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Exanthemata diseases: what and which are they?

20 June 2018

Enfermedades exantemAticas

What is an exanthema?

It is a visible red or purple skin lesion that appears abruptly and affects different areas of the body. It is usually produced by a virus and can be of different degrees of virality. They occur most often during childhood.

There are other factors due to which rashes appear during childhood, such as infectious agents, bacterial toxins, medications, inflammatory diseases, or the secondary effect of some vaccines.

What are the most common exanthemata diseases?

The most common viral exanthemata diseases are:

  • Measles: characterized by typical red patches on the skin, fever, cough, conjunctivitis, runny nose, a general weakness, and Koplik’s spots (white dots inside the cheeks). It usually lasts from 4 to 12 days, the infection goes from the appearance of the first symptoms to three to five days after the appearance of the rash.
  • Chickenpox: is characterized by a pimple-shaped skin rash that quickly turns into vesicles (fluid-filled blisters), which first appear on the trunk, face, scalp, and then spread throughout the body. A day or two later they turn into scabs. There may be fever, headache, general discomfort, loss of appetite, and vomiting.
  • Rubella: characterized by a skin rash, joint pain, headache, red eyes, and a runny nose. The rash lasts about three days and may be accompanied by a slight fever.
  • Scarlet fever: it usually looks like a sunburn at first with small spots that can itch. This rash begins on the neck and face, then spreads to the chest, back, and then to the entire body. The areas of the skin that have the rash turn white when pressed and when the infection begins to clear, the affected skin may begin to peel. There may be swollen glands in the neck, sore throat, fever, among other symptoms.
  • Those caused by adenovirus, cytomegalovirus, enterovirus, herpes 6 or 7, parvovirus, and West Nile virus.

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