HIV Rashes Causes treatment

HIV Rashes – Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

HIV refers to Human Immunodeficiency Virus which causes AIDS. It is a unique virus that attacks the immune system. Our body has specific white cells to fight against diseases; HIV finds those white cells of the immune system and kill.

People with HIV experience pain. According to the study, half of the women with HIV had pain for six months. This pain is common and occurs at any stage of this disease. It can also damage any part of the body as the infection progress. However, it depends on the person’s health. Some individual experience severe pain and some may not. But now HIV treatment has improved to reduce the pain.

Rashes on the skin are a symptom of HIV disease. It happens within two months after catching the virus. It is confusing like other signs of HIV in the initial period as rashes may associate with any other viral infection. Therefore understand the cause and symptoms of the disease.

Causes of HIV Rashes

The immune system finds difficult to fight with spreading HIV. Therefore, it is difficult to fight against rashes causing infections.

Molluscum contagiosum

It is a virus which affects the skin. It also identifies as water warts. This virus causes viral infection of the surface of body skin. Molluscum contagiosum have a flesh kind of small pink bump with a dimple in the center. These small bumps don’t cause any pain but may have Itchiness. These lesions always occur in groups.

Molluscum contagiosum virus affects the body parts such as the face, arm, neck, legs, genital area, and abdomen.

When these bumps are left untreated, may disappear on their own by leaving a scar. Every individual experience the different appearance of bumps. It may last from 2 months – four years.

Molluscum contagiosum virus develops through direct sexual contact with an affected person or touching virus-contaminated object such as a towel any other cloth.

The affected individual can cause themselves to spread the virus in other body parts. The risk factor include

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Weak immune system
  • Crowded living conditions

If an infected person already has immune system disorder, then it is difficult to treat the Molluscum contagiosum. There are more chances of reinfection.

The treatment for this virus involves freezing and removing the virus, cosmetic surgeries. Even laser therapy can be helpful to remove the lesions.

Herpes viruses

It is one of the causes of HIV rashes. Herpes viruses commonly occur in individuals with HIV and AIDS. People with weak immune system find it difficult to stop the disease from spreading.

The affected person should immediately seek medical help after finding the rashes. Antiviral drugs and pain relievers can be helpful to remove the rashes. If the infection happens near eyes, it causes lasting damage to eyes.

There are 8 types of herpes viruses such as

Human herpesvirus 1:

It identifies as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1). HHV1 causes cold ulcers around the mouth. It is an infectious disease which spread through skin to skin contact. It also occurs in genital parts. The disease may easily transmit in oral sex if the skin has cuts. It is also spread from an individual with active lesion by sharing razor, utensils, and towel.

Human herpesvirus 2:

It is also a sexually transmitted disease which has cold sores around the mouth.

Human herpesvirus 3:

It identifies as a varicella-zoster virus which results in chickenpox. It also leads to repetitive skin infection such as shingles or herpes zoster. The shingles happen when an inactive varicella-zoster virus becomes active again after chickenpox. It infects nerves cells and skins cells. It appears as belt or band shape accompanied with tingling, itching and chronic pain.

HHV4-Human herpesvirus 4:

It passes through an infected person’s saliva, that’s why it identifies as kissing disease. It also transmitted by sneezing, coughing and sharing a utensil with an infected person.

Human herpesvirus 5:

Officially it identifies as cytomegalovirus disease passes through breastfeeding, sexual contact and an organ transplant from an infected person. It may also affect the newborn baby and cause hepatitis problem.

Human herpesvirus 6:

This virus found in blood cells causes roseola in which the patient gets high fever and skin rashes in small children.

HHV7-Human herpesvirus 7:

It is closely associated with HHV6 and causes roseola disease, but have other clinical effects.

Human herpesvirus 8:

This virus recently found in a tumor called Kaposi’s sarcoma. This tumor commonly presents in individuals with AIDS.

Kaposi sarcoma

It is a kind of rare skin cancer, which displays dark spots in purple, red or brown color. Kaposi sarcoma occurs in individuals with AIDS, and its rashes may stay mild or also become severe. These rashes appear flat or raised. It occurs in aged people and grows slow. The Immunosuppression therapy with Kaposi sarcoma happens in patients who undergo organ transplantation and result in skin rashes.


HIV treatment-related pill and other contaminations cause to develop rashes on the skin. The outbreaks can be painful, itchy and sore. It may take days of time or weeks to leave.

The rashes accompanied with fatigue, fever, and breathing problem can be a sign of chronic health condition. It may happen due to the hypersensitivity of any drug.


The patient may experience several symptoms. When the immune system fights against the HIV, it leads to rashes. However, other symptoms include:


HIV affects differently in different people. When someone comes in contact with HIV, they might experience unusual and specific symptoms. The symptoms of HIV can be mild to severe.

Fever is the common symptoms of HIV. It happens due to the raised body temperature. Various other conditions also cause HIV fever.


People with HIV infection get the symptom of fatigue. It is an inflammatory response by the attacked immune system. It causes weakness, laziness more than a normal routine to do anything. Fatigue can be an exhausting symptom which occurs in the initial and severe stage of HIV infection. Fatigue may occur due to its indirect causes such as insomnia, depression, idiopathic fatigue, and drug effects.

Swollen lymph nodes

It is a symptom of HIV rashes. Lymph nodes are the important part of the immune system. Lymph is a clear fluid of white blood cell which circulates in the entire body and fights with a virus attack.

