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An infectious exanthem is a generalized cutaneous eruption associated with a primary systemic infection; it is often accompanied by oral mucosal lesions, i.e., an enanthem. Most often it is of viral nature but can be caused by Rickettsia, bacteria, and parasites.


Skin lesions may be produced by the direct effect of microbial replication in infected cells, the host response to the microbe, or the interaction of these two phenomena.


Most non-specific rashes appear as spots or blotches and may or may not be itchy. The rash is usually widespread and may be more extensive on the trunk and extremities. In most cases, prior to the rash appearing, patients may have symptoms of general unwellness that include:

* Fever
* Malaise
* Headache
* Loss of appetite
* Abdominal pain
* Irritability
* Muscular aches and pains

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