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Maculopapular Rash

What is maculopapular rash  ?

It is a kind of skin condition that results in increased reddening of some areas of the skin, later accompanied by development of small lumps. People affected by maculopapular rash may experience the formation of both papules and macules on the skin.

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The term maculopapular originates from 2 words, i.e. macules meaning tiny, non-elevated, flattened and discolored regions on the skin, and papules meaning small, inflamed bumps or elevations. Medically, the condition is sometimes referred to as HIV rash.

Maculopapular rash symptoms

  • The look of maculopapular rash is somewhat similar to skin conditions caused due to some diseases like syphilis, measles and scarlet fever and due to skin eruptions that result from heat rashes. The blotches accompanying maculopapular rash also have an appearance similar to Fifth disease rashes.
  • A majority of the maculopapular rash cases are reddish in color, which may later change into varied colors along with the progression of the disorder into other stages. Hence, the maculopapular rashes are also called Erythematous.
  • Maculopapular rash may affect any section of the body. It may develop on the trunk of some individuals, while some others may experience the rash on their faces. Children generally suffer from the development of maculopapular rash on their palms and/or on the soles of the feet.

It may be noted that maculopapular rash can also be a symptom of other conditions, some of which are listed below:

  • Measles: The occurrence of maculopapular rash is one of the main symptoms of measles. Additional symptoms include presence of extremely high fever, wherein the body temperature can be as high as 104 degree Fahrenheit. The rashes generally make an appearance, a few days post high fever. During the initial stages of measles, maculopapular rash is reddish in color which slowly becomes brownish during the final stages. The rashes disappear within a few days.
  • Scarlet fever: Maculopapular rash generally tends to occur a few days after the affected individual suffers from the fever. The rashes disappear after remaining for 3 to 4 days. The portions of skin affected by maculopapular rash tend to peel during the later stages and its healing can happen only in a few weeks.
  • Typhus fever: This condition is caused due to body lice and is accompanied by the occurrence of maculopapular rash and high fever.
  • Marburg hemorrhagic fever: This results in fever which is later (about five days) followed by the formation of maculopapular rash. It is a life-threatening type of fever and is reported to cause death in around 25 percent of the patients.

Causes of maculopapular rash

A number of diseases can cause the development of maculopapular rash, some of which are as follows:

  • Syphilis: This persistent and infectious disease causes the formation of maculopapular rash ulcers. The disease can be treated with Penicillin.
  • Scabies: The maculopapular rash caused due to this skin disease results in irritation and extreme itching
  • HIV-1 disease: In addition to causing AIDS, the condition also results in formation of maculopapular rash. This is the reason for maculopapular rash to be termed as HIV rashes. The HIV Type 1 disease is one of the most dangerous causes of maculopapular rash.
  • Dengue: This is another major cause of maculopapular rash. It is a highly infectious, tropical condition which is spread via mosquitoes and leads to headaches, skin rashes and joint pain.
  • Epstein-Barr virus: This virus is responsible for causing maculopapular rash and other conditions like painful blisters, and some types of cancers that occur in people residing in the African Continent or China.
  • Rubella: The contagious disease is a mild type of measles which sustains for only a few days and is caused by a virus.
  • Low cholesterol: People consuming the B-vitamin Niacin may suffer from low cholesterol, which ultimately may result in formation of maculopapular rash
  • Chikungunya: It is a viral condition spread by mosquitoes and which leads to high body temperatures as well as maculopapular rash.
  • Certain medications: Individuals may also develop maculopapular rash as a side effect to various drugs such as cefobid, cefoperazone sodium, amoxicillin and other antibiotics. Chemotherapy treatments can also cause maculopapular rash.

Maculopapular rash treatment

The treatment of a majority of maculopapular rash cases is aimed at finding the underlying cause of the condition and then treating that underlying disorder. For example:

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  • Intravenous or oral hydration is used to treat mild instances of dengue, while extreme cases require treatment via blood transfusion.
  • Marburg hemorrhagic fever that causes maculopapular rash has to be treated by a specialist. Specific ways to treat the disease are currently unavailable. However, studies reveal that the causal virus can be obliterated via ultraviolet and/or gamma radiation.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs like choloroquine can be used to treat chikungunya
  • Maculopapular rash resulting from Epstein-Barr virus infection can be treated with pain killer drugs, intake of liquids and rest.

It is important to note that a majority of maculopapular rash cases do not lead to development of health complications. However, if one notices the appearance of red spots on the skin, then they must consult a doctor.

Maculopapular rash pictures

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