How Can You Identify an HIV Rash on the Body?


Quick Answer

Rashes caused by the HIV virus typically appear as a flattened and red area of skin, usually covered by small red bumps, according to Healthline. These rashes can appear anywhere on the body but are most common on the chest, face, feet and hands.

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For mild forms of skin rash, over-the-counter medicine such as Benadryl and hydrocortisone may prove effective in treating it, states Healthline. More severe cases may require a prescription. Another common type of rash experienced by people with HIV is atopic dermatitis. This type of rash is characterized by scaly, itchy, red skin and may affect up to half of all people with HIV. Typical treatments for this type of rash are steroid creams.

Xerosis is another skin rash that many people with HIV experience, according to Healthline. This rash usually presents with dryness of the skin that causes scaly and itchy skin patches. Topical steroids and moisturizers often prove effect in treating this type of skin rash. People with more advanced forms of HIV or highly compromised immune systems are prone to develop a rash called prurigo nodularis. This rash appears as lumps on the skin that resemble scabs. The skin also becomes very itchy in people with this type of rash. Treatments typically include steroid creams and antiretroviral medications.

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