Common Dermatological Diagnoses O-P

Common Dermatological Diagnoses O through R


What are some other types of bacterial skin infections?

The following are other common bacterial skin infections:

Infection

Symptoms

Treatment

Erysipelas

A skin infection caused by hemolytic streptococci, this condition usually affects the face, arms, legs, or where the skin is cut. Symptoms may include:

  • shiny, red, raised rash
  • small blisters
  • enlarged and tender lymph nodes

Treatment may include:

  • penicillin
  • erythromycin
Erythrasma A skin infection of the top layers of skin, more prevalent in the tropics. The condition mainly affects adults and persons with diabetes. The condition usually appears in areas on the body where skin touches skin, such as under the breast and in the groin area. Symptoms may include irregular pink patches that turn into brown scales.

Treatment may include:

  • antibiotics
  • antibacterial soap
  • The infection may recur, requiring another treatment.
Impetigo

A skin infection, caused by a staphylococci infection, which is characterized by pus-filled blisters. Blisters can range in size from peas to large rings. Impetigo tends to occur on the face, arms, or legs.

Immediate treatment may help prevent impetigo from infecting deeper layers of skin. Treatment often includes antibiotics.

Paronychia

A skin infection around a fingernail or toenail. The infection can be caused by a break in the skin due to a hangnail, manicuring, or other chronic irritation.

Symptoms may include:

  • pain
  • pus-filled abscess

Treatment may include:

  • hot compresses
  • soaking in warm water
  • cutting the abscess to drain the pus
  • antibiotics
  • if caused by a fungus, an applications of antifungal cream or another antifungal medication

The symptoms of bacterial skin infections may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.


What are other benign skin growths?

As a person grows older and is exposed to sunlight, the skin changes. Most people have some skin marks, such as freckles and moles, which may multiply or darken over time.

What are the different types of skin growths?

Skin Growth

Characteristics

Treatment

Dermatofibromas

Small, firm, red or brown bumps caused by an accumulation of fibroblasts (soft tissue cells under the skin). They often occur on the legs and may itch.

Dermatofibromas can be surgically removed if they become painful or itchy.

Dermoid Cyst

A benign tumor which is made up of hairs, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands. Some internal dermoid tumors may even contain cartilage, bone fragments, and teeth.

Dermoid cysts may be removed surgically for cosmetic reasons.

Freckles

Darkened, flat spots that typically appear only on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Freckles are common in people with blond or red hair.

No treatment is necessary for freckles.

Keloids

Smooth, firm, raised, fibrous growths on the skin that form in wound sites. Keloids are more common in African-Americans.

Keloids respond poorly to most treatment approaches. Injections of corticosteroid drugs may help to flatten the keloids. Other treatment approaches may include surgery or silicone patches to further flatten the keloids.

Keratoacanthomas

Round, flesh-colored growths that have a crater that contains a pasty material. These growths tend to appear on the face, forearm, or back of the hand. They usually disappear after a couple of months, but may leave scars.

Treatment usually includes a skin biopsy to rule out skin cancer. Other treatment may include surgical removal and/or injections of corticosteroids or fluorouracil.

Lipomas

Round or oval lumps under the skin caused by fatty deposits. Lipomas are more common in women and tend to appear on the forearms, torso, and back of the neck.

Lipomas are generally harmless, but if the lipoma changes shape, your physician may perform a biopsy. Treatment may include removal by surgery.

Moles (Nevi)

Small skin marks caused by pigment-producing cells in the skin. Moles can be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and some contain hair. Most moles are dark brown or black, but some are skin-colored or yellowish. Moles can change over time and often respond to hormonal changes.

Most moles are benign and no treatment is necessary. Some benign moles may develop into skin cancer (melanoma). See below for signs.

Atypical Moles (Dysplastic Nevi)

Larger than normal moles (more than a half inch across), atypical moles are not always round. Atypical moles can be tan to dark brown, on a pink background. These types of moles may occur anywhere on the body.

