Maculopapular Rash

Maculopapular Rash Definition

Maculopapular rash is a kind of skin disease that is characterized by the appearance of small and red spots on the skin. The reddening of the skin is subsequently affected by the appearance of small confluent bumps over the rashes. The term ‘maculopapular’ has been derived from a fusion of two words, namely, ‘macules’ which is used to refer to small spots on the skin which are discolored and flattened in nature, and ‘papules’ which refers to small and raised bumps. Due to the abnormal redness of the skin due to capillary congestion that is a symptom of this disease, it is also known as erythematous maculopapular rash.

Maculopapular rash may be caused by a number of reasons and other diseases. However, it is also known as HIV maculopapular rash if caused by HIV AIDS.

Picture 1 – Maculopapular rash
Source – prime health

Maculopapular Rash Symptoms

The symptoms of maculopapular rash are just not restricted to its own but may actually be a manifestation of several other diseases that may also be responsible for causing maculopapular rash.

Generalized maculopapular rash is usually characterized by the appearance of papules that are small in size and are usually elevated in nature. The papules also change from red to other colors depending on the nature of the disease and the duration of the same. Although, besides the generalized maculopapular rash symptoms, one may make a mention of certain symptoms that are specific to other diseases or conditions giving rise to maculopapular rash. Maculopapular rash in children is mostly due to viral and bacterial infections.

For instance, in case of measles, one may just not suffer from the development of maculopapular skin rashes but also from maculopapular rash fever wherein the temperature may rise quite high. On a similar line, scarlet fever may also be associated with the appearance of maculopapular rash which hardly lasts for a week. Typhus fever, which is in fact transmitted by body lice, may also be responsible for causing maculopapular rash.

However, one of the most serious cases of maculopapular rash is its association with Marburg Hemorrhagic fever, the consistent persistent of which may also jeopardize one’s life, may it be an adult or a child. In most cases itchy maculopapular rash is a common symptom which is accompanied by irritation. Such a condition is known as Pruritic Maculopapular Rash. Another condition wherein sometimes one may suffer from temporary maculopapular rash and koplik or white spots on the skin is known as Blanching maculopapular rash.

Maculopapular Rash Causes

Maculopapular rash may be triggered by a number of other diseases and conditions which may either be inherent or exotic in nature.

Diseases such as scarlet fever, syphilis, measles, and heat rash are characterized by the appearance of maculopapular rash on the skin. Some may be the result of infiltration of the leukemic cells by viruses and bacteria such as Epstein – Barr virus which are responsible for causing skin infections including maculopapular rash and blisters while, others may be chronic infectious disorders such as the case of syphilis. Autoimmune diseases like HIV AIDS may also be a significant cause behind maculopapular rash. Moreover, diseases that develop out of improper blood transfusion such as Graft-Versus-Host Disease may also be responsible for causing maculopapular rash. Low cholesterol levels in the body and the ways and means to deal with it may contribute to maculopapular rash.

Besides, other diseases caused by viral and bacterial agents transmitted by mosquitoes such as dengue and chikungunya are also significantly responsible for causing maculopapular rash.  Rubella and scabies are mostly behind the occurrence of pruritic maculopapular rash, which is also known as itchy maculopapular rash.

The side-effects of certain drugs such as amoxicillin, Cefoperazone Sodium, Cefobid and other antibiotics also trigger maculopapular rash and koplik spots. Moreover the use of a high dose of niacin to deal with the high cholesterol level is also at times responsible for causing maculopapular rash.

Picture 2 – Maculopapular rash
Source – prime health

Maculopapular Rash Differential Diagnosis

One can diagnose maculopapular rash by first taking into account past illness or diseases. Then one needs to deeply inspect the site and extent of the rashes and see if they are itchy, painful or irritating. Then the area affected should undergo physical examination such as Complete Blood Count Test, syphilis tests, culture test of pustules, and cerebrospinal fluid tests by a trained health professional doctor. Generally, examination of the ENT, lung, genitals, joints and nerves are conducted.

Maculopapular rash on the face is a symptom of viral infection or measles. Headache and confusion indicates gonococcemia and the swelling of the joints indicate meningococcemia. Breathing problems may also be diagnosed to detect pharyngitis or anaphylaxis. Purulent urethral drainage may also be associated with maculopapular rash on private parts of the body.

Maculopapular Rash Treatment

The treatment for maculopapular rash depends on the cause of the disease, the mildness or the severity of the disease and also the age of the patient. There are a number and variety of methods adopted to diffuse maculopapular rash.

One may try to cure maculopapular rash by taking the anti-inflammatory medicines such as Chloroquine, and other pain killers prescribed by the doctor. Mid cases of maculopapular rash dengue are dealt with oral or intravenous rehydration as well as blood transfusions are also undertaken in case of its severity. However, in most severe case of maculopapular rash associated with Marburg hemorrhagic fever is dealt with UV and gamma radiation.

It is quintessential for the patient to take considerable rest and drink lots of fluids in order to get rid of the toxins from the body which may cause maculopapular rash or any other disease for that matter. Giving oneself adequate rest leads to an early cure of the disease. But it is necessary to immediately diagnose any such spots or blisters that may erupt since maculopapular rash eruption due to Marburg Hemorrhagic fever is truly life-threatening if remained unchecked. And it is safe to be always under the guidance of a dermatologist.


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