Modern medicine has us believing that everything we experience comes with a medicinal cure. If you are sick, you can easily go to your doctor and have yourself properly medicated. If you have a toothache, you can visit a dentist and do the same. But what happens when the condition you have is something that may cause you some trouble? What if this happens to be Viral Exanthem?
What is Viral Exanthem?
Viral exanthema is considered as any eruptive skin rash that is typically associated with fever and other systemic symptoms. The condition is believed to be caused by a reaction to medication, exposure to infectious pathogens, or even both. While the condition isn’t really a life-threatening one, it does cause some alarm and isolation for the patient as exposure to other individuals may lead to a viral outbreak.
Contracting Viral Exanthem
Viral exanthem is most common among children. Despite this, they can occur on middle aged individuals and older adults. The name ‘exanthema’ refers to ‘breaking out’ in Greek. This best describes the skin condition, since it causes rashes to break out all over the skin. Often, exanthems are caused by a viral infection. However, it is difficult to determine the exact cause of the exanthema. This is because a careful assessment of immunization status, infectious contacts and physical examination need to be distinguished in order to identify the cause.
Signs and Symptoms of Viral Exanthem
Considering there is no clear analysis on when the viral infection could start, patients that are diagnosed with viral exanthem are known to encounter some of the common signs such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Strawberry tongue
- Flushed Face
- Nausea/ Vomiting
- Redness/ Soreness of the throat
- Runny Nose
Once the fever has started, a quick widespread of pink to red spots or bumps start to develop on the body. Most often, these spots can be found on the legs, arms, chest and trunk. These rashes may or may not be itchy, depending on the type of virus that has infected the patient.
If there happens to be a severe rash, it could be a sign that there are large welts that are part of the condition. These could ulcerate and produce fluids, which could expose the beneath tissue. This can also be an itchy type of rash.
What Causes Viral Exanthem?
While viral exanthem is common among children, it could also be prevalent in adults. Most of the time, when an adult experiences the condition, it could be a drug-related reaction. Or it could be caused by toxins released by an immune overreaction or the virus itself. Some viruses that are believed to cause viral exanthema include the following:
- Fifth disease
- Respiratory viruses
- Scarlet fever
- Staph infection
- Stomach viruses
Viral Exanthem Diagnosis
Most of the time, viral exanthema can be misdiagnosed by a doctor. This is because the condition is very minimal and have common symptoms. In such cases, doctors may prescribe medication that could do little to help take care of the problem. A common misdiagnosis is Psoriasis, a rare skin disorder. Since this condition shares common symptoms as viral exanthem, it is easy for physicians to misdiagnose it. This is why it is best to consult with at least a couple of physicians to ensure that the symptoms lead to the latter.
Treating Viral Exanthem
In most cases, treatment for viral exanthema is not considered a necessary prescription. While it may depend on what is being caused by the virus, it does not produce permanent damage. As a matter of fact, viral exanthem is a condition that naturally goes away on its own. In most cases, the virus can go away in just ten days. If the condition is very severe, it could last up to fourteen days. This is why doctors typically require their patients to rest at home so they can take care of the condition quickly.
Some of the treatments for viral exanthem include:
- Taking oral antihistamine if there is an uncontrollable itch.
- Over-the-counter medication for onset of pain and fever.
Other self-care treatments for viral exanthem are:
- Getting enough rest
- Drinking a lot of liquid to rehydrate the body.
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to increase the body’s nutrition.
- Washing skin regularly with a mild soap.
- Taking frequent baths.
- Wearing loose clothing so it doesn’t cause irritation.
- Applying moisturizer to help with skin dryness.
When to See Your Doctor
If the viruses causing viral exanthem produce a more serious health risk, it is best to visit your doctor so you can get a more aggressive treatment option. This is particularly true if you encounter high fever during the infection. When this happens, it could produce brain damage. In worst cases, it could lead to coma or death if not attended to properly.
Look out for these symptoms:
- Stiff neck
- Unconsciousness, seizures, or confusion
- Severe headache
- High temperature of over 100 degrees for more than one day
- Severe vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea
- Sputum or severe cough with blood or pus
- Red tongue, eyes or mouth
- Painful and swollen joints
- Redness, swelling or spots on the soles of your palms
- Bright red rash that does not fade with finger pressure
If any of these symptoms are present, make sure you head to the nearest hospital as soon as you can. This way, your doctor can have blood tests or procedures done to look for a more serious cause of the rash. At the same time, antibiotics may be prescribed to help get rid of the problem.
Viral exanthem is really not a serious condition. But the thought of being absent from work for a few days to nurse your rashes and get rest could be disappointing for a lot of people. Then again, it could also mean great news for individuals since they get to rest at home and do nothing. Just remember that if you have it, you need to avoid exposure to other individuals so they won’t contract the virus as well.