AIDS is one of the life threatening diseases, caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Most commonly, HIV is caused due to unwanted sex or an overnight stand with an opposite partner who had been already infected with the virus. HIV rash is one of the most common and early symptom of AIDS, others being fever, chills, nausea and swollen lymph nodes. An HIV rash is a change in the color or texture of the skin, redness or inflammation. Medically known as a maculopapular rash, a typical HIV rash is slightly raised, small and dark in color. These rashes occur within two to six weeks after the infection. Most HIV rashes are mild to moderate and subside with continuous use of drugs. However, some rashes can be serious leading to significant skin loss and even death. To know the common signs and symptoms of HIV rash, go through the lines below.
Signs Of HIV Rash
- HIV rashes look like brown or red razor bumps on the skin. They look more like a type of eczema. The bumps appear to be dark red and brown in people with light skin while in people having dark skin, the bumps appear dark purple and black
- The rashes can affect any part of the body, though the most affected areas are face, trunk, hands and feet.
- Some people can experience blisters in the moist areas of the body, such as mouth, genitals, eyes, etc.
- Folliculitis, pimples and acne can develop around hair follicles on most skin areas of the body.
- These rashes can also cause itching sensation in some people.
- Other acute symptoms include peeling of the skin that eventually leads to sores and blisters in the genital regions.
- People affected with rashes are likely to develop fever, diarrhea, headaches, vision problems and decrease in weight.
- Other symptoms include swollen glands, muscle aches and pains, extreme fatigue, loss of memory, stiff and painful joints and regular fevers that are unexplained.
- Herpes virus infection can worsen the symptoms of HIV rashes in people at the advanced stage of HIV. This is characterized by red rashes that appear as fluid-filled blisters. Those with weakened immune system are more likely to develop this.
- Other conditions that can lead to skin rash include molluscum contagiosum (waxy bumps containing white, solid material), HPV warts, tinea (common fungal infections like ringworm, jock itch and athlete's foot), scabies (a mite infection), psoriasis, hives and eosinophilic folliculitis (which causes a rash similar to pimples on many parts of the body).
- People on medication to control or treat the HIV infection can also develop HIV rashes. In this case, the patients should inform their physicians and discontinue their medicines unless otherwise advised.
- People with HIV rashes should avoid direct sunlight and hot baths and showers as this can worsen the rashes.
- To reduce the rashes and control itching, it is best to use over the counter medications.
- Make a note of foods, medicines or soaps that you had started taking before developing the rash. This will enable you to identify any possible allergies.