When an individual is infected with the HIV or human immunodeficiency virus, then it may result in the development of rashes on several locations of the body. These dark and pigmented rashes are called HIV rashes. These develop in an individual in two or three weeks after infection.
HIV rash symptoms
The rashes may appear in the form or red or brown clusters of pimples or bumps similar to eczema. HIV rashes may also be in the form of blisters, lesions, irregular patches or sores in the mucous membranes of the body such as the genitals, mouth and eyes. Sometimes the lesions may be due to peeling of the skin that happens due to HIV infection. In rare cases there may be itching of the rashes.
HIV rashes are usually accompanied by inexplicable fever, fatigue, muscle aches and cramps, diarrhea, swollen glands, stiff joints as well as painful joints, difficulties in vision, memory loss, loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss.
HIV rashes are caused due to infection with the HIV virus or due to the consumption of medications used to treat HIV infection.
Most of the HIV rashes are not contagious and usually have a life span of two to three weeks.
Types of HIV rashes
• Drug rashes: HIV medications result in the development of drug rashes which appear in the form of small bumps or hives and may lead to peeling of the skin.
• Acute infection rash: It appears on the torso, limbs and palms after three to four weeks of getting infected by HIV. They are not as damaging as the other rashes and die in about three weeks.
• Herpes rashes: The herpes rashes are reddish in color, swollen and filled with fluids. They may burst when fully grown. They affect the genitals and the oral cavity.
• Symptomatic type of HIV rashes: This type of HIV rash develops in the last stages of AIDS and during the onset of chronic and debilitating conditions. The rashes may be dry, scaly and pink in color. They occur on the face, armpits, head scalp and the chest.
Infection by bacteria, other viruses and fungi may also lead to the development of other types of HIV rashes. Some of these rashes may be contagious and occur due to the tendency of the body to develop rashes.
Viral rashes include-
• Tiny, inflamed, red, pimple like rashes called HPV warts which occur on all parts of the body
• Mollucsum contagiosum which occurs in the moist regions of the body and spreads through clothes, bed sheets, towels and other items that are shared
Bacterial rashes include
• Hives on the skin that may result from food or drug allergies
• Bacterial follictus which are yellowish and grow in the hair follicles
• Eosinophilic follictus are itchy rashes that develop in the area around the hair follicles present in the upper part of the body. They are red in color.
• Scabies, which causes severe itching especially during the night. They develop in the feet, waist, palms and elbows
• Psoriasis, results in scaly patches on the skin which are reddish in color.
Fungal rashes include
• Tinea, which is a harmless, short-lived and a contagious rash resulting in distress and discomfort. They lead to jock itch, athlete foot and other infections like ringworm.
Locations of HIV rash
• HIV rashes may appear in the trunk of the body in the form of discolorations or pigmentations.
• The patches are more prominent in the chest area rather than the back.
• The neck and the face may also be affected by HIV rashes
• In certain cases, HIV rashes may appear on the feet, arms or the hands.
• In rare situations, HIV rashes may be present in the form of lumps on the hands or the feet.
• With the development and progress of HIV infection, the rashes may appear throughout the body causing sores, lesions and blisters in the oral cavity and the genitals.
Treatment and remedy for HIV rash
• If the rashes have resulted from medications, then those medications should be discontinued after consulting with a doctor. Also, once the rashes have perished, the medications should not be restarted with the doctor’s permission.
When one has HIV rashes one should take the following preventive measures to find relief from HIV rashes:
• Stay away from or avoid extreme heat or direct sunlight
• Extreme cold climates or weather conditions should also be avoided
• Relief can be found from itching, by the use of over the counter drugs like benadryl and hydrocortisone cream.
• Unprotected sex among the high risk groups should be avoided to prevent infection with contagious rashes. In addition, any form of blood to blood contact should be avoided
• Take cool showers and apply cool ointments every day. Hot showers or baths should be avoided.
• Avoid wearing tight clothes or fabric that may aggravate itching
• Avoid foods that may have triggered the development of HIV rash.
HIV Rash Pictures