What is Roseola Rash?
Roseola rash is a common viral disease that affects kids, particularly those between 6 months to 2 years old. Other names of this disorder include sixth disease, exanthema subitum, roseola infantum. Roseola rash is not considered to be a serious disease, but various children react differently. Some develop a mild case of roseola, while others experience the whole symptoms typical of roseola.
Studies show that roseola have higher risks in older infants because they have yet to develop antibodies against certain virus; whereas, while they are still in the mother’s womb, they are well protected by the mother’s immune system. However, this direct protection from their mother fades away with time, and this makes them vulnerable to viral diseases such as roseola.
Roseola Rash Symptoms
After exposure of the child to someone who has roseola rash, it would take for approximately one to weeks for the symptoms to appear. These signs and symptoms may be too mild for it to be noticeable, but for those who show symptoms, here are the typical ones:
The kind of fever that hits the child is usually sudden and a high one, which is often 103°F or 39.4°C. Fever might also be accompanied by sore throat, runny nose, and cough. In addition, lymph nodes of the neck may become swollen as well. The fever phase may last for three to five days.
After a few days the fever had set in, rashes typically appear, but may not happen to some other patients. These are flat or raised pinkish red rashes and may have a white halo in the middle. Areas commonly affected are the chest, the back, and the abdomen. Rashes will then spread to the neck and arms. The distribution may vary from patient to patient because in others, the rashes may reach the legs and the face while in some other patients, these areas are being spared.
Other symptoms may include as follows:
- Mood irritability
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen eyelids
- Mild diarrhea
Although a roseola rash is not a serious condition, but the high fever that it may bring is something that one should be wary about. If the child would experience a fever of 103°F and higher and may last for more than seven days already, it is recommended to have the child seen by a doctor. This is done to rule out other conditions that may have caused the fever.
Convulsions accompany a very high fever. However, one may not be able to spot the seizure when it exactly happens. By the time you get to notice a child’s high fever, the seizure may have already passed; therefore if you suspect a seizure, have the child checked by physician the right away.
Roseola Rash Causes
The culprit of this disease is the human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), but studies show another causative agent, which is the human herpes virus 7 (HHV7). Once a person is infected with such virus, the virus will be transmitted to another individual by direct contact with the infected person through respiratory secretions and saliva. For example, children sharing the same cup by someone who is infected will surely facilitate transfer of the virus.
Roseola Rash Treatment
As part of proper management of the condition, an appointment with the physician is always sought especially if the rashes do not improve or disappear after a few more days and a high fever that lasts for more than a week. And to help the doctor arrive to a more concrete diagnosis, the following information should come in handy:
- List of the child’s signs and symptoms and for how long these have been in existence
- Key medical information, including previous medical conditions affecting the child and drugs taken
- Possible causes of infection, perhaps exposure to other children who have high fever as well
Roseola rash is considered to be a mild viral disease; therefore treatment is not usually indicated. With doctor’s prescription, fever can be managed by over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin is a no-no because this drug has been associated with Reye’s syndrome in children.
Antiviral medications can also be given to children as there is no specific treatment for this disease. Antiviral drugs may include ganciclovir (Cytovene). This also aims to manage infection in people who have weak immune systems. Note that antibiotics are found to be ineffective in the treatment of viral diseases such as roseola.
Various home remedies can also be provided to those who are suffering from roseola:
Rest – Roseola can cause fatigue. Therefore it is recommended for children to get enough rest, especially when accompanied by fever, to completely recover.
Fluid Intake – Increasing the fluid intake (water, juices, lime soda, electrolyte solution) will facilitate release of impurities out from the body through frequent urination.
Healthy diet – Always maintain a healthy diet to make sure that children will have a complete supply of nutrients their body needs for optimum protection from certain organisms that would bring harm to them. It can be in the form of bacteria, fungi, or virus.
Sponge baths – Lukewarm sponge bath or cool washcloth can be used to lower the fever and discomfort. Avoid using ice, cold water, or cold baths as they may cause rapid decrease in temperature and may lead to chills.
Although it is very rare, if in any case treatment of roseola may not be successful, there can be serious complications that go with it. It includes aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, and febrile seizures. Signs of febrile seizure may include unconsciousness; twitching or jerking movements occur in the arms, legs, and face and will last for about two to three minutes; and lastly, patients may have loss of bowel and bladder control.
Is Roseola Rash Contagious?
The serious thing about roseola is that it is contagious, even if the affected individual has not been clearly diagnosed yet. Since some patients may not manifest the rashes that are typical of roseola and show only fever, there is a big possibility that they can already infect others who may come in contact with them. The virus can be spread through the tiny drops of fluid expelled by the infected person by sneezing, laughing, talking, or coughing. Children who inhale the drops or touch them and touch their noses and mouth would most likely bring the virus closer to their body and even facilitate the entrance of the virus inside the system.
Therefore the best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to observe proper hand washing. Since children are fond of touching a lot of objects that come in contact with their hands, it is always the responsibility of the caregiver or the mother to wash the child’s hands regularly or disinfect toys and materials that they use. As much as possible, extra effort should be done to prevent, if not stop, the spread of the virus. If the child is sick due to roseola, it is better to isolate the child so to avoid infecting other children. Also note that children with roseola may have a low immunity; isolating them from others may also be helpful to facilitate faster healing and limiting their exposure to other opportunistic organisms that may add to the infection.
How long does it last?
Generally, this disease usually lasts for about seven to ten days. The typical high fever will run for three to seven days followed by the appearance of the pinkish red rashes. The rashes disappear within hours or in about three to four days.
Roseola Rash Pictures
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