What Are the Different Causes of Macular Rashes?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2018
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Macular rashes are rashes that produce small red patches on the skin that are flat. Common causes of these types of rashes include allergic reactions, autoimmune conditions, and side effects of medications. Skin irritation can also cause a macular rash.

There are different types of skin rashes. They are diagnosed based on appearance and location of the lesions. These rashes appear as small clusters of flat red patches. These rashes can be found anywhere on the body. Most rashes that commonly occur are diagnosed as a macular rash. For rashes that have the characteristics of a macular rash but also have some raised bumps mixed in, the rash is diagnosed as a maculopapular rash.

Allergic reactions are one of the common causes of these rashes. Sensitivity or a complete lack of tolerance for specific substances can cause this kind of rash, otherwise known as hives. The triggers can be something ingested, inhaled, or touched. Food allergies and extreme sensitivity to pollen are examples. In some cases, contact with irritants, such as a laundry detergent or poison ivy, can cause an allergic reaction and result in a rash.

Autoimmune conditions can frequently cause rashes. An autoimmune condition causes the body to attack its own cells, which affects the immune system. Conditions such as measles and rheumatic fever are examples of these conditions that can cause this rash. Due to a malfunction in the immune system, a rash appears when skin cells are attacked.


Medications can cause different side effects. It is possible for some medications to cause macular rashes as one side effect. Generally, medications that are known to cause skin problems, such as corticosteroids, often result in the development of a macular rash. In some instances, sensitivity to the medication can cause skin rashes, particularly if the medication is in topical form.

Treatment for the condition can vary. Dermatologists and other doctors must consider underlying conditions and possible causes of the rash. Topical treatments can help the rash heal and soothe the burning sensations that may occur. Prescription medications can help treat the cause of the rash.

During the occurrence of hives, proper care of the site is important to ensure proper healing and prevent an infection from developing. The rash should be kept clean and lightly dried. Bandages and other medical coverings should be avoided as much as possible because the rash needs air to heal. Direct sunlight can cause pain or burning to become worse.


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Post 3

I have a sun allergy. If I get too much sun exposure, I get a macular rash. It usually goes away within a day if I avoid the sun and use a steroid cream. But it is uncomfortable and looks very bad.

I spoke to my doctor about it and I might get light therapy to reduce my sensitivity to sunlight. It looks like that's the only way I will be able to prevent these rashes.

Post 2

@ZipLine-- Fever rashes are common. The increase in body temperature can cause a skin rash, and macular rashes are one of the most common.

It's also possible that a bacterial or viral infection is causing the rash because infections can cause fever.

Have you had measles as a child? Measles is a viral infection that causes fever and rash. Sometimes it causes macular rash and sometimes maculopapular rash.

Post 1

I seem to get a macular rash whenever I have a fever. Is fever a common cause of macular rash?

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