Maculopapular Rash
maculopapular rash

A maculopapular rash usually occurs at a large area on the body, and is usually red and has small, confluent bumps. The sandpapery rash of scarlet fever, or scarletina, is the classic example of a maculopapular rash. The most distinctive feature of the rash is the pattern of macules or a small, flat, red area of discoloration, and papules, a small, raised lesion.

maculopapular rash

A maculopapular rash is a marker for many diseases. Most of the time, the cause is viral infection and depending on the severity of the rash, it could indicate serious medical concerns. Ordinarily, a maculopapuar rash looks like red bumps on a flat, red patch of skin.


  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dry skin

Since maculopapular rashes are most common in infections and body immune responses, more than one symptom may appear.


  • Drug reaction
  • Bacterial or viral infection
  • Allergies
  • Our body’s own systematic inflammation

Any allergy to a drug may be the cause if the rash develops 4 to 12 days after taking medication. But the rashes generally fade after a week or two. Be sure to consult your doctor in case it reappears.

Causes from viral infection:

  • Measles
  • EBV infection
  • Scarlet fever
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease
  • Herpes
  • Zika
  • Hepatitis B or C infection
  • Ebola
  • HIV

It’s best to see a doctor in case you get a maculopapular rash. Diagnosis can be difficult because there are many possible causes for the rash.

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