Dengue Fever Rash Characteristics, Symptoms, Pictures, Treatment

Dengue fever rash characteristics may include itchy rash without fever depending with the patient’s immune system. This rash appears on the patients skin in phases and may be confused with measles in some cases. 

Dengue fever is a viral infection that is transmitted by certain species of mosquitoes. It has got very serious symptoms that can lead to death if not contained. Unfortunately there is no cure for dengue fever but it can be controlled and contained. The only way to avoid infection is to eliminate chances of coming into contact with a carrier mosquito.

Causes of Dengue fever

Dengue fever is a viral disease. It is caused by one of the four types of viruses that belong to the Flaviviridae family. These viruses are referred to as DENV- 1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV- 4.

Dengue fever rash

Dengue fever rash IMAGE

However these viruses have antigenic differences between such that when someone  is infected by one type of dengue fever ,he/she  develop immunity towards that particular virus but can still get infected in future by the other three types of virus. Dengue fever becomes more severe when you are infected more than once .Severe dengue fever is referred to as hemorrhagic fever

This virus is transmitted from an infected person to another person via Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. When either of these mosquitoes bites an infected person who has a high amount of the dengue fever viruses in their blood, the virus remains in the mosquito’s system for its entire life span. This mosquito will then transfer the virus to another person when it sucks their blood.

Dengue fever virus can also be transmitted via transfusion of infected blood or transplant of an infected organ. An infected pregnant woman can also transmit dengue fever to the unborn child in the uterus or during birth.

Symptoms of dengue fever

After infection via a mosquito bite, dengue fever virus takes up to 2 weeks or less to incubate and begin to show symptoms. These symptoms may disappear and resurfaces after a few days. The following are the common symptoms of dengue fever;

  1. Red itchy dengue Fever rash that affects any part of the body except the face
  2. Very High fever and chills
  3. Painful muscles and joints
  4. Acute headaches
  5. Pain at the back of eyes
  6. Swollen lymph nodes
  7. Fatigue
  8. Lack of appetite
  9. Irritating Sore throat
  10. Nausea
  11. Vomiting
  12. Abdominal pains
  13. Back pains
  14. Mild bleeding such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising

A more severe type of dengue fever known as dengue hemorrhagic fever causes easy bruising of skin or bleeding of gums and the digestive tract. It is also characterised by enlargement of the liver and the circulatory system.

Another type of dengue fever known as dengue shock syndrome can occur after the hemorrhagic one. It is a serious condition that causes heavy bleeding and low blood pressure. It can lead to death if not contained.

Dengue fever rash

Dengue fever rash is one of the major symptoms of dengue fever. This rash appears a few days after other symptoms have been noticed. Dengue fever rashes appear with different intensities in different stages of dengue fever.

It can start as a mild rash and become more pronounced and look like measles at an advanced stage of the disease. The dengue fever rash is also called “white islands in a sea of red”.

Dengue fever rash has got three types that appear in various stages of the diseases cycle;

1. Petechiae rash

This is the first dengue fever rash. It is characterised by tiny flat bright red spots on the skin that are non-itchy .These spots are caused by bleeding underneath the skin hence they do not change colour when touched or pressed. You may also see more about tiny red spots on skin that may be confused with the dengue fever rash.

2. Bright Red Rash

The bright red spots will turn into bright red rash that will affect most parts of your body. The bright red rash will make your skin look red.

3. Lesions

After the bright red rashes appear, you will later notice flat or raised lesions on the skin.

Dengue fever rash is itchy and it makes your skin peel off after the redness clears off. A good moisturizer that is rich in vitamin E will help in rejuvenating your skin back to normal.

Dengue fever rash remedies

IMAGE: Dengue fever rash remedies

Dengue fever body and muscle pain

Dengue fever has got pathological effects on tendons, muscles, joints and bones. After treatment and healing from dengue fever, patients tend to have body, Joint and muscular pain.

This post dengue fever pain is caused by deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals. People who have been affected by dengue fever are encouraged to eat food rich in vitamin D, B12 and E.