Treatment may include removal of any atypical mole that changes in color, shape and/or diameter. In addition, people with atypical moles should avoid sun exposure, since sunlight may accelerate changes in atypical moles. Persons with atypical moles should consult a physician with any changes that may indicate skin cancer.

Pyogenic Granulomas

Red, brown, or bluish-black, raised marks caused by excessive growth of capillaries (small blood vessels) and swelling. Pyogenic granulomas usually form after an injury to the skin.

Some pyogenic granulomas disappear without treatment. Sometimes, a biopsy is necessary to rule out cancer. Treatment may include surgical removal.

Seborrheic Keratoses

Flesh-colored, brown, or black wart-like spots. More common in middle-aged and older people, seborrheic keratoses may be round or oval and look like they are "stuck" on the skin.

Usually, no treatment is necessary. If the spots are irritated, or the patient wants them removed for cosmetic reasons, treatment may include freezing the area with liquid nitrogen or surgery.

Skin Tags

Soft, small, flesh-colored skin flaps on the neck, armpits, or groin.

If the skin tags are irritated, or the patient wants them removed for cosmetic reasons, treatment may include freezing the tags with liquid nitrogen or surgery.

 

Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma:

According to recent research, certain moles are at higher risk for changing into cancerous growths, including malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer. Moles that are present at birth and atypical moles have a greater chance of becoming malignant. Recognizing changes in your moles, by following this ABCD Chart, is crucial in detecting malignant melanoma, and other cancerous skin growths at its earliest stage of development. The warning signs are:

Name Description
Basal cell carcinoma Basal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 90 percent of all skin cancers. This highly treatable cancer starts in the basal cell layer of the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and grows very slowly. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a small, shiny bump or nodule on the skin - mainly those areas exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It commonly occurs among persons with light-colored eyes, hair, and complexion.
Squamous cell carcinoma Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20 percent of all skin cancer cases. Although more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, this cancer is highly treatable. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as nodules or red, scaly patches of skin, and may be found on the face, ears, lips, and mouth. However, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body. This type of skin cancer is usually found in fair-skinned people.
Malignant melanoma Malignant melanoma starts in the melanocytes - cells that produce pigment in the skin. Malignant melanomas usually begin as a mole that then turns cancerous. This cancer may spread quickly. Malignant melanoma most often appears on fair-skinned men and women, but persons with all skin types may be affected.

Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma

To prevent melanoma, it is important to examine your skin on a regular basis, and become familiar with moles, and other skin conditions, in order to better identify changes. According to recent research, certain moles are at higher risk for changing into malignant melanoma. Moles that are present at birth, and atypical moles, have a greater chance of becoming malignant. Recognizing changes in moles, by following this ABCD Chart, is crucial in detecting malignant melanoma at its earliest stage. The warning signs are:

Normal Mole / Melanoma Sign Characteristic
Photo comparing normal and melanoma moles showing asymmetry Asymmetry When half of the mole does not match the other half
Photo comparing normal and melanoma moles showing border irregularity Border When the border (edges) of the mole are ragged or irregular
Photo comparing normal and melanoma moles showing color Color When the color of the mole varies throughout
Photo comparing normal and melanoma moles showing diameter Diameter If the mole's diameter is larger than a pencil's eraser

Photographs Used By Permission: National Cancer Institute


What does tanning do to the skin?

Tanning is the skin's response to ultraviolet (UV) light - a protective reaction to prevent further injury to the skin from the sun. However, tanning does not prevent skin cancer.

What are risk factors for skin cancer?

A risk factor is anything that may increase a person's chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors.
Although these factors can increase a person's risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some people with one or more risk factors never develop the disease, while others develop disease and have no known risk factors.
But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease.

The following are possible risk factors for skin cancer:

  • heredity
    People with a family history of skin cancer are generally at a higher risk of developing the disease. People with fair skin and a northern European heritage appear to be most susceptible.
  • environment
  • Due to a reduction of ozone in the earth's atmosphere, the level of UV light today is higher than it was 50 or 100 years ago. Ozone serves as a filter to screen out and reduce the amount of UV light that we are exposed to. With less atmospheric ozone, a higher level of UV light reaches the earth's surface.

