Viruses That Cause A Rash

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Blog, Children, Coronavirus, Eczema, Rash

Viruses That Cause A Rash (Exanthema)

Viruses That Cause A Rash (Exanthema)

We all have viruses on the mind at the moment due to the ‘Coronavirus’ outbreak. The symptoms have been made clear by the CDC and this time there is no rash. This makes it challenging to know for sure whether someone has the virus or not without being tested officially. Today we’ll look at the common rashes caused by viruses, known as, Exanthemas.

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What is an Exanthema?

Exanthema is just the medical name given to a rash that is usually accompanied with the usual signs of a virus. The systemic symptoms we also see with the Coronavirus such as:

  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Headache


The reason we see a reaction on the body is because of one of a few things. It could be due to:

  • A reaction to a toxin produced by the person due to the virus
  • Damage the skin caused by scratching
  • An immune response

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Examples of an Exanthema


We now know that an Exanthema is the technical term for the rash. However, what viruses cause these rashes? Let’s take a look at some classic examples of Exanthema.


Chickenpox (Varicella)– This is one we probably all know, one of the most famous of Exanthemas. Typically, as with most of these viruses, they affect us when we are young. Fever like symptoms are followed by dots on the chest which develop into nasty blisters that itch a lot, and break easily.


Measles  (Morbillivirus) – Rashes will typically come on after 4 or 5 days behind the face and ears. It then moves to the trunk and extremities.


Rubella (rubella virus)– The rashes are usually tender and last up to 3 days. They begin as red spots on the face and will spread to the neck, body and extremities from there.


Roseola (Herpes Virus) – This is quite a new one that we’re still learning about. Various types of human herpes cause this rash. Typically appearing with a high fever for 3 – 5 days. Once the fever subsides the rash may appear on the face and body.


These 4 are arguably the most common rashes known as an Exanthema (caused by a Virus).


Remember that STDs such as Viral Hepatitis can also cause Exanthema. So it is worth getting checked if you feel you might be at risk. The last thing you want is a skin rash and an STD at the same time.


So as mentioned at the very beginning, the Coronavirus is not a Exanthema disease. This means it will make no appearance on your skin. Perhaps that is at least one positive we can take from the current situation. That said, it would make recognising the disease much easier.


We’d like to remind you that it is advised we stay indoors during this period. If you become concerned about a rash, spot or mole then we are here to help. We have our free artificial intelligence that will provide an instant result for you on any skin image you upload. Moreover, we also have our board-certified dermatologists if you would prefer to be checked by a professional. Stay safe!

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