Dengue fever stages

Dengue fever can transform to a more severe from known as Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) .It is characterised by heavy bleeding and affects children below 10 years old. The following are the 3 stages in which Dengue hemorrhagic fever develops.

1. The Febrile Phase

This is the first stage and symptoms include sudden onset of very high fever, chills, headache, and muscle pain, expansion of the liver and bleeding of the digestive tract. This phase lasts for 3 to 7 days and the quantity of the virus in the blood is highest at this stage.

2. The Critical (Plasma Leak) Phase

This is the second face where by the fever reduces. In this stage the patient is likely to develop severe complications like plasma leak and heavy bleeding. Other symptoms include; abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, fatigue, mucosal bleeding and rapid drop in platelets count.

This phase can last for 2 to 3 days. If the bleeding is not contained in good time it will lead to reduction in volume of blood in the circulatory system of the patient hence heart problems. The patient can also get a much more advance form of dengue fever known as dengue shock syndrome that can even lead to death if not contained.

3. The Convalescent (Reabsorption ) Phase

This is the recovery stage. It takes 2 to 5 days. The patient begins to feel better as the symptoms subside and the body health is restored to normalcy. The plasma leakage stops and the fluids that leaked are reabsorbed into the circulatory system.

Dengue fever prevention

Prevention is better than cure but presentation of dengue fever can be tricky because there is no vaccine for tithe best you can do is to avoid any practises that can encourage the preens or breeding of mosquitoes or ensuring proper screening of blood before transfusion. The following are tips that can help you stay away from aedes mosquitoes especially during an outbreak;

  1. Wear clothes that cover most parts of your body
  2. Apply mosquito repellent that contains at least 10 % concentration of diethyltoluamide.
  3. Sleep under a treated mosquito net
  4. D not wear scented perfumes or use soaps with sweet fragrance .The sweet scent attracts mosquitoes
  5. Whenever you go camping , treats all he clothes and tents using permethrin
  6. Avoid having any stagnant water near your dwelling because mosquitoes breed n stagnant waters
  7. Spray your house with insecticide
  8. Avoid crowded places

Dengue fever platelet count

Dengue fever causes reduction in platelets count. Low platelets counts accompanied by symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain and joint pain is an indication of dengue fever infection. A platelets count test will be able to help your doctor determine whether your dengue fever is mild or not.

A patient with platelets count that is less than 20,000 is at a high risk of developing a more serious form of dengue fever known as dengue hemorrhagic fever.

It causes easy bruising of skin, bleeding of gums and even the digestive tract since blood loses its clotting and coagulation ability. Platelets transfusion is required when it gets to such a point.

Types of dengue fever

Dengue fever can range from a mild condition to a very critical condition that can even lead to death. It is categorized based on the symptoms it exhibits and the level of fatalness;

1. Dengue Fever (DF)

The symptoms for dengue fever are more prominent in adults and teenager. Young children can be asymptomatic .Patient with dengue fever exhibit the following symptoms;

  1. Sudden fever that can lasts up to 7 days
  2. Severe headache and pain behind the
  3. Bad taste in the mouth
  4. Painful joints and muscles
  5. Lethargy
  6. Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  7. Lack o appetite
  8. Vomiting and diarrhoea Loss of appetite
  9. Dengue fever rash on legs and arms
  10. Severe itching that results into peeling of skin

    Dengue fever rash, raised small bumps on skin

    Dengue fever rash ( PICTURE ), raised small bumps on skin

2. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF)

It is a complex form of dengue fever that is fatal. It occurs when you get re-infected with the dengue fever.

According to WebMD, “People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever. “The symptoms of this type of this fever are more severe as compared to those that appear when a patient is infected for the first time. It is characterized by bleeding of gums, nose and easy bruising of skin that appear 2 to 5 days after the fever subsides.

3. Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS)

It comes after the DHF. It is very fatal but the patient can survive if contained in good time. You should visit a hospital within 24 hours if you observe the following symptoms;

  1. Acute abdominal pain
  2. Unstable body temperature pattern
  3. Blood stained vomit
  4. Low blood pressure
  5. Mental irritability

Is there a Dengue fever vaccine?

Unfortunately there is no vaccine for dengue fever. According to NHS,”There’s no specific treatment or widely available vaccine for dengue, so it’s important to try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes when visiting an area where the infection is found.”

What do at home if you have Dengue fever rash

Dengue fever has no specific treatment .It is eliminated by treating the symptoms associated with it like the dengue fever rash among others. The following home remedies are able to cure the rash and other symptoms.

1. Papaya Leaf Juice

Papaya juice leaf is very effective when used in the early stages of the fever. It contains enzyme papain and chymopapain that replenishes the platelets count. Papaya is also rich in vitamin C, cystatin, flavonoids, glucosinolates, cyanogenic glucosides that boost the immune system.


  1. Fresh papaya leaves
  2. Knife
  3. Sieve
  4. Pestle and mortar

What to do

  1. Remove the veins from fresh papaya leaves
  2. Slice the fresh papaya leaves
  3. Mix them with 10 mil of cold water
  4. Place them in a mortar and pound them with a pestle
  5. Sieve the juice into a glass
  6. Drink it 4 times a day
  7. You can add honey to sweeten

2. Neem leaves

Neem is a natural plant that can treat over 40 different diseases including dengue fever symptoms like dengue fever rash. It is rich in antioxidants that are able to rejuvenate the skin back to its healthy state after healing.Neem leaves will boost your immune system

What you need

  1. Warm Water
  2. A bucket
  3. A sieve

Preparation and application

  1. Boil water and pour it in a bucket
  2. Add neem leaves to the water  and cover the bucket with a tight lid
  3. Let the leaves steep for sometime
  4. Sieve the leaves to separate them from the water
  5. Drink the juice from the leaves
  6. You can also use the juice as final rinse while showering
  7. It will help in clearing the dengue fever rash
  8. Do this at least twice a day

3. Hydration

You lose a lot of water due to high fever and excess sweating. Drinking water will rehydrate your body and it will also help in flushing out toxins from your body that cause dengue fever rash and other symptoms

According to Mayo clinic “The Institute of Medicine that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) of total beverage a day .The adequate intake for women is about 9 cups (2.2 litres) of total beverage a day”.

4. Coriander

Coriander juice is rich in vitamin C and also helps in reducing fever. Coriander also has got wonderful properties that will smooth the dengue fever rash.


  1. Coriander leaves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A knife
  4. Water


  1. Wash the coriander leaves to get rid of any soil on them
  2. Cut them into big chunks with a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Add water to a portion of paste and drink it
  6. Smear the remaining portion of the coriander paste on the dengue fever rash
  7. Let it settle for 20 minutes
  8. Rinse it off with cold water
  9. Do this 3 times a day
  10. Alternatively
  11. Add the paste to your food when cooking or after cooking it

5. Fenugreek leaves

Fenugreek leaves and seeds act as a pain reliever and sedates you so that you can sleep.


  1. Fenugreek leaves
  2. Clean water
  3. Sieve
  4. Natural Honey

What to do

  1. Soak a leaves in water for 8 hours
  2. Eat the soaked seeds or chew the leaves in an empty stomach
  3. Alternatively
  4. Boil fenugreek leaves in clean water for 5 minutes
  5. Let the water cool
  6. Add honey to sweeten
  7. Drink it twice a day on an empty stomach

6. Basil leaves

Bail leaves boost the immune system and help in elimination of dengue fever symptoms like the dengue fever rash.

What you need

  1. Basil leaves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A knife
  4. Cotton ball
  5. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Wash the basil leaves to get rid of any soil on them
  2. Cut them into big chunks with a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Apply the paste on the dengue fever rash
  6. Alternatively boil the basil leaves and drink the juice
  7. Do this twice a day

7. Orange juice

Orange is rich in vitamins and antioxidants which help in eliminating symptoms of dengue fever .It also flushes out toxins from the body.


