What Is a Leukemia Skin Rash?

In cases of acute myelogenous leukemia, or AML, leukemia cells travel up to the skin making spots that resemble a rash, notes Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. When acute leukemia sets in, the symptoms manifest over a few days and quickly become intense.

AML and acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL, manifest with similar symptoms. The only visible difference is the appearance of cells that look like a rash with acute myelogenous leukemia. Some of the other symptoms of acute leukemia include fever, easy bleeding or bruising, and joint or bone pain. The easy bruising can indicate low platelets, and the joint pain results from the amalgamation of cancer cells at that point in the body, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

Painless lumps that form in the stomach, armpit, groin, neck and around the eyes are also signs of acute leukemia. As the spleen and liver enlarge, the area under the ribs feels full and painful in some cases. Unexplained loss of appetite and shortness of breath, resulting from swollen lymph nodes or thymus, are signs as well. The doctor performs several blood tests to find out if leukemia is the underlying factor, reports Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.