Red, flattened areas of the skin with small, red bumps characterize HIV rashes, states Healthline. The face and chest are the most common sites for HIV rash. It can also appear on the feet and hands, but this is rare. Mouth ulcers are also a sign of HIV rash.
Severe skin rashes can develop through use of HIV medication, according to Healthline. These include Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. The main classes of anti-HIV drugs known to cause rashes are NNRTIs, NRTIs and PIs. Mild forms of HIV rashes typically respond well to hydrocortisone cream and diphenhydramine, while serious rashes require medical attention. Hot showers, direct sunlight and specific allergies can worsen the effects of an HIV rash.