There are many viruses, particularly those prevalent in children, which cause contagious skin rashes. These contagious skin rashes can be spread by person to person contact and can also some can be airborne. There are also bacterial rashes that are passed from person to person as well as rashes due to parasites such as scabies which are easily communicated. Let’s see a few below:
Chicken pox is a highly contagious virus, which often affects children below the age of 12. It can also affect people of any age. The main symptoms include hundreds of itchy red blisters which cover the entire body. Chicken pox is caused by the herpes virus family and the same virus can cause shingles in adults. In addition to the rash, it can also produce symptoms such as a high temperature, headaches, stomach aches as well as a noticeable loss of appetite. You can reduce the risk of contracting Chicken pox by having an immunization injection, however it has been known for those who have been immunized to still contract a mild dose if they have been exposed to someone else who has been infected. It is usually a benign, though uncomfortable virus. However, it can lead to complications in a minority of cases. Anyone who believes they are suffering from Chicken pox should seek medical advice from their local health care provider.
Measles, which is also known as Rubella, can be a very serious infection. Measles is still responsible for thousands of deaths globally each year, even with the availability of vaccination. It is highly contagious and is spread via contact with liquids from an infected person. It is usually spread by coughing or sneezing. Measles produces a red rash but they are not contagious skin rashes, as the virus spreads through airborne contact. A vaccination is available which also covers Mumps and is known as the MMR jab (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Some parents have been reluctant to allow their children to have this due to questions about a possible association with autism. However, this has not been proven. The reduced volume of immunization has caused a rise in these conditions in some areas, which has become a big worry, as they can in worst case scenarios be fatal.
Symptoms of measles include a skin rash, fever, coughing, blood shot eyes, light sensitivity and muscle pain. It is recommended that you rest and take in liquids to keep yourself hydrated. When I was a child I was seriously ill from this and the vaccine came out ironically a year later!
Scabies is another contagious rash that can be passed around at pre-schools, day care centers, schools and camps. It is caused by invisible mites that burrow under the skin and reproduce. The itching is quite uncomfortable and a prescription pesticide treatment of permethrin needs to be applied to the skin overnight. The parasites can also be in bedding and clothing and everything needs to be washed at high heat or bagged to prevent further infection. Antihistamines are used to aid with itching symptoms. Fortunately, the permethrin treatment is highly effective and will eradicate the mites.