Maculopapular rash, also named as erythematous, is a term derived from two different words; macules and papules. Macules seems like a flat spot on the skin. On the other hand, Papule is a lump that looks like a tumor. Maculopapular rash, one of the most generalized rashes, can be either in one location on the skin or spread, usually appearing red on light skinned people due to its lesions. It has a varying degree of severity that rises from the time of infection, ranging from four to eight weeks where eight is considered as chronic.
Maculopapular Rash Types :
Maculopapular rash is classified depending on the areas infected and the mode of infection. The rash is named according to the type of infection:
- Rubeola – it is a common infection that happens in children’s hair and ears and moves through other body parts. Rubeola is a type of measles.
- Rubella (German Measles)- it is a Maculopapular rash caused by measles. It starts from the face and then goes downwards.
- Roseola (Exanthema) – it is found in children below 5 years. This rash affects every part of the body except the face.
- Chikungunya Virus (Dengue) – this appears after the redness of the skin. It is also very common.
Infectious Mononucleosis :
Unlike the above-mentioned types, this one affects adolescents and older children.
Drug Eruption :
It occurs as a result of antibiotic drugs reacting to the metabolism of the body.
The eruption which surfaces momentarily from this type of maculopapular rash arises from insect bites and allergies from food.
Maculopapular Rash Causes :
Maculopapular rash is largely a result of other diseases that infect both children and adults alike. Virus infections, such as measles and fever, are the major reasons for children while reactions from drugs and allergies are the main causes for adults. HIV, Ebola, and syphilis patients are known to have experienced this rash in most cases. In fact, this rash is often termed as HIV rash. Side effects of antibiotic drugs, such as amoxicillin, may also cause this rash. In fact, the symptoms vary depending on the age of the patients.
Maculopapular Rash Signs and Symptoms :
Although maculopapular rash is not a disease, the fever caused because of it can be fatal and thus it needs to be treated immediately. A patient with HIV often gets this rash as a sign of the earlier stage of this disease. It affects almost every part of the body, including the mouth, face, palms and the pubic area.
A case where maculopapular appears on the body without affecting the face is Roseola. The consequence of redness after itching the skin is another manifestation of maculopapular rash caused by chikungunya virus. Another symptom is a bright red look on the face of the children after the fever. It affects both face and limbs.
Severe skin reaction from antibiotics and anticonvulsants is another sign of this rash in most adults. It is actually connected to the body’s sensitivity to these drugs, age and genetics. Other symptoms may include scabies tenderness of skin and reaction from a particular drug.
To detect the cause of the maculopapular rash, the doctor needs to know if there is a fever or not. If there is no fever, it can happen due to the varicella, Coxsackie virus or erythema. But if the patient is having a fever, it is probably because of dengue, rubeola or Kawasaki disease. Moreover, a critical clinical presentation is required through testing and other medical analysis.
For testing, an initial examination having clinical features in view is critical to adequately identify the rash type. First examine the lesion type, locations and concentration. Then see if lymphadenopathy is involved aside of the fever. Examination on the basis of drugs is also done. Normally, drug reactions come up between 7 and 8 days and disappear in about 2 weeks without having any negative effects. The test should also include post inflammatory desquamation. If visible, that is a possibility of the maculopapular rash.
Viral infection, especially in children, is associated with fever and myalgia signs. Hands, feet and mouth infections are detected as a result of enterovirus. However, rubella and roseola are causes of measles. These clinical tests will give the doctor a direction to the infection type.
The intensity of complications is directly proportional to the extent of the affected skin area. Skin specialists have recently examined that a rash with a higher length than 1 cm is most likely not maculopapular bur because of other diseases. Such complications happen due to late detection and poor management. It can even spread as blisters or bumps, thus leading to further infection. Children are the most vulnerable here as they are not able to express the seriousness of this rash and may take more time to identify the rash.
The treatment of maculopapular depends on the virus that is reasonable for the rash. Gamma rays and ultraviolet radiations can be used in chronic cases. Moreover, intravenous fluids can be used to treat Dengue fever.
Chloroquine has been found effective in treatment of the Chikunguwa variants of the rash. It is an anti-inflammatory drug which kills the virus and reduces the rash infection propagation. Patients with the EBV virus should take a lot of fluid for rehydration and analgesics should also be administered.
Some home remedies have proven to be effective to a certain extent in the management of maculopapular rash. Usage of coconut oil, apple, cider and Aloe Vera have been found helpful.
A maculopapular rash is a contagious infection of the skin. Measles is caused by paramyxovirus which is very contagious, especially amongst children. Itching and then using the same hand can easily transmit the infection to the people around. Scabies can easily be transmitted in the same manner.
To prevent its spreading, simple sanitary measures are required. Hand washing is a vital means to stay safe and avoid its spreading. Use of disinfectant is of ultimate necessity and the infected patients need to be quarantined as well.