have been taken. (See also convulsions.) The tenesmus, which is sometimes present, will be relieved by a few doses of Mercurius, given at intervals of two or three hours. The stranguary will be relieved by Cantharides. The disease in its mild form may be very much shortened by Pulsatilla, administered three or four times a day.
A powder may be taken dry on the tongue, or if tinctures or globules are used, two drops of the former, or six of the latter, may be dissolved in a tumbler of water, and a tablespoonful given at a dose.