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Maculopapular Rash


Maculopapular Rash

Maculopapular rash is a medical condition that is characterized by the presence of macules (macular) and papules (papular) on the skin. The macules are skin discolorations which are small in size and lie flat on the skin. On the other hand, papules are small, rounded elevations of the skin that seem to contain fluid. Discolorations are observed in papules. Papules may be pink, red, purple or brown in color. The flare of maculopapular rashes are due to some diseases or conditions we see today. These skin eruptions can even look like heat rashes. They appear to be red that changes in time, as they are referred as erythematous. These rashes usually appear on different parts of the body most especially on the trunk. They are also found on our faces and sometimes in children, they sprout on the palms and soles.


This skin condition arises because there is an underlying condition. Some conditions present maculopapular rashes as their common symptom while others have rare cases of maculopapular rashes flare ups.

  • Measles – are commonly characterized by the presence of maculopapular rashes. There are several symptoms for this condition, but one prominent symptom includes the sprouting of maculopapular rashes.
  • Scarlet fever – this is a common disorder to young children which includes systems such as sore throat, fever, body malaise and GI upset. The generalized rash starts to show on the patient’s neck and chest that begins to spread all over the body.
  • Epstein-Barr Virus – is characterized by the sprouting of painful blisters on the skin.
  • Syphilis – secondary syphilis is known to exhibit maculopapular rashes on the patient’s trunk and extremities. The rashes start to develop as primary lesions and progresses with associated systemic symptoms such as malaise, sore throat, and weight loss.
  • Rubella or German measles – is a self-limiting condition that is common in children and adults. The presenting symptoms of this condition include fever, headache and respiratory symptoms. Macules are identified in the patients’ soft palate (an identifying characteristic for rubella).
  • Drugs – certain drugs have particular effects on the skin such as Cefobid and Cefoperazone Sodium. Some antibiotic drugs can precipitate the development of maculopapular rashes.


The maculopapular rashes that arise from a person with HIV are commonly referred as HIV rashes. The causative agent for this condition is the HIV type I or HIV-1 virus.


The best diagnostic approach for identifying maculopapular rash first is through observation or physical assessment. The key clinical features to be considered are the type, number and distribution of the rashes. We have to take note if there is an involvement of mucous membranes or not. Thorough investigation of the patient’s condition should be done. Getting the complete history from the patient himself or from the significant other is essential in answering the questions in determining or supporting the diagnosis.

Asking the patient’s drug history can narrow down the possible cause of maculopapular rash. The flare ups of these rashes are said to be due to some drugs. Specific chemical reactions may arise to rashes that may be compared with maculopapular rashes. Taking note of patient’s possible exposure to viruses is also essential in providing a link between the clinical features and the possible cause. A clinical history of fever may point us out to the cause for maculopapular rashes. The eruptions of these rashes are possibly due to the effects of the recurring fever. Patients known to be immunocompromised or with a systemic illness are prone to experience such condition. Taking note of the patient’s health history is direly important to come up with the right diagnosis.

Laboratory tests are also done to identify the culprit for maculopapular rash eruptions. If viral infection is suspected, a viral culture from serological tests is ordered by the doctor. This is also aimed for a differential diagnosis and for confirming the viral agent.

Skin biopsy is done in cases where severe cases takes place.


The treatment for maculopapular rash is primarily symptomatic. In order to get rid of the rash, the underlying cause should be treated first.

Proper diagnosis of the underlying cause is a must in order to provide the suitable treatment for the disease and the presenting symptom. Viral drugs are provided for cases of viral infection. Hydration is provided to patients who have Dengue. Treating the other presenting symptoms is also a must in order to facilitate in patient’s recovery. Other conditions have no specific treatment, which leads to palliative treatment in assisting the client to recovery.

Home remedies are provided for patient’s to treat the symptom. Application of a calamine lotion would help reduce the itchiness felt by the client. It is advisable that we do not act unless the doctor has recommended the action. It is advisable that we contact our doctor in order to receive the appropriate treatment course.

Maculopapular Rash Pictures

Maculopapular Rash Pictures

source : huidziekten.nl

Maculopapular Rash Photos

source : maculopapularrash.net

Maculopapular Rash Images

source : upmc.edu

Maculopapular Rash Pics

source : bmj.com

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