  1. Oranges
  2. A Sieve
  3. A Cup
  4. A sharp knife
  5. A ball of cotton
  6. Water
  7. A clean piece of cloth


  1. Apply pressure on the oranges by kneading them on the kitchen counter.
  2. Use the knife to cut the oranges into two halves.
  3. Place the sieve over the cup and squeeze out the orange juice into the cup through the sieve.
  4. Drink the orange juice while it is still fresh
  5. Do this 3 times a day

8. Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is capable of improving platelets count. It works in the same way as the papaya leaves.

Ensure you have

  1. Pomegranate seeds
  2. Clean water
  3. Pestle & mortar
  4. Sieve

Methods of preparing the juice

  1. Pound half a cup of pomegranate seeds using a pestle and a mortar
  2. You may also use a blender to grind the seeds
  3. Add water to the crushed seed and their juice
  4. Sieve off the seeds
  5. Drink two cups of this juice everyday

9. Barley Grass, Wheat grass

Barley grass is rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, beta-carotene, folic acid, and pantothenic acid and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron.

Other constituents include amino acids, chlorophyll, fibre, and protein. These wonderful properties of barley or wheat grass will boost the immune system and eliminate the symptoms of dengue fever including the dengue fever rash. This remedy should not be used by people who are diabetic.

What you need

  1. Fresh Barley grass
  2. Knife
  3. Sieve
  4. Pestle and mortar


  1. Cut barley grass into small pieces
  2. Mix them with 10 mil of cold water
  3. Place the barley grass in a mortar and pound them with a pestle
  4. Sieve the juice into a glass
  5. Add honey to sweeten
  6. Drink it 3 times a day

    Dengue fever mosquito

    Dengue fever mosquito IMAGE

Dengue fever treatment

There is no special treatment or cure for dengue fever since it is a viral disease. The only way to deal with it is to treat every symptom individually as you endure the infection period. Dengue fever rash can be treated using simple home remedies or soothing lotions that prevent the itchy feeling.

Mild forms of dengue fever can be controlled by;

  1. Drinking plenty of fluids and Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) in order to prevent dehydration and mineral deficiency in the body.
  2. Take painkillers like paracetamol in order to reduce your headache. Do NOT take aspirin or ibuprofen because they put you at risk of haemorrhage.
  3. Get enough rest

Severe forms of dengue fever can be controlled by;

  1. Rehydration via Intravenous fluid supplementation (IV drip)
  2. Blood transfusion and platelets transfusion
  3. Admission at the hospital so that they get special care from professional

Is Dengue fever contagious?

NO! Dengue fever is not contagious but it is infectious. It can be transmitted directly from one person to another. An aedes mosquito spreads the dengue fever virus from an infected person to another person by biting them and introducing the virus into their blood stream.

Facts about the dengue fever mosquito

Dengue fever is spread via mosquito bites by a mosquito that carries the virus from an infected person. The following are facts about this type of mosquito;

  1. Only the female Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito can carry dengue viruses.
  2. It mostly bite during the day
  3. Its favourite biting spot is the elbow and below the knee.
  4. They mostly breed during warm weather ,they cannot breed in cold weather like winter
  5. Once the mosquito bites an infected person, the virus remains in the mosquito’s system for its entire life span.

Areas affected by Dengue fever

In the 1780s, the first recognized dengue fever affected Asia, North America and Africa. Dengue fever then spread globally during the Second World War due to population movement. The only places that hardly report cases of this virus are Europe and Antarctica since mosquitoes cannot breed in cold weather conditions. The following are the areas that are mostly prone to dengue fever outbreaks;

  1. Mombasa Kenya
  2. Nairobi Kenya
  3. Hawaii
  4. Thailand
  5. United States of America
  6. Bangkok
  7. South America
  8. Middle East
  9. Sub-Saharan Africa
  10. Caribbean
  11. Asia



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