What To Do If A Friend Tells You They Have A Viral Rash


There are many things that can cause a rash to appear on the skin, and of these, many are caused by viruses and infections. These viruses can spread from person to person, causing others to develop a rash and other symptoms, depending on that particular virus. It’s important to first identify exactly what a rash is before you take the next steps in finding a treatment and getting on with your daily life. Due to the contagiousness of certain rashes, it’s important to avoid contact with others until you know what you’re dealing with. If someone close to you has developed a viral rash, there are a few things you need to consider doing after they’ve informed you. 

Clarify What The Virus Is
Your first step is to remain calm, even if you’ve recently been in close contact with your friend. Find out what type of virus they have and ask what sort of advice their doctor has given them. There are many different viral rashes that you can contract, and symptoms will vary in severity depending on the virus. While unpleasant, hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), for example, is a minor viral infection that usually infects children with symptoms that include a sore throat and a loss of appetite and a minor rash and spots on the skin. Whereas illnesses like meningitis, measles, shingles, and chickenpox can be much more severe and even lead to other serious complications. Once you know what type of virus your friend has, you’ll be able to identify your next steps.

Speak To Your Doctor
Once you know what virus your friend has, you’ll want to speak to your doctor for some advice. They’ll be able to guide you on reducing your risk of contracting the virus, especially if you live with your friend, and what steps you need to take if you end up catching the virus. This will also include guidance on the signs and symptoms to look out for and what treatments will be available to you. Ideally, you should try to organise a remote appointment with your doctor to reduce your chances of infecting others. A serious viral infection like measles could still infect others, even if they’ve been vaccinated, although the chances are lower. Chickenpox is also very contagious and is especially harmful to adults and can lead to hospitalisation.

Keep Your Distance
Certain viral rashes can be seriously infectious and can spread via the other symptoms associated with that virus. Sneezing and coughing are common methods for viruses to spread, such as hand, foot and mouth disease and mono. Because of this, you should avoid physical contact with someone with a viral rash and keep your distance from them too and avoid spending too much time in the same room as them. Particles in the air from sneezing and coughing can lead to you becoming infected. If you wish to spend time with someone who has one of these viruses, you could reduce your risk by ensuring that both of you are wearing readily available PPE such as masks and even medical gloves. This will give you better protection if you are taking care of someone with a virus such as these, for example. Remember that these protective items aren’t a guarantee of safety; they merely reduce the risk of infection.

Good Hygiene
It’s important that everyone practises good hygiene techniques when they either have a viral rash or are close to someone who has one. These viruses can be incredibly contagious and can spread via a simple touch or droplet in the air. That means that regularly washing your hands with soap and water is essential. Provide the infected person with their own towel and hairbrush, and avoid sharing a bed or clothing with them during the course of the infection. Taking these precautions can significantly reduce your chances of contracting this viral rash and may prevent the virus from spreading to any other members of your household at all. Remember that these steps aren’t guaranteed to protect you entirely, so be prepared.

Treating A Viral Rash
Unfortunately, there aren’t really any treatments for rashes caused by viruses. Antibiotics won’t work on them as viruses aren’t sensitive to this type of medication. Instead, those that are infected will simply need to rely on their own immune system to fight off the virus, which it should do for most people. You should focus on keeping the infected person healthy and comfortable during this time. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest is important in fighting these viral infections. To reduce the severity of rashes, you can also apply medication such as calamine lotion, which helps reduce the itchiness of rashes. This will reduce the desire to scratch. Excessive scratching can cause damage to the skin and leave scars once the virus is gone. Scratching can also leave open wounds, which can become infected too.

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