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Maculopapular Rash

What is a Maculopapular Rash?

This is a skin condition wherein the sufferer may have either macules, papules or both. Thus, it is named after the fusion of these words. Macules usually appear as flat, small, non-elevated and discolored regions of the epidermal layer of the skin; whereas, papules are small and swollen bumps on the skin. In the medical world, this is otherwise known as HIV rash.

Maculopapular rashes can affect all age groups and these may appear in any parts of the body including the face, trunk and extremities. In children, the appearance of the rashes is more prominent on the palms and soles. Generally, these rashes are red in appearance but in the later stages these may become discolored.

Maculopapular Rash Causes

Epstein-Barr Virus

This is usually related to the people suffering from cancer in the regions of Africa and China and is brought about by an animal virus which can cause fever and painful skin blisters.


The maculopapular rashes in Syphilis may rupture and form ulcerative blisters. This can be extremely painful and people suffering from this may be treated with Penicillin.


This condition is contagious and may cause itching leading to skin irritation.


Rubella is also known as German measles, a slightly mild form of measles which can last between 3 to 4 days.


Mosquitoes are usually the carrier of the Chikungunya virus which can cause high fever and rashes.


This is believed to be the primary cause of most maculopapular rashes. Mosquitoes are still the culprit for this infection and this is manifested by high fever, joint pains and rashes. This is a very lethal condition especially when platelet levels drop which leads to excessive bleeding and eventually, death.

Type 1 HIV

This is the causative agent of the ominous AIDS. The type 1 Human Immunodeficiency Virus usually brings about maculopapular rashes. This is the reason why maculopapular rash is also known as HIV rash.

Low Cholesterol

Those people with low cholesterol levels are also likely to develop maculopapular rashes. This takes place because of the excessive use of vitamin B3, Niacin.


Even simple drugs like amoxicillin and other antibiotics may give rise to maculopapular rash. This can also be one of the side effects of drugs like Cefobid and Cefoperazone Sodium. Chemotherapeutic drugs in cancer patients can also cause maculopapular rash.

Maculopapular Rash Treatment

Symptomatic Treatment

The treatment for maculopapular rash is dependent upon the presentation of the symptoms. Usually, the target of the treatment is aimed at the causative agent of the disease which has given rise to maculopapular rash.


When for example the Chikungunya virus is the causative agent of the maculopapular rash, right after the confirmation of the disease through serologic test, Chloroquine is usually given. This is an anti-inflammatory drug which helps palliate the disease and its symptoms.

Intravenous Fluids and Oral Rehydration

Mild cases of Dengue fever can be treated with this. However, severe ones require blood transfusions.


When EBV (Epstein-Barr Virus) is the cause of the maculopapular rash, painkillers and other forms of analgesia can be given to the patient.

Rest and Oral Fluid Intake

People afflicted with the Epstein-Barr Virus are also suggested to take loads of rest and as well as increase their fluid intake.

Ultraviolet and Gamma Radiations

Since there is no definite cure for this virus, these radiations may be the last resort to treat maculopapular rash.

Advanced Medical Treatment

This is required especially when the maculopapular rash is brought about by Marburg hemorrhagic fever.

Maculopapular Rash Diagnosis

Patient History and Thorough Physical Assessment

One can only be certain that an individual has maculopapular rash accounting from the patient’s disease history. This includes past diseases and illnesses and as well as its onset. Medical practitioners should also closely inspect the sites and the rashes so as to confirm whether or not these are maculopapular rashes. One should also note for pain, itchiness and irritation at the affected site.

Laboratory Tests

To confirm the disease, one must submit himself or herself for a Blood Count, culture test of pustules, cerebrospinal fluid test and syphilis test. This is carried out by a trained medical practitioner. Furthermore, there may be examination of the ENT, lung, genitals, joints and nerves. These are typically conducted.

Diagnosing Based on Clinical Manifestations

Maculopapular rash can also be diagnosed basing on the presentation of symptoms. When this appears on the face, it can either be caused by measles or other viral infections. Gonococcemia might be the cause if it is accompanied with headache and confusion. Joint swelling may indicate meningococcemia. If one has breathing problems, pharyngitis and anaphylaxis can be pointed out to be the cause and when there is purulent urethral drainage, this indicates that the maculopapular rash has already invaded the private parts of the body.

Maculopapular Rash Pictures

Pictures, Photos and Images of Maculopapular Rash…

Maculopapular Rash Pictures 1

source : mcgill.ca

Maculopapular Rash Pictures 2

source : Rash-Pictures.com

Maculopapular Rash Photos

source : UPMC.edu

Maculopapular Rash Images

source : Bmj.com

Pictures of Maculopapular Rash

source : Mja.com.au

  1. I was studying my Parasitology lecture notes when I came across the word ‘maculopapular rash’ and I decided I needed to see pictures of it to help me remember the meaning of the phrase and this page has been helpful to that purpose. Thanks.

  2. Right after I started taking clopidogrel I have had this itching down on my lip and my panty line and on my leg in this area. It wakes me up in the night and I have to itch and itch. In the day time it is the same. I am tired of itching. IS this a side affect of the medicine?

  3. How do I get rid of a skin rash caused by yeast (Candidiasis)?Argh! I’ve never had this befroe and am at the end of my rope! I have a rash on my neck caused by yeast. My dermatologist is having me treat it with diet, supplements (acidophilous, garlic, zinc), and topical clotrimazole. It’s working, but s-l-o-w-l-y. It’s been over a month, and most of it is gone, but is seems to have almost stopped clearing- there are the same remaining bumps and brown spots where the bumps have cleared. Is there ANYTHING I can do to get over this last hump ? I’ve been gently exfoliating and using a salicylic acid antibacterial cleanser, I was told it was safe to use. Anyone? I’ve searched the web for days and can only find stuff on how to cure diaper rash (almost all of which I’ve tried), not adults.

  4. absolutely nice pics of rash and offcourse very informative

  5. I like the page is so explanatory with aid of pictures

  6. My mother has been diagnosed with Ross River Virus, and her main symptom is a maculopapular rash. There is no apparent cure for RRV or the MR, but has anyone had or knows of a thing that can alleviate or cure RRV or the rash? She’s now had it for 10 months, the approximate time usually is around 2 weeks to six months-she’s getting to the point of going crazy.

    Please, someone help my mum and my family-because of this we can no longer do anything together because of her itchiness.


  7. Ive got this around my ankles, I hope I haven’t got AIDs or something! I was taking B vitamins a few months ago but stopped, b3? Why do I have it?

  8. Vick I hav this rash on my body that swells up as soon as I woke up in the mornings, and it disappear at day time and night when am sleeping. Am worried how does HIV rashes reacts on ones body system. Pls reply fast.

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