The rash appears like other skin reactions but is distinguished by a couple features that are exclusive to HIV infection. It is important to seek the advice of a healthcare provider for any skin irritation that does not go away within a few days or becomes worse with time. This is important both for diagnosis as well as treatment. There can be a great deal of anxiety over rashes since the mind circles over each possibility.
There are some similiarities between allergic rashes and eruptions due to HIV. However, unlike other types of skin irritations they generally do not cause pain or itching that are often associated with allergic reactions. A person with an HIV rash generally breaks out within 2 to three weeks after initial exposure to the virus. This is not something that happens with environmental allergens or foods.
When a person breaks out from foods or other allergens this usually occurs right away after exposure to the offending substance, whether ingested in foods or in the air. It is not likely that an allergic reaction will take a couple weeks to develop unless the offending substance is still being consumed or exposure remains. With that being said, these problems may not appear the same day and this is true for other irritants as well.
The annoyances will often diminish on its own. There are other rashes that require hydrocortisone or antihistamines to reduce in inflammation from the offending allergen, perfume, cosmetic, or skin care product.
Unlike allergic rashes, the pustules will be dark red or brown in light skinned persons and darker in dark skinned individuals. In addition, they are likely to be accompanies by other symptoms like fever, flu-like symptoms, and generalized fatigue. Getting a proper diagnosis is important, both for peace of mind and treatment. More importantly, if you have HIV then working on your immune system and getting medical guidance is critical. For other types of rashes, the treatments will be determined by the source. For instance, if there is an eczema rash, moisturizers and cortisone creams are important. For some individuals, permethrin creams are used.
There are some additional risk factors that may help determine if a rash is related to HIV, such as having unprotected sex with an HIV positive individual or sharing needles. In such instances it is always best to have a rash examined by a medical professional as soon as possible so effective treatment can begin. Great advances have been made for HIV over the years and there are many ways to boost the immune system. Stress from worrying about rashes can also result in increased itching, insomnia and other issues that reduce one’s energy and mood. Add humor into each day and ways to change your perspective, even if you have to fake it till you make it.