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How do you know if a rash is contagious?

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Quick Answer

If a rash looks like an infectious condition, such as a red ring and pustules running around its edges, as in ringworm, then it is likely to be contagious, notes MedicineNet. Skin problems resulting from bacterial, fungal and viral infections all can spread, but they appear with different characteristics.

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How do you know if a rash is contagious?
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Full Answer

The most frequently occurring viral infection on the skin is a wart, reports MedicineNet. Warts begin as tiny bumps with a rough, dense surface and show up all over the body. One common example is oral herpes simplex, which shows up as an inflammation on the lip that leads to cold sores. These sores grow and develop pus before resolving within a couple of weeks. While they are open, the sores are contagious.

Impetigo and folliculitis are the most common bacterial infections that look like a rash on the skin, explains MedicineNet. Both conditions stem from strep or staph germs. The bumps on the skin often have pus on top or have developed a plaque and are sensitive to the touch. Fungal infections, in contrast, often have rashes that form a scaly covering on the rash. All three types of infectious rashes spread with contact, so taking care during outbreaks is a must.

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