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What could cause a red rash all over the body?

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Quick Answer

The most common causes of red rashes all over the body are chickenpox, German measles and taking certain drugs, explains Dr. Chris Iliades on Everyday Health. Skin rashes are typically swollen or irritated, and they are often accompanied by red skin, itchy skin, burning skin, skin bumps and scaly skin.

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What could cause a red rash all over the body?
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Full Answer

The virus called varicella zoster, known as chickenpox, causes a skin rash of itchy blisters on the face, chest and back, says Dr. Iliades. Chickenpox is usually accompanied by sore throat and fever. A vaccine is available for chickenpox. Treatments include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, creams and cold compresses. Rubella, or German measles, is another viral skin rash that commonly affects children and young adults. Symptoms include rashes of red and itchy skin spots, fever, swollen glands, sore throat, runny nose and headache. Treatment for this type of rash is similar to that of chickenpox.

Skin rash is also caused by a side effect of a drug, an allergic reaction to a drug and sensitivity to sunlight due to a medication. Drug rashes include red or purple skin discoloration, skin bump eruptions and scaly skin. These can occur immediately after taking the drug or several hours later and take place anywhere on the skin and inside the mouth. Treatment involves stopping the medication and taking antihistamines or steroids, notes Dr. Iliades.

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