Viral Rash on Babies and Adults: Viral Rash Symptoms and Treatment

Viral rash on babies and adults is a change in the color or texture of your skin. It may become bumpy, scaly, itchy, or otherwise irritated.  Most causes of rashes are due to virus,  bacterial origin, and due to allergy to medications given during an illness.

Many viruses can cause a viral rash in addition to other symptoms such as fever and cough. Those rashes are ‘nonspecific’ which means the rash is not characteristic enough to identify the causing virus. The doctor cannot say which virus is the cause, but he will explain that some virus is a likely cause of the rash.

Viral skin rashes are varied in shape and size. They often appear as blotchy red spots. Sometimes they appear dramatically which means that you may wake up in the morning finding yourself covered in a viral rash. Commonly, it lasts a few days. Usually the rash fades away without trace.


Common diseases that cause a viral rash on babies:


Viral Rash on Babies and Adults
Viral Rash on Babies and Adults


1. Chickenpox:


It is very contagious disease that is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster. Its symptoms last about 2 weeks. Chickenpox is not a serious disease to healthy children, but it can be a serious illness in people with weak immune systems such as people taking steroids, newborns, people on chemotherapy for cancer pregnant women, or those with HIV.

There is an effective and safe vaccine to children aged between 1 year or older to prevent chickenpox. After being exposed to the virus via contact with the lesions on an infected person or inhalation of infected droplets, It takes 10-20 days to develop chickenpox.


  • Symptoms

Chickenpox’s viral rash symptoms usually start with a very itchy viral rash.  It first appears on armpits, the scalp, or groin area. It may spread over the body. Rashes cause an area of redness with a superficial, small blister in the center. Eventually, the blister ruptures, then the lesion will form a crust. There are other associated symptoms including malaise, low-grade fever, red eyes, and sore throat.


  • Treatment

Once it has begun, there is no therapy can treats chickenpox. However, your doctor will provide prescriptions to allay the itching  and the discomfort.

You need to keep on mind that viral rash itself is also contagious, so you should keep your child isolated until the last lesion disappears.

Be careful, never give aspirin products to your child during chickenpox viral rash because it can cause a deadly disease called Reye syndrome. Be sure and check any other medications for aspirin or salicylates because these can be found mixed with over-the-counter cold medications.

Chickenpox may affect the cornea which is the clear front portion of the eye. Therefore, If you notice that your child develops chickenpox on the eyes or the tip of the nose, immediately see your doctor.


2. Measles:


The measles is a viral illness that is caused by a paramyxovirus. It is common on causing viral rash on children. To prevent this illness, there is a safe and effective vaccine.

  • Symptoms

The disease starts up with eye redness, nasal congestion, tearing and swelling, lethargy, cough, and high fever. After 3 or 4 days of the illness, the child will get a red viral rash on the face. Rapidly, it spreads and lasts about 7 days. Then another rash may develop with white spots on the gums in the mouth

  • Treatment

No medication treats measles once the disease begins. But your doctor offers treatments to care for eye symptoms, cough, and fever. You must not use aspirin and aspirin-like products as they may cause a life-threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome. In some cases, Some children may get secondary bacterial infections of the middle ear, sinuses, lung and neck lymph nodes. Don’t despair, it can be treated with antibiotics. Generally,  the illness usually gets better within 7-10 days after the symptoms have started. You can protect your child from getting measles by giving him the recommended vaccinations. The measles vaccine is part of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine that is given at age 12-15 months and given again at age 4-6 or 11-12 years.


3. Rubella (German Measles):


Rubella is a mild disease in children which is caused by a virus called Rubivirus. If contracted during gestation, rubella is a much more serious disease that may cause eye problems, heart abnormalities, retardation, and other conditions.


Rubella begins with a red/pink viral rash on the face which spreads over the body and gets better within 4 days. Your child may develop swollen lymph nodes in the neck especially behind the ears. However, your child does not appear to be very ill.


Also, Rubella can easily be prevented with an safe and effective vaccine (the MMR). In some cases, Rubella can be very serious to unborn child if the mother develops rubella during her pregnancy. Therefore,  Women of childbearing age need to have their immune status verified.


4. Fifth disease:


It occurs in winter and spring but it may happen year-round. Fifth disease, which is also known as erythema infectiosum or slapped cheeks disease is caused by a virus called parvovirus B19.


Initially, the child will feel tired; then a rash start to appear. The viral rash causes bright red cheeks (this symptom inspires the name slapped cheeks disease). Rashes are warm, nontender, and itchy. After 1 or 2  days,  a lacy rash spreads over the body. The rash start to disappear  when the skin is cool. Otherwise, but when it is warm, the rash becomes more pronounced.

When the viral rash start to appear, the child is no longer contagious.


Fifth disease is not much serious. However, it can pose a serious problem for children with leukemia,  sickle cell anemia, , or AIDS. Moreover, Fifth disease can cause problems for pregnant women.


5. Coxsackieviruses and other enteroviruses:


Coxsackieviruses and other enteroviruses are very common causes of fever and viral rash in children. Coxsackieviruses can cause two diseases called hand-foot and-mouth disease and herpangina. In the summer and autumn, coxsackievirus infections are more common.


In hand-foot-and-mouth disease, the children get fever and viral rash. This rash includes blisters to the tongue and mouth and to the hands and the feet.

Herpangina usually causes a sore throat, fever, and painful blisters or ulcers on the back of the mouth which cause difficulty swallowing. Moreover, Children may also have abdominal pain,  loss of appetite, and rarely vaginal ulcers.


There is no specific treatment for the two disease except acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) for fever.