Other factors that contribute to skin cancer:

  • multiple nevi (moles) or atypical moles
  • exposure to coal and arsenic compounds
  • elevation
    Ultraviolet light is stronger as elevation increases (because the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes cannot filter UV as effectively as it does at sea level).
  • latitude
    The rays of the sun are strongest near the equator.
  • repeated exposure to x-rays
  • scars from disease and burns
  • immune suppression, such as in persons who have had organ transplants
  • repeated unprotected exposure to the sun with or without sunburn

What are some other dermatitis conditions?

The following are some of the other common dermatitis conditions:

Condition Description Symptoms Treatment
Localized Scratch dermatitis A chronic inflammation of the skin that usually affects more women than men, and more Asians and Native Americans than other races. The cause is unknown.

 

The condition can occur anywhere on the skin, including the anus. Symptoms may include:
  • itching
  • dryness and scaling
  • dark areas from rubbing
Effective treatment usually includes cessation of scratching or rubbing. Other treatment may include:
  • antihistamines or topical medications to control itching
  • corticosteroid creams
Nummular Dermatitis A chronic rash that usually affects middle-aged people and is more common in the winter. The cause is unknown. The condition is characterized by circular spots with small blisters, scabs, or scales. Although the condition can occur anywhere on the body, it usually appears on the back of the arms and legs, and on the buttocks. Other symptoms may include:
  • itchy areas of pimples
  • dry skin
  • Always consult your physician for a diagnosis
Treatment depends on the individual person, as one treatment approach is not effective for everyone with this condition. Treatment may include:
  • antibiotics
  • corticosteroids
  • ultraviolet light therapy
Perioral Dermatitis A red, bumpy rash around the mouth and chin that usually affects women between the ages of 20 and 60. The cause is unknown. Symptoms may include acne- or rosacea-like bumps. Treatment may include:
  • tetracyclines (antibiotics)
  • acne medication
Stasis Dermatitis A chronic inflammation of the lower legs. Caused by pooling of blood and fluid under the skin, the condition tends to affect people with varicose veins and edema (swelling). The skin may turn dark brown from this condition. Other symptoms may include:
  • red and scaly skin
  • swelling
  • warm skin
The goal of treatment is to reduce the pooling of blood in the veins in the legs. Treatment may include:
  • elevating the legs
  • wearing support pantyhose to prevent fluid accumulation
  • applying cool compresses
  • keeping the skin clean to prevent infection
  • corticosteroid creams
  • antibiotics (if infection occurs)
  • zinc oxide dressings
  • skin grafts (if the skin develops large ulcers)

This website was compiled from a variety of sources including the online resources listed below, but is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

This page contains links to other websites with information about dermatology. We hope you find these sites helpful, but please remember we do not control or endorse the information presented on these Web sites, nor do these sites endorse the information contained here.


What is Kaposi's sarcoma?

Kaposi's sarcoma is a skin cancer that starts in the skin's blood vessels. Kaposi's sarcoma comes in two forms: a slow-growing form, and a more aggressive, faster-spreading form. The slow-growing form usually starts as a purple or dark-brown, flat or raised, area on the lower leg. The more aggressive form of Kaposi's sarcoma starts as a pink, red, or purple, round or oval, spot anywhere on the body, including internally.

Who is at risk for Kaposi's sarcoma?
  • classic Kaposi’s sarcoma-a slower-growing form of the disease, is more common in older people, especially those of European, Jewish, or Italian descent.
  • African Kaposi’s sarcoma-can be slow - growing or more aggressive, and often affects children and young men in African nations near the equator.
  • treatment-related Kaposi’s sarcoma - occurs in people receiving immune-suppressing drugs, such as after organ transplants.
  • epidemic Kaposi’s sarcoma - an aggressive form of the disease, occurs more often in people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
What is Paget's disease?
Paget's disease is a rare form of skin cancer that begins in the glands in or under the skin. Characterized by inflamed, red patches on the skin, Paget's disease often originates from breast duct cancer. The patches can occur in sweat glands, in the groin, or near the anus.

