Types of viral rashes, their causes and characteristics

Types of viral rashes, their causes and characteristics

can develop Viral rash As a result of the body’s immune response against a viral infection or as one of the pathological symptoms of this infection. It may appear suddenly, or gradually over several days. It may also cover a limited part of the body or may spread over large areas of it. In some cases, it can cover all or most of the body.

different The duration of the viral rashIts symptoms and characteristics, including size, appearance and severity, depend on the type of viral infection causing it. [1][2]

In this article, learn about the types of viral rashes according to their causes, as well as their characteristics and how long they last for each.

Associated viral rash symptoms

In most cases, the appearance of a viral rash is accompanied by other symptoms, such as: [1][2]

  • Heat.
  • chills.
  • tiredness.
  • Headache;
  • sore throat.
  • diarrhea.

The above symptoms are also common in non-viral or bacterial rashes, so it is not possible to rely on their appearance next to the rash to assess whether it is viral or not. [2]

Types of viral rashes

Here are the most common types of viral rash, listed by cause:


cause disease measles A rash characterized by: [1][2][3]

  • It occurs as a result of the body’s immune response when the measles virus is detected, as the cells of the immune system release chemicals to destroy the virus, but these substances also cause side effects, including rashes.
  • develop after 3-5 days from infection with the measles virus.
  • It usually starts behind the ears and face, then spreads to the neck, torso, arms, legs and feet.
  • It appears as flat red or pink spots, which may have small, raised bumps.
  • It may be less noticeable on darker skin or a slightly grayish flesh color.
  • It often goes on for 6 days almost.

It is worth noting that measles is a highly contagious viral disease, especially among people who are not vaccinated against measles. It can also cause serious complications in infants and children under 5 years of age. [2]


German measles is also known as rubellaIt is a viral infection that mainly affects the skin and lymph nodes Skin rash One of the first signs of infection.

Features of a viral rubella rash include: [1][2]

  • starts inside 3 days From infection, it often appears at first on the face, then spreads to other parts of the body.
  • It is characterized by a bright red or pink color and the appearance of bumps that cause a rough texture to the skin. The red rash spots are hard to see with the naked eye on darker skin.
  • Mainly, a viral rash caused by an accompanying soil infection itching.
  • attracted to 3 days almost.

It’s worth nothing Soil contamination It can be transmitted from person to person through exposure to droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze or saliva. The risk of transmission can also be extended for a full week before the appearance of the rash and another week after the appearance of the rash. [1]

Although rubella infection (German measles) is usually less serious than measles infection, it can cause serious complications if a pregnant woman develops it, such as stillbirth, miscarriage, or abortion. birth defect dangerous to the fetus. [1][3]


Chickenpox infection caused by the varicella virus can affect both children and adults, but is more common in children. The rash is one of its special symptoms, and it goes through three stages as follows: [1][3]

  • Raised bumps on the skin that are pink, red, brown or purple.
  • The bumps develop into fluid-filled blisters.
  • The blisters erupt, then peel, until they dry out in the form of brown scales during the healing phase, and then fall off naturally.

The appearance of the viral rash caused by. may be delayed Chickenpox Until two weeks from the moment of exposure to the virus. It usually starts on the trunk, face and scalp, and then may spread to any other part of the body, including the mouth and genitals. [2]

In most cases, it comes The duration of the viral rash caused by chicken pox between 5-10 days. Its symptoms are often more severe in adults than in children. It is also more severe in unvaccinated people than in people who have received one or two doses of chickenpox vaccine. [1][4]

Chickenpox can be transmitted between people by contact with the saliva of an infected person, including droplets from sneezing or coughing, and by touching the blisters or the fluid inside them. The infection can also pass from the pregnant mother to the fetus if infected. [1]

Read also: types of rashes


Mononucleosis is also known as MononucleosisThis is because it can be passed from person to person through bodily fluids, including saliva. This is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). [1]

Infectious mononucleosis can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in young people aged 15-17. One of its symptoms is a rash, but it is not the main symptom of this infection. [1][2]

There are three types or styles of Viral rash Who is allowed to borrow? MononucleosisWhich: [5]