Major lymph locates in the neck, armpit, and groin. When this lymph becomes tender, it identifies as swollen glands.

Generally, lymph process involved the following activity.

  • Cleaning excess proteins
  • Removing additional fluids
  • Generating antibodies
  • Producing specific white blood cells
  • Fighting with viruses and bacteria

HIV rashes cause swelling when lymph node fights the virus.

A sore throat

People with HIV experience severe recurring sore throat. It is a symptom of HIV and AIDS as the patient develop thrush. Thrush is a disease in which Candida albicans grow in the lining of the mouth. When the immune system fights some severe condition thrush occurs as a sore throat and result in swallowing problem.

Muscles Pain

Other common symptoms of HIV rashes include muscle and joint pain. The patient may also get the rheumatic disease. It can occur due to HIV or with accompanying diseases, inflammation, and bacteria.

A headache

It occurs as HIV symptom and rashes due to low CD4 T-cells. It will lead to malignancies, infections and nervous system disorder. You need to pay attention to the symptom of a chronic headache which may happen by medication toxicity.


During the beginning stage of HIV infection, the patient may develop vomiting, nausea and appetite trouble. It happens by the bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases which upset the immune system.


HIV rashes accompanied with night sweat can be a symptom. The HIV infected person get night sweats which might relate to fever caused by another disease in the body. Another disease includes

  • Histoplasmosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Mycobacterium

Types of HIV Rashes

HIV can trigger different skin reaction as the disease progress. Here are the different types of rashes you will experience.

Seroconversion rashes

The HIV infected people develop rashes and flu within a few weeks. This condition identifies as seroconversion which happens as the body creates antibodies for HIV.

This disease can also lead to swollen lymph nodes and fever. In this disease, HIV rashes appear red and flat which doesn’t have Itchiness. It occurs on large parts of the body such as back and chest.

Reactions to HIV drugs

Rashes may occur as a reaction to HIV medicine. These types of rashes appear red tiny bumps on the large part. The reaction rashes occur with fever and muscles pain.


The infection spread on a deeper level in the skin surface. It causes pain and swelling. Cellulitis spread quickly and has a fever as well. These rashes begin as a small cut in the skin. Due to these rashes, the skin remains hot and inflamed.

Cellulitis appears even if there is no skin problem.

Mouth herpes

These are the highly contagious type of herpes. Due to the weak immune system, nearly 46% of people get mouth complications. Mouth herpes creates difficulty in eating and medicine which may occur when a person comes in contact with HS1 and HS2 virus.

Molluscum contagiosum

These rashes appear like wart condition. It may also spread to other people. Molluscum contagiosum lesions occur as skin color and don’t have any pain. If these rashes left untreated, then lead to the worse condition.


These HIV rashes happen when a hair follicle gets HIV infection. It commonly occurs on a shaved area such as face and legs in the form of a pus-filled red bump.

These rashes look like as if it contains ingrown hair inside a pimple and occur alone or in groups.


Dermatitis is a different skin problem. But HIV infected people get only seborrheic dermatitis. These rashes can be itchy and cause scaly plaques which occur in scalp, face, chest, and groin. It may become chronic over time.


The person with HIV may experience scabies, which happens through bugs. This kind of rashes occurs as red erected bumps with itchiness. Scabies surrounded by line and it is extremely infectious.

Fungal Infection

The people with HIV are more likely to get various types of fungal infections. Ringworm is the most common fungus that happens in HIV infected person.

When to see a doctor?

If you are not sure about the rashes and assume it might happen by HIV then consult a professional expert. They will diagnose your skin conditions and the type of rash you are getting. You require informing them about the other symptoms for proper understanding.

HIV Rashes treatment

The HIV rashes can manage with medications and self-care. The treatment depends on the cause and symptom of the rash and its virus. The rashes treatment involves

  • Steroids
  • Antiviral medication for herpes zoster and herpes simplex
  • Antihistamines
  • Laser treatment or liquid nitrogen for rashes treatment related to molluscum contagiosum.

Home treatment for HIV Rashes

No doubt, every patient of HIV will undergo treatment from professional and specialist. Here we will learn about the cares you can take to reduce the discomfort of rashes.

  • Discontinue the medication which making rashes more sever.
  • Wear comfortable cotton clothes. Avoid wearing synthetic cloth which can rub the skin and hurt rashes.
  • Skip having hot showers
  • Avoid soaps and lotion, which are new chemical based and you have not used it before. Read the product label and avoid products which contain chemicals such as propylene glycol, parabens, and petrolatum
  • Avoid exposure to extreme cold; make sure to wear warm cloth during the cold season. Cold can make rashes symptoms severe.
  • Avoid direct sunlight exposure, as direct sunlight may increase the rashes symptoms.
  • Avoid rubbing your skin during or after a bath.
  • Use antihistamine cream under your doctor’s guidance to reduce discomfort and itching.
  • During winter season and dry climate, use a humidifier at your home and sleeping area to maintain moisture in your skin.
  • Reduce skin itching and inflammation by using calamine lotion.
  • Check out developing sensitivity and allergies from foods, washing products. Remember if you have any allergies, HIV can make it even worse.
  • Practice good hygiene and care for yourself. Protect your immune system.
  • If your rashes relate with other symptoms, check with your doctor.

When the rash occurs from chronic HIV infection, it does not have Itchiness. However, rashes occurring from quick spreading infections and medication relates to itching. These types of itching happen in the severe stage of virus contamination. The patient needs to seek immediate medical help to calm the itchiness.

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