Erythematous rash

Background

  • These rashes can occur in a variety of inflammatory and infectious conditions, some of which can be rapidly fatal

Rash Red Flags[1]

  • Fever
  • Toxic appearance
  • Hypotension
  • Mucosal lesions
  • Severe pain
  • Very old or young age
  • Immunosuppressed
  • New medication

Clinical Features

  • Characterized by diffuse red skin from capillary congestion, mimicking a bad sunburn.

Differential Diagnosis

Erythematous rash

Evaluation

  • First, try applying lateral pressure to the skin and see if it sloughs (Nikolsky’s sign)
  • Then, to further narrow the differential, consider wither or not the patient is febrile or toxic in appearance
    • Patients with an erythematous rash plus fever are also at high risk for having a deadly diagnosis

Management

Disposition

See Also

External Links

References

  1. Nguyen T and Freedman J. Dermatologic Emergencies: Diagnosing and Managing Life-Threatening Rashes. Emergency Medicine Practice. September 2002 volume 4 no 9.

Authors:

Ross Donaldson