Because Paget's disease often originates from breast duct cancer, the eczema-like cancer usually appears around the nipple. Paget's disease is also considered a rare form of breast cancer.


What is pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea is a mild, but common, skin condition. Characterized by scaly, pink, inflamed skin, the condition can last from four to eight weeks and usually leaves no lasting marks.

What causes pityriasis rosea?

The cause of pityriasis rosea is not known, but it is commonly believed to be caused by a virus. It is usually seen in children, adolescents, and young adults. More than 75 percent of people with the rash are 10 to 35 years of age. The condition is more prevalent in spring and fall.

What are the symptoms of pityriasis rosea?

Pityriasis rosea usually starts with a pink or tan oval area (sometimes called a herald or mother patch) on the chest or back. The main patch is usually followed (after a couple of weeks) by smaller pink or tan patches elsewhere on the body - usually the back, neck, arms, and legs. The scaly rash usually lasts between four to eight weeks and will disappear without treatment.
The following are other common symptoms of pityriasis rosea. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • aches
  • itching

The symptoms of pityriasis rosea may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is pityriasis rosea diagnosed?

Pityriasis rosea is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination. The rash of pityriasis rosea is unique, and the diagnosis is usually made on the basis of a physical examination. In addition, your physician may order the following tests to help aid in the diagnosis:

  • blood tests
  • skin biopsy-the removal of some of the diseased skin for laboratory analysis. The sample of skin is removed after a local anesthetic is administered.
Treatment for pityriasis rosea:
  • Specific treatment for pityriasis rosea will be determined by your physician based on:
  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the rash
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the rash
  • your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment for pityriasis rosea is to relieve symptoms associated with the condition, such as itching. There is no cure for pityriasis rosea. The condition will resolve spontaneously. Treatment may include:

  • medicated lotions and creams (to soothe the itching)
  • medications by mouth (to soothe the itching)
  • cool baths with or without oatmeal (to soothe the itching)
  • ultraviolet exposure (under a physician's supervision)
  • cool compresses (to soothe the affected skin)

Did You Know? Scratching poison ivy blisters will not spread the rash. In addition, the poison ivy rash is not contagious - only urushiol (oil found in the sap of poison ivy) can cause a reaction.

What is poison ivy/poison oak?

There are three native American plants that collectively may be called poison ivy:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac

These plants can cause an allergic reaction in nearly 85 percent of the population. To be allergic to poison ivy, you must first be "sensitized" to the oils. This means that next time there is contact with the plant, a rash may occur.

What causes an allergic reaction?

The resin in the plants contains an oily substance called urushiol. Urushiol is easily transferred from the plants to other objects, including toys, garments, tools, and animals. This chemical can remain active for a year or longer. It is important to know that the oils can also be transferred from clothing, pets, and can be present in the smoke from a burning plant.

What are the symptoms of poison ivy/poison oak?

The following are the most common symptoms of poison ivy. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • a contact dermatitis rash characterized by bumps and blisters that itch
  • swelling in the area of contact sometimes occurs
  • blisters that eventually break open, ooze, and then crust over

The symptoms of poison ivy may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for poison ivy/poison oak:

Specific treatment for poison ivy/poison oak will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the condition
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

Making sure you avoid the poisonous plants is the best treatment. It is important to teach your family members what the plants look like and not to touch them.

If contact with the plants has already occurred, you should remove the oils from the skin as soon as possible. Cleansing with an ordinary soap within six hours after the initial exposure has proven to be effective. Repeat the cleaning with the soap three times. There are also alcohol-based wipes that help remove the oils. Wash all clothes and shoes also, because the oils can remain on these.

If the blisters and rash are on the face, near the genitals, or all over the body, your physician should be notified. After a medical history and physical examination, your physician may prescribe a steroid cream, oral steroids, or steroid injections to help with the swelling and itching, depending upon the severity of the rash.

Is poison ivy/poison oak contagious?

