How is rash characterized in dengue?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Rash in dengue fever is a maculopapular or macular confluent rash over the face, thorax, and flexor surfaces, with islands of skin sparing. The rash typically begins on day 3 and persists 2-3 days.

Fever typically abates with the cessation of viremia. Occasionally, and more commonly in children, the fever abates for a day and then returns, a pattern that has been called saddleback fever. A second rash may occur within 1-2 days of defervescence, lasting 1-5 days; it is morbilliform, is maculopapular, spares the palms and soles, and occasionally desquamates.

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