Viral exanthem

A non-specific viral exanthem is a widespread erythematous rash caused by a viral infection. Depending on the associated virus there may be fever, coryza, sore throat, malaise and anorexia.

The underlying cause of the rash may be due to:

  • A toxin produced by the virus
  • Damage to the skin by the virus
  • Immune response to the virus

Treatment is supportive if required. If particularly pruritic, antihistamines or emollients can be used. Antipyretics may be useful if a child is uncomfortable with fever.

References (PED cases)