Poison ivy/poison oak cannot be spread from person to person by touching the blisters, or from the fluid inside the blisters. It can be spread, however, if the oils remain on the skin, clothes, or shoes. This is why washing your hands, clothes, and shoes as soon as possible is very important.

Preventing poison ivy/poison oak:
  • Teach all family members to recognize the plants.
  • Make sure you wear long pants and long sleeves when poison ivy or poison oak are in the vicinity.
  • Wash all clothes and shoes immediately after you have been outside.
  • Make sure you do not touch a pet that might have been in contact with a poisonous plant.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.

What is prickly heat?

Prickly heat is a skin rash caused by trapped sweat under the skin. Sweat can become trapped when the narrow ducts through which sweat travels to the surface become clogged. Prickly heat tends to be more common in warmer, more humid climates. The condition usually appears on the torso and thighs.

What are the symptoms of prickly heat?

The following are the most common symptoms of prickly heat. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • itching
  • irritation (prickling)
  • small blisters
  • large, red areas on skin

The symptoms of prickly heat may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for prickly heat

The condition usually clears up when sweating is avoided. Other treatment may include:

  • keeping the skin cool and dry
  • corticosteroid lotion

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that often develop as silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis affects nearly 6 million people in the US.

What causes psoriasis?

The cause of psoriasis is unknown, however, it is thought to be caused by abnormally fast-growing and shedding skin cells. The skin cells multiply so quickly, causing the skin to shed every three to four days. Though not contagious, the condition is hereditary. Psoriasis is often recurrent and occurs in varying severities.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

The following are the most common symptoms of psoriasis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently, as psoriasis comes in several forms and severities. Symptoms may include:

  • Discoid Psoriasis
    Also called plaque psoriasis, this type of psoriasis is the most common. Symptoms may include patches of red, raised skin on the trunk, arms, legs, knees, elbows, genitals, and scalp. Nails may also thicken, become pitted, and separate from the nail beds.
  • Guttate Psoriasis
    This type of psoriasis affects mostly children. Symptoms may include many small patches of red, raised skin. A sore throat usually proceeds the onset of this type of psoriasis.
  • Pustular Psoriasis
    Symptoms may include small pustules (pus-containing blisters) all over the body or just on the palms, soles, and other small areas.

The symptoms of psoriasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

When the condition progresses to the development of silvery scales, the physician can usually diagnose psoriasis with a medical examination of the nails and skin. Confirmation of diagnosis may be done with a skin biopsy (taking a small skin specimen to examine under a microscope).

Treatment for psoriasis:
  • Specific treatment for psoriasis will be determined by your physician based on:
  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • severity of the condition
  • your tolerance of specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation and slow down the rapid growth and shedding of skin cells. At the present time, there is no cure for psoriasis. Treatment may include:

  • ointments and creams (to moisturize the skin)
  • sunlight or ultraviolet light exposure (under a physician's supervision)
  • steroids (such as cortisone creams)
  • vitamin D cream
  • creams containing salicylic acid or coal tar
  • Anthralin - a drug that treats the thicker, hard-to-treat patches of psoriasis.
  • methotrexate - an anti-cancer drug that interrupts the growth of skin cells.
  • oral or topical retinoids
  • immunosuppressive medications (such as Cyclosporine)

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that usually only affects the face and eyes. Characterized by redness, pimples, and broken blood vessels, rosacea tends to begin after middle age (between the ages of 30 and 60) and is more common in fair-skinned people.
The cause of rosacea is unknown. An estimated 14 million people in the US have rosacea.

What are the symptoms of rosacea?

Rosacea often begins with easy blushing and flushing of the facial skin. Eventually, redness will persist around the nose area, extending to the rest of the face. Rosacea has a variety of clinical symptoms and is classified into the following four types, based on these different symptoms:

Type Symptoms
Prerosacea frequent episodes of blushing and flushing of the face and neck

 

Vascular rosacea swelling of blood vessels under the facial skin, leading to swollen, warm skin (common in women)
Inflammatory rosacea formation of pimples and enlarged blood vessels on the face
Rhinophyma enlarged oil glands in the nose and cheeks that cause an enlarged, bulbous red nose

In addition, approximately 50 percent of those affected by rosacea will have eye involvement. Eye symptoms may include:

  • redness
  • burning
  • tearing
  • inflamed eyelids
  • sensation of a foreign object in the eye

The symptoms of rosacea may resemble other dermatologic conditions, such as acne. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is rosacea diagnosed?

