Parenting Babycare Health

How Chicken Pox Is Different from Measles ?

Cheena M Gujral
3 to 7 years

Created by Cheena M Gujral
Updated on Jan 12, 2022

How Chicken Pox Is Different from Measles
Reviewed by Expert panel

For a common man, measles and chicken pox appears to be coinciding with almost similar spreads over body. Both are equally common in children but a little more detailing can explain the difference amongst them.

What Is Measles?

A viral disease which is highly infectious. It is caused by exposure to rubeola virus.Miliary rashes over body with swollen eyes and watery nose can indicate measles in children. It is an airborne disease which spreads rapidly. A bout of measles once done, give lifetime immunity to babies.

Signs Of Measles Infection In Children

  • Watery -soggy eyes, sneezing and a dry hacking cough
  • Swollen glands under cheeks and jaw in many cases of measles
  • Koplik's spot is the most peculiar sign. It is a small greyish rash with white spots and bluish white centre, mostly found in mouth of children
  • Generalised body aches, tiredness with fever is also a symptom
  • Majorly 3Cs are associated with measles

Conjunctivitis Coryza or running nose Cough

How To Treat Measles In Babies?

It takes a good time to heal. If complications are not there, then patient is advised plenty rest and good intake of water. Few remedies to heal measles are

  • High fever can be controlled by cooling babies with cold towel and right dosage of antipyretics
  • Avoid smoking etc near babies as it will enhance respiratory discomfort
  • Use of sunglasses or protecting conjunctivitis eyes from direct light is crucial
  • Keeping damp cloth helps in soothing red /swollen eye

Vaccination MMRV is considered best in countering measles in early ages.

What Is Chickenpox?

It is also a viral infection and spreads easily with direct contact, sneezing or coughing. The rash is like a pustule which is fluid filled and appear as blister on face, neck and over the body. Read more about Chicken-pox causes, treatment etc in Children .

Signs, Symptoms And Treatment In Chickenpox

Much like the measles, pox is better preventative than being cured. MMRV is the same vaccination which is administered in babies to curb measles. The babies infected with varicella majorly show the symptoms of fever, headache and body pains with peculiar red rash that eventually settles to a scum. Baby feel unconsolable itchy and profound running nose due to the disease hit.

What Is Difference Between Chickenpox And Measles?

Agent of infection: Both are airborne viral disease, but the causative viruses vary. Measles is caused by rubeola virus while Chickenpox is with varicella zoster. Chicken pox virus shows incubation of 12 to 14 days after first rash while in measles it is approx 10 days. Read more about Measle in Children

Type of rashes:

Koplik's spot is unique white spots seen in mouth in measles patient which may be firstly seen behind ears. While in chicken pox the BLISTERS are fluid filled and are reddish pink with bigger size. They appear on face and then spreads to the body.


Since patient with both infection show some common symptoms of fever, rash, itchiness and lethargy, though the signs like 3Cs of cough and conjunctivitis are specific in measles with spots in mouth. Swollen glands over cheeks and jaw is also there unlike stiff neck and discharge from pink rashes in chickenpox.

Side effects:

A child down with chickenpox is much less exhausted as compared to the one in measles. After the rash appears, the signs of fever, itching and running nose are milder in chicken pox over measles. Term. Both viral disease cure on their own, though in chickenpox the child appears to suffer for a lesser time as contrast to a longer illness and sufferings in measles.


Both the diseases rely mainly on prevention than on treatments. The MMRV vaccine is a considered in both cases with keeping child clean and taking paracetamol for fever. In chickenpox a child is advised to take juices and bed rest to prevent dehydration while in measles more fluids with vitamin A are advised to treat conjunctivitis and weakness.

Variance do exist between both the virus borne illness. Although they are minor yet crucial to spot the differences .This variability help in adopting appropriate steps to cure and prevent the spread. So before concluding it as measles or pox, always check with the doctor.

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This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Mar 06, 2018

very useful write up.

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| Mar 22, 2018

what will be the preventive measures for the same in children?

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| Mar 22, 2020

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| Jul 27, 2020

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| Nov 07, 2020

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