While I was given a two week vacation from work to stay at home and rest my chicken poxed soul, I could only think of one thing… How accurate are the things that my mom tells me to do and not do [which is not medicinal]? Are they myths or is there some truth to it?
So here I am, on my bed with poxes on my face, seeking out the truth and telling you what worked the best for me.
1. Neem Leaves
Neem Leaves, or Kohomba leaves are kept on the head of the bed, hung on a ceiling during this time. A few branches are also given to the patient so that they can use this to itch themselves rather than using their bare hands as to not pick on the spots.
The neem leaves definitely helped sooth my skin and help it to itch less. If an itch becomes really terrible, my mom would wet the leaves, lie it on the bed and I would lie on it.
So what’s the truth behind neem leaves? Neem leaves are known to be one of the best remedies to cure the pox and prevent the infection from spreading further. It is also known to relieve scarring.
Once it is time for the patient to bath, a paste of the neem leaves is made and applied on the skin and left to dry. This will prevent scarring, promote healing and soothe any itchiness.
My mom went an extra mile and added coconut milk for moisturizing the skin (since neem dries out your skin) and turmeric to reduce scarring and prevent infections.
2. No Showers
This is well-known among Sri Lankans – showers are not allowed for seven days or until the spots dry up.
The theory behind this is that you can catch an infection or your spots could break and that could lead to scarring. Or even transfer of bacteria from your nails to the spots and again… an infection!
However, my research suggests that taking a shower during chicken pox is fine as long as you don’t scrub and go gentle with it.
But, I am not going to go against my mom and throw facts at her face just because I want to take a shower. I would rather stay put and shower when she wants me to rather than get an infection.
3. Do Not Look at Yourself in the Mirror
Firstly, I call BS on this! When I woke up the next day after finding out I had the pox, I saw that my bedroom mirror was covered with a cloth.
Theory behind this? If you look at your face in the mirror during this time, you will also get more spots. This does not make any sense to me.
My research backs me up here as well. There’s nothing on Google to second this.
However, I understand the logic behind this.
If you were to look at your face in the mirror every time and see it full of poxes, you are bound to get upset and think more about it, which in return, could add to it due to stress.
I mean, I was a little thankful that I only had to see my face when I had to brush my teeth and not every time I walked past my mirror. It definitely helped me stay in high spirits.
So there you have it! Sri Lankan chicken pox myths and how far they are accurate.
Hope this helped you and if you want to know how best to deal with chicken pox or how to keep your spirits high during this time, let me know and I will whip up a post about that as well.
Until next time,