Exanthematous diseases, symptoms and treatments

Fonte: shutterstock

Itchy red spots, flecks, papules or blisters, with or without fever, and other symptoms are the most common features of exanthematous diseases, which mainly affect children, and especially at the end of winter and in spring. But what exactly are they, and what do they depend on?

«Virtually all viruses - or almost - and some bacteria can cause rashes, namely rashes spread "explains the pediatrician of the Santagostino Medical Center in our city, Marinella Lavelli.

According to one of the latest proposed classifications, published in the Future Microbiology journal in 2022, there are six classic childhood rashes:

  1. scarlet fever (bacterial),
  2. measles,
  3. rubella,
  4. chickenpox,
  5. megaloeritema o infectious erythema (the so-called fifth disease)
  6. ed critical rash (the sixth disease).

Measles, rubella, chicken pox, fifth and sixth diseases are of viral origin.

"Fortunately, diseases such as measles and rubella are now rarely seen, thanks to vaccinations," Lavelli points out. Although it must be said that in recent years there has been a decline in childhood vaccination coverage in Del Paese.

To these six classic diseases we can also add another one, which is syndrome hands-feet-mouth, also of viral origin.

In this article we will provide a list of all these diseases and, browsing the various links, you will find all the symptoms and cycle. However, it should be emphasized that it is always necessary consult your pediatrician to decide how to deal with the course of the disease also because in some cases it may be necessary to take drugs (scarlet fever: antibiotics are taken) while in others not.


Exanthematous diseases (PHOTO)

go to the gallery

Exanthematous diseases: chicken pox, rubella, scarlet fever, fifth and sixth diseases: mainly affect children Red spots, itchy blisters, cough and sometimes even fever: these are ...

In this article

  • scarlet fever
  • measles
  • rubella
  • chickenpox
  • fifth disease
  • sixth disease
  • hands feet mouth

1. Scarlet fever


La scarlet fever is a bacterial infectious disease due to Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus - a germ also responsible for other diseases such as tonsillitis and impetigo - and for the toxins it produces.

It mainly affects school-age children, but as there are several strains of this Streptococcus you can get sick with scarlet fever several times in the course of life.

Symptoms of Scarlet Fever

What are the delivery times? symptoms? After 2 or 3 days from the infection they appear

  • sore throat,
  • He retched,
  • temperature,
  • chills
  • and headache.
  • The tongue is initially covered with a white patina which will then become strawberry red.

After another couple of days the rash also arrives, that is a characteristic rash that looks like a uniform redness, but which is actually due to a myriad of reddish specks.

How scarlet fever is treated

Scarlet fever is treated with antibiotic therapy, which is necessary for avoid the risk of complications. Until recently it was thought that there was also a milder form, called scarlet fever or fourth disease. Today, however, the majority of experts agree that this form does not exist.

Read also: Fourth disease or scarlet fever, does it really exist?

2. Measles


Il measles, caused by the virus of the morbillivirus genus, is a highly contagious, infectious exanthematous disease. The most affected are children between 1 and 3 years old.

Measles Symptoms

In the vast majority of cases, i symptoms they are not serious. At first they are similar to those of a cooling:

  • dry cough,
  • a runny nose,
  • red eyes.

Over time, the fever rises and small white patches appear on the inside of the cheeks. After 3-4 days, red-brown spots form, which start from behind the ears and then spread to the face, neck, trunk and finally arms and legs.

How measles is treated

There is no specific cure: only i are treated symptoms. For this, paracetamol or ibuprofen and cough syrups can be used. Antibiotics should only be used for complications.

In fact, it should be remembered that, while not typically a serious disease, measles can lead to complications relatively rare, but also potentially very dangerous, so much so that they can lead to death (there are about 30-100 deaths per 100 people affected). The good news is that measles can be prevented through the vaccine.

Measles and pregnancy
If a pregnant woman contracts measles during pregnancy, her baby is at an increased risk of being born premature or of low weight. Read also: Measles vaccine

3. Rubella


La rubella it is a viral exanthematous infectious disease, which mainly affects the age group 5 - 14. Its manifestation is usually mild (lighter than measles), and usually does not recur a second time.

Symptoms of rubella

What are the delivery times? symptoms? Skin rash (with small pink and flat spots), swelling of the lymph nodes at the base of the nape, at the back of the neck and behind the ears.

The risky side concerns the waiting period: if rubella is contracted during pregnancy, the effects on the fetus and embryo can be very serious, particularly if the infection occurs in the first months. In this article we explain everything about the Rubeo - test to do in pregnancy.

How rubella is treated

There are no specific therapies and it typically heals on its own in 7-10 days. In case of fever and general malaise, the pediatrician can prescribe antifebrile and pain relievers.

4. Varicella


In older children and adults, headaches and malaise are expected, followed by the appearance of unmistakable pustules similar to pimples along the whole body, while in small children there are no signs and the rash immediately takes place: it is the chickenpox, a infectious disease caused by a virus from the group of Herpes (the same that can cause the Zoster or Sant 'fire).

Symptoms of chickenpox

  • Headache and malaise,
  • with itchy pustules that appear first on the face and chest and then all over the body.

They look like pimples, but some have yellow serum blisters on them.

How chickenpox is treated

Symptoms are usually treated with antifebriles or, if necessary, with antihistamines to reduce itching.

Usually it is not repeated twice: here are all the pediatrician's answers to your questions about chickenpox.

Read also: Activities to do at home when the child is sick

5. Fifth disease


Call also infectious erythema or megaloerythema fifth disease it is caused by parvovirus B19 and occurs especially in children between the ages of 5 and 15.

Symptoms of the fifth disease

It can start with

  • a mild fever,
  • headaches and flu symptoms which then vanish to leave the place
  • to a bright red manifestation that affects the cheeks first,

so much so that there is also talk of red or slapped cheek disease.

It is a mild viral form that mostly does not cause particular complications. If contracted during pregnancy it can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

How the fifth disease is treated

It does not require specific therapy, but the symptoms can be treated, for example with antifebrile or antihistamines if there is itching.

6. Sixth disease


The most affected are children between 6 months and 2 years, and its maximum incidence is in spring-autumn: it is the sixth disease, a viral disease characterized by several days of high fever, which may disappear suddenly, followed by the appearance of a flat, pink, measles-like rash.

Symptoms of the sixth disease

The sixth disease usually involves

  • a mild upper respiratory infection,
  • followed by a high fever (more than 39,5 ° C) for up to one week.

How is the sixth disease treated?

There is no specific therapy: at most, the pediatrician can advise antifebrili.

Read also: Fever in children, what to do when they get burned

7. Hands feet mouth


Symptoms and care of the mouth, hands and feet.

Initial symptoms are mild fever, lack of appetite, general malaise, and sometimes stomach ache. Subsequently, red spots appear in the mouth area and in some cases also on the tongue that quickly transform, becoming small painful ulcerations. Within 48 hours, the rash spreads to the hands, feet and sometimes even to the genital area: it is the mouth-hands-feet, a frequent infection for which there is no targeted treatment, the disease heals spontaneously within seven days.

How to cure

Again, at most, an antifebrile may be useful.

However, if you contract your mouth hands and feet during pregnancy, there are specific procedures to follow.

(article first published on April 1, 2009)

  • exanthematous diseases
  • chickenpox
  • scarlet fever
  • rubella
  • measles
  • infectious diseases
  • 3-5 children years
add a comment of Exanthematous diseases, symptoms and treatments
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.