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Roseola Rash

Roseola rash is a mild infection caused by herpes viruses, usually affecting the children by the age of two years. Occasionally, it affects adults too. It is commences with a fever for several days that is followed by the rash.

High fever generally does not result in any severe health complications. Bed rest, fluids and medications are the treatment for this rash.

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Roseola Rash Symptoms

Exposure to someone affected by roseola causes the infection. The mild signs may come up after a week or two after the exposure. Roseola rash symptoms may include:

  • Fever:  Roseola rash starts with a sudden case of very high fever; may be with sore throat, cough, running nose and/or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. The fever tends to resolve after three to five days.
  • Rash: Once the fever disappears, small pink spots of rashes may appear over the chest and back which may spread to neck, arms and other parts of the body. The roseola rash isn’t itchy or uncomfortable and may fade away after few days on its own.

Other symptoms of roseola rash are as follows:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Increased irritability in children
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Diminished appetite

Causes of roseola rash

Roseola rash is an all season contagious infection caused by either the human herpes virus 7 or HHV7, OR the human herpes virus 6 or HHV6. It occurs through contact exposure with infected person’s respiratory secretions or saliva. Sharing a cup of tea or a glass of water with those affected with roseola rash can cause the infection.

Infants between 6 and 15 months are more prone to roseola rash as they have not developed antibodies against viruses. The antibodies received by the babies while in uterus of the mother fade with time, and hence makes the infants vulnerable to infections such as roseola rash.

Roseola rash may result in certain complications as listed below:

  • A rapid rise of fever in the body due to roseola rash occasionally causes a seizure wherein the child briefly loses consciousness and makes jerky movements of the arms, legs and head for a few seconds or minutes. He/she may also lose control on bladder or bowel temporarily, which demands emergency care. For healthy children and adults, it is rarely harmful, and the recovery is quicker.
  • Infection of roseola rash in people with weak immune system may lead to serious complications such as pneumonia or encephalitis which is a potential form of life threatening brain inflammation.

Treatment of roseola rash

As per the doctor’s advice, medicines available over the counter such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen and antiviral medications such as ganciclovir may be given to control fever of roseola rash infection. Antibiotics are not effective for roseola rash.

There is no vaccine for roseola rash. The best way to prevent it, is to avoid exposure of child to other infected children.

For treating the fever at home doctor may recommend:

  • Plenty of bed rest till the fever disappears
  • Encourage child to drink plenty of water, and intake fluids like lemon-lime soda, clear broth, ginger ale, sports drinks and electrolyte solutions to prevent dehydration.
  • A lukewarm sponge bath of head can soothe the discomfort of fever. Avoid ice or cold water as well as fans as it may give unwanted chills.

There is no specific treatment for roseola rash and it disappears on its own within a short span of time.

Roseola Rash Pictures

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