Never give your child aspirin and aspirin-like products as it can cause a life-threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome. Don’t Worry, The diseases are not harmful. They can be prevented with not eating off someone else’s plate or sharing straws and good hand washing.


6. Kawasaki disease:


It is of unknown cause. It is suspected to be caused by a virus or bacteria. Usually, it affects children younger than 5 years. If not diagnosed and treated correctly, it can have serious effects on your child’s heart. Only 2% of children die from this disease with treatment. Therefore, call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital’s emergency department when you suspect that your child may have Kawasaki disease.


Kawasaki disease is can be identified  by those  diagnostic criteria: ƒ

  •  Fever for more than 5 days
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck ƒ
  • Redness of the eyes   ƒ
  • Redness or swelling of the hands and feet ƒ
  • viral rash with flat red lesions, raised red lesions, blisters, or any combination of these.
  • Red throat, tongue, or cracked lips
  • The child seems ill and he may also have vomiting, cough, diarrhea, and arthritis.



This disease has no test diagnoses. The diagnosis can be made by looking for all of the diagnostic criteria. With this disease, children may have an elevated platelet count. You can note a Saclike dilatation of the coronary arteries called aneurysms. Children with Kawasaki disease have to be admitted to the hospital and given high-dose aspirin and IV gamma globulin.


 Viral Rash on Adults:


Viral Rash on Babies and Adults


1. Shingles:

Shingles is a painful viral skin rash that is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is also called herpes zoster. It usually appears in a small area on one side of the body or the face.

Shingles is most common in adults and those people who have weak immune systems because of injury, stress, certain medicines, or other reasons.

In many cases, people who get shingles once will not get it again. However, it is possible to get shingles more than once.

What causes shingles?

Shingles occurs because the virus that causes chickenpox starts up in your body again. After you healed from chickenpox, the virus sleeps in your nerve roots. In some cases, it stays dormant forever. In others, the virus wakes up when stress, disease, or aging weakens the immune system. It is important to know that Some medicines may trigger the virus to wake up and cause a shingles viral rash.

Generally, It is not clear why this happens. However, after the virus activate again, it can only cause shingles, not chickenpox.

You can’t get shingles from someone else who has shingles. However, there is a small chance that a person with a shingles viral rash spreads the virus to another person who hasn’t had chickenpox and who also hasn’t gotten the chickenpox vaccine.


The symptoms happen in stages. At first you will have a headache or be sensitive to light. Also, You might feel like you have the flu but not a fever.

Later, you will feel tingling, itching, or pain in a specific area. Then, a small area of viral rash may occur a few days later. Rashes turn into clusters of blisters. Those blisters fill with fluid and then crust over. It takes 2-4 weeks for the blisters to heal. They may leave scars. Some people have a mild rash, others do not get a rash at all.

you might also feel weak or dizzy. It’s possible also to have long-term pain or a viral rash on your face, changes in how well you can think, changes in your vision, or a rash that spreads.

If you have any of these symptoms, You have to call your doctor immediately.


Shingles can be treated with medicines that include antiviral medicines and medicines for pain.

Getting antiviral medicine can help your viral rash heal faster and be less painful. So if you suspect that you may have shingles, contact your doctor.

Moreover, home care can help you feel better faster. Take care of your skin sores, and always keep them clean. If you are bothered by pain, tell your doctor.  The doctor may write a prescription for pain medicine or suggest an over-the-counter pain medicine.

Who gets shingles?


Anyone has had chickenpox can get shingles. If you are older than 50 or if you have a weak immune system.

You have a greater chance of getting shingles There is a shingles vaccine for adults. It lowers your chances of getting shingles and prevents long-term pain that can occur after shingles. And if you do get shingles, having the vaccine makes it more likely that you will have less pain and your rash will clear up more quickly.


2. Infectious mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or mono, refers to a group of symptoms that caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Commonly, it occurs in teenagers, but you can have it at any age. Some people call it “the kissing disease” because the virus spreads through saliva.


People who have mono usually have a swollen lymph glands, high fever, a sore throat, a headache, a fatigue, a muscle weakness, swollen tonsils, and night sweats.

Most cases of it are mild and they are resolved easily with minimal treatment. The infection is not serious. Usually, it goes away on its own within 1 or 2 months.


There’s no treatment for infectious mononucleosis. However, your doctor will prescribe a medication to reduce throat and tonsil swelling.

Treatment is aimed at allaying your symptoms. It includes using techniques to calm a sore throat  or over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to reduce fever.

There are other home treatments that could ease symptoms include:


  • Using OTC pain medications like Tylenol.
  • Eating warm chicken soup.
  • Staying hydrated by drinking water.
  • Have lot of rest.
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome.
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious viral pneumonia that is caused by the SARS coronavirus. This virus that causes SARS was first identified in 2003.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated SARS a global health threat.




  • viral rash
  • fever over 100.4°F
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • problems breathing, including shortness of breath
  • headache
  • dry cough
  • loss of appetite
  • malaise
  • confusion
  • diarrhea
  • night sweats and chills


Breathing issues appear within 2-10 days after a person is exposed to the virus.  There are many factors that can increase your risk of contracting the disease including close contact with someone diagnosed with SARS and a history of travel to any other country with a reported SARS outbreak.



There is no treatment that works for every person who has SARS. Sometimes, Antiviral medications and steroids are given to reduce lung swelling. However, they aren’t effective for everyone.

Your doctor may prescribe supplemental oxygen or a ventilator if necessary. In severe cases, blood plasma from someone who has already recovered from SARS may also be administered. However, there is no enough evidence to prove that these treatments are effective.

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  1. thanks for this great info, it’s very useful


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