HEAD AND SPOT RELIEF?: A hack for itchy children with chicken pox goes viral

Cardiff, United Kingdom



Every year, around 200,000 children in the UK contract chicken pox, an illness that is generally harmless in its juvenile form, but can cause small red spots over the body and often excessive itching. Many parents struggle to stop their children scratching themselves when they contract the illness, but a peculiar, but highly successful solution recommended to a mother in Wales might be the (itch) relief mothers and fathers have been searching for.

According to an article published on the internet by WalesOnline, mother Clare Jenkin, whose daughter Reagan recently caught chicken pox, was recommended by her doctor to buy Head and Shoulders Classic Clean shampoo, but instead of using it to wash her daughter’s hair, she was advised to use it as a bubble bath.



She followed the doctor’s advice and was said to have been so shocked at the result, that she shared the news on social media network Facebook. The post caught the attention of other parents and ended up receiving 20,000 likes and 30,000 comments. In the post, alongside a photo gallery of Reagan’s spotty back and skin and a picture of the hair product, Jenkin wrote: “Anyone whose kiddies pick up chicken pox, I cannot recommend this enough!!

‘Reagan went to the docs today and we were advised to use Head and Shoulders CLASSIC [her capitalisation] as a bubble bath to soothe the spots.’

“The difference is unbelievable! Over an hour without a single scratch or moan! No more angry red spots. Hopefully this helps anyone else who’s at their wits’ end with scratching children.”

Other parents chimed into the widely shared post, detailing their experiences with the Head & Shoulders product, which is manufactured by Procter & Gamble. One mother, Lyndsey Burke posted: “Believe it or not we tried this last night/this morning and it actually works.”

Father John Lowe added: “That’s fantastic about Head Shoulders Classic. What a relief to find something that helps the itch.”

While Victoria Self said: “I tried this last night and it did stop the itching and Reggie finally got a couple hours sleep.”

Another commenter wrote that Head & Shoulders Classic Clean also had other poorly known medical applications. Christine Hewitt Cook said: “I advised my daughter regarding her 3 year old to use it when washing her hair for a short time as the little one had cradle cap. It worked well. I’m a retired nurse and I’ve seen it being used on elderly people for similar scaled heads.”

Chicken pox, known in the medical field as varicella, is a common childhood disease which in the UK mainly affects children from toddler to primary school (5-11 years) age. It is characterised by tiny red scabby spots that appear across a child’s body and are very itchy for the sufferer. These spots then transform into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off. This pox  is caused by a virus called the varicella-zoster virus. Chicken pox is highly contagious and its adult form, shingles, can be much more dangerous.



Alia Ropun.

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“Head and Shoulders shampoo used for chicken pox by mum who says results amazed her” – Katie Bellis, WalesOnline/Media Wales Ltd (6 April 2019) https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/head-shoulders-shampoo-chicken-pox-16088107.amp

“Chickenpox” – NHS inform/NHS 24/Scottish Government & BSL (5 February 2019) https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/chickenpox


“Subcontracting. Passaic home workshop pool. Even with the family quarantined for chicken pox, war production goes on in the basement workshop of George Carell, Passaic, New Jersey” – Howard Liberman and United States Office of War Information, Library of Congress via PICRYL/Get Archive LLC (1 January 1942) https://picryl.com/media/subcontracting-passaic-home-workshop-pool-even-with-the-family-quarantined


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