  • macular rashIt appears as flat red or pink spots, some of which may have small, raised bumps. It may be itchy or similar to a measles rash.
  • petechiesIt appears as a result of broken capillaries in the skin or in the areas covered by the mucous membrane, and appears in the form of small and inconspicuous red or purple dots. They often appear inside the mouth, but they can also appear on the skin. One of its distinct characteristics is that it does not disappear or change color when clicked.
  • Antibiotic-related rashAlthough mononucleosis is a viral disease that is not treated with antibiotics, it may be misdiagnosed as a sore throat, and antibiotics may then be prescribed, which includes the possibility of causing a drug rash, often characterized by itching and a prominent red appearance. spots

It is worth noting that in the case of a drug rash, it does not necessarily mean that the patient is allergic to the prescribed antibiotic, but it happens because of the risk of developing a drug rash if part of the antibiotic, such as ampicillin or amoxicillin. taken during mononucleosis, may reach 100%. [2][5]

Zika virus

Most often, infection with the Zika virus occurs by being bitten by a type of mosquito known as lentil mosquitoThis can cause a rash characterized by: [1][2]

  • Small and prominent points.
  • Papules, which are red bumps.
  • It starts in the face, then spreads to the trunk and limbs, including the hands and feet.
  • itchy
  • It often goes on for 2-7 days.

can move Zika virus From person to person through sex or the transfusion of infected blood, and from the pregnant mother to the fetus, and may cause serious birth defects if transmitted to the fetus. [2]

I had a red spot on the back of my head for a long time, I thought it was a fever, but I was surprised that many red dots appeared under it and I am very worried about the skin cancer and hope for an answer as soon as possible (there is a slight swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck 6 months ago and I did all the necessary tests, God willing there’s nothing.

Viral rash in children

The following types of viral rash are more common in young children:


Roseola is also known as Roseola Sixth disease or infantile rosacea, as it often affects older children 6-24 cities. It is a viral infection caused by a type of herpes virus. [2]

Infection with the virus can occur through exposure to droplets from an infected person’s sneezes or coughs, and the characteristics of roseola rash caused by infection include the following: [1][2]

  • Its appearance may be delayed until the passage of time 5-15 days from exposure to the virus.
  • It often appears in children after a fever or mild respiratory illness.
  • It usually tends to appear first on the trunk of the body, and then spread to the hands, feet and face.
  • The appearance of pink spots accompanied by lesions or bumps that are slightly raised from the surface of the skin, and one of the characteristics of these spots is that when touched or pressed, they may become brighter, which is a sign of the expansion of small capillaries.

The fifth disease

Fifth disease is sometimes called Slap on the cheek diseaseThe reason for this is that it causes a bright red rash on the face, similar to the color of the skin it has absorbed, and it is a contagious viral disease that can affect children and adults, but the resulting rash is more common in children. [1]

A viral rash of fifth disease is characterized by: [1][2]

  • It starts 4-14 days after infection.
  • It appears mainly on the cheeks, but it may also appear on the limbs and other parts of the body.
  • itchy.
  • It usually lasts 5-10 days.
  • It may reappear for several weeks or months after contracting the disease, especially when the child is exposed to the sun or if his body temperature rises.

In general, fifth disease is a mild infection, but symptoms may be more severe in certain groups, such as pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly. [1]

Hand, foot and mouth diseases

shared Hand, foot and mouth diseases in children under age 5 yearsIt is a viral disease caused by the coxsackie virus, which belongs to the family of enteroviruses. [1]

A viral rash is the most prominent symptom of this disease, and it usually appears on the palms of the hands and feet, and sometimes also covers the knees, elbows, buttocks and genital area. It is characterized by: [1][2]

  • Flat red or purple spots, sometimes accompanied by fluid-filled blisters.
  • The appearance of painful ulcers inside the mouth.
  • the pain

It is recommended to avoid touching the blisters, the liquid inside them if they burst, or the membrane resulting from their drying, in order to prevent the spread of infection, since hand, foot and mouth disease is highly contagious, and may be transmitted. From one person to another through contact with saliva, mucus and feces. [1][2]

Is a viral rash contagious?

The rash is viral Belly If the viruses that cause it are transmitted from one person to another through contact, respiratory droplets or anything else. Often there is a certain period of stages of infection A contagious periodHowever, this period may vary between different viral infections. [2]

Therefore, it is recommended to consult a medical professional in order to check this, as well as get an accurate diagnosis if there is a suspicion of a viral rash.

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