A skin rash may be an indication of something as annoying, yet temporary, as a mosquito bite. Skin rashes may also indicate minor conditions such as an allergy to laundry soap, a run-in with poison ivy, or a reaction to excessive heat. However, some life-threatening diseases and conditions present with itchy, painful, or weepy rashes. Here are nine rare, yet dangerous, skin diseases that may cause painful and horrifying rashes.
9. DRESS Syndrome
Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS) syndrome is a rare, yet painful reaction to a medication. This condition, also known as drug hypersensitivity syndrome, causes fever and organ damage in addition to a rash. Science Direct lists fever, lethargy, and upper respiratory symptoms as early signs of this reaction. Exposure to medications such as certain anti-seizure drugs, antibiotics, and gout meds can result in symptoms of this rare condition within one to six weeks. Treatment begins with discontinuing the offending drug. Doctors may also recommend hospitalization, dialysis, fluid replacement, and corticosteroids to treat this condition.
8. Meningococcal Meningitis
According to the CDC, infection with the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis causes meningococcal meningitis. Typical symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache, and a stiff neck. If meningitis infects the bloodstream, a patient may progress to meningococcal septicemia and bleeding beneath the skin. As the infection damages blood vessels, the patient may experience fever, chills, exhaustion, vomiting, muscle aches and pains, diarrhea, and a rash. The National Meningitis Association lists infants, persons living in crowded quarters, travelers to certain parts of Africa, and patients with asplenia as persons at risk for meningitis.