Rosacea is usually diagnosed with a complete medical history and physical examination.

Treatment for rosacea:

Specific treatment for rosacea will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the rash
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the rash
  • your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment is to control the symptoms associated with rosacea. Treatment may include:

  • diet modifications (such as avoiding foods that dilate the skin's blood vessels, such as caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol)
  • topical and oral antibiotics
  • glycolic acid peels
  • cortisone cream
  • laser therapy
  • dermabrasion
  • electrosurgery

What is rubella (German measles)?

Rubella is a viral illness that results in a viral exanthem. Exanthem is another name for a rash or skin eruption. It is spread from one child to another through direct contact with discharge from the nose and throat.

Infants and children who develop the disease usually only have a mild case of the rash and side effects. However, children who contract rubella from their mother while she is pregnant, can have severe birth defects and consequences. It is also very dangerous for pregnant women to come in contact with someone who has rubella, because it may cause a miscarriage.

What causes rubella?

Rubella is caused by a virus, called a Rubivirus. It can be spread from a pregnant mother to the unborn child, or from secretions from another infected person. It is most prevalent in late winter and early spring. Rubella is preventable by proper immunization with the rubella vaccine.

What are the symptoms of rubella?

The disease itself does not have any long-term consequences. The biggest concern is to prevent an affected child from infecting a pregnant woman. It may take between 14 to 21 days for a child to develop signs of rubella after coming in contact with the disease. It is important to know that a child is most contagious when the rash is erupting. However, the child may be contagious beginning 7 days before the onset of the rash 7 to 14 days after the rash has appeared. Therefore, children may be contagious before they even know they have the disease. The following are the most common symptoms of rubella. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

Childhood rubella

  • Rubella may begin with a period of not feeling well, a low-grade fever, and diarrhea. This may last one to five days.
  • The rash then appears as a pink rash with areas of small, raised lesions.
  • The rash begins on the face and then spreads down to the trunk, arms, and legs.
  • The rash on the face usually improves as the rash spreads to the arms and legs.
  • The rash usually fades by the third to fifth day.
  • Lymph nodes in the neck may also become enlarged.
  • Older children and adolescents may develop some soreness and inflammation in their joints.

Congenital rubella (rubella that is present at birth; the child contracted it from his/her mother while in utero) can result in many problems, including the following:

  • cataracts in the eyes
  • heart problems
  • mental retardation
  • growth retardation
  • enlarged liver and spleen
  • skin lesions
  • bleeding problem

The symptoms of rubella may resemble other skin conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How is rubella diagnosed?

Rubella is usually diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of your child. The lesions of rubella are unique, and usually the diagnosis can be made on physical examination. In addition, your child's physician may order blood or urine tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for rubella:
  • Specific treatment for rubella will be determined by your child's physician based on:
  • your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment for rubella is to help prevent the disease, or decrease the severity of the symptoms. Since it is a viral infection, there is no cure for rubella. Treatment may include:

  • increased fluid intake
  • rest
Prevention of rubella:

Since the introduction of rubella vaccine, the incidence of rubella has decreased by more than 99 percent. Most cases today occur in adults who have not been vaccinated. The rubella vaccine is usually given in combination with the measles and mumps vaccine. It is called the MMR vaccine. It is usually given when the child is 12 to 15 months old and then again between 4 to 6 years of age. If the second dose has not been received at 4 to 6 years of age, it should be received by 11 to 12 years of age. In addition, girls should have completed rubella vaccination before they reach childbearing age.

Other ways to prevent the spread of rubella:

  • Children should not attend school for seven days after the onset of the rash.
  • Children who are born with rubella are considered contagious for the first year of life.
  • Assure that all of your child's contacts have been properly immunized.