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Maculopapular Rash

A maculopapular rash is a skin disease marked by the presence of a raised bump on top of a flat and reddened spot on the skin. The term “maculopapular” is derived from the presence of both macules and papules on the surface of the skin, the former characterized as flat and erythematous and the latter as small and elevated. The rash is a common manifestation of some illnesses such as measles and scarlet fever, and can also occur as an allergic reaction to drugs like amoxicillin and chemotherapeutic medications.

Maculopapular Rash Symptoms

The appearance of a maculopapular rash can vary according to the underlying condition causing their development. These are the usual characteristics of maculopapular rashes:

  • Macules are distinguished by their flat appearance
  • Flat and red spots are usually less than half an inch in diameter
  • Papules are small and round bumps
  • Can appear anywhere on the body
  • May be accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches or fever


The rashes usually arise as an inflammatory response to underlying infection, whether bacterial or viral. Conditions such as measles, scarlet fever, and syphilis all include the presence of maculopapular rashes as one of their symptoms. Maculopapular rashes have also been found to arise as an allergic response to certain medications taken in high doses, like amoxicillin and Cefobid. The rash has also been found to develop due to high doses of niacin taken to treat high cholesterol levels.

Maculopapular Rash Treatment

Treatment for the rash will depend on the disease which is causing it. Getting rid of the infection will also effectively eliminate the rashes. As an isolated condition, maculopapular rashes can be treated through the use of prescription drugs like chloroquine but must be taken with caution due to the potential adverse effects.

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Maculopapular Rash
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