Measles Rash: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is Measles Rash?

It is also known as rubeola (Scientific), khasara / khasra (Hindi/Urdu), govar (Marathi), Tattammai (Tamil), Zhen (Chinese), sarampion (Spanish), sarampo (Portuguese), hama (Bengali), kor (Russian). Measles rash is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus which is normally inhaled and is very common in childhood. The incubation period is about 14 days, and just before the rash appears spots can be seen in the mouth. It begins like a cold, with runny nose or cough, then a fever, and occasionally conjunctivitis occurs. Fever tends to become high as the rash comes out. The rash is characterized by flat, brown-red spots, which usually begin behind the ears and on the face. Initially pink in color, these rashes grow darker as time passes. The lymph nodes will become swollen and there will be little or no appetite; vomiting and diarrhea may occur in some cases. Measles spots are not itchy, but your child will feel profoundly unwell. In rare cases of great severity, high fever and delirium may occur. Complications of measles are common, and they include pneumonia, middle ear infections, and bronchitis. One serious but rare complication is the inflammation of the brain also known as encephalitis. Measles usually affects children, but the disease can occur at any age in susceptible people. The early symptoms fever, malaise, sore muscles, headache, eye irritation, watering of the eyes, dry cough, and sensitivity to light occur about 7-14 days after infection. Nasal discharge, sneezing, and coughing develop rapidly. Measles reduces normal resistance, making a child susceptible to more serious secondary bacterial infections. In rare cases, the virus causes a form of encephalitis. Measles is easily transmitted in the early stages through the invisible droplets of moisture which are discharged from a baby’s nose or mouth when he coughs or sneezes.

Home Remedies

The herbal treatment should aim at bringing down the temperature and eliminating the toxins from the system. Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of measles.

  • Orange: Orange is a natural cure. Orange is most valuable home remedy for the treatment of measles. When the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered, the children suffers from intense toxaemia and the lack of saliva coats his tongue and often destroys his thrust for water as well as his desire for food. The agreeable flavor of orange juice helps greatly in overcoming these drawbacks. Orange juice is the most ideal liquid food in this disease.
  • Garlic: Garlic is helpful to cure measles spots. Garlic will encourage the spots to “come out,” which means that the body is expelling toxins. Ginger can be used as a compress directly on the spots.
  • Lemon: The juice of lemon is another effective remedy. It also makes an powerful thirst quenching drink in measles. About 15 to 25 ml. of lemon juice, should be taken diluted with water for this purpose.
  • Barley Water: The use of barley water has proved beneficial in case of troublesome cough in measles. This water should be taken frequently sweetened with the newly drawn oil of sweet almonds.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric, a very common Indian spice, is beneficial in the treatment of measles. Raw roots of turmeric should be dried in the sun and ground to a fine powder. This powder, mixed with a few drops of honey and the juice of a few bitter gourd leaves, should be given to the child suffering from measles.
  • Rice Flour: Use rice flour to make a poultice for relieving inflammation of the skin, including acne, measles, burns, and hemorrhoids.
  • Liquorice: Powdered liquorice has been found valuable in relieving the cough, typical of measles. The child patient should be given this powdered liquorice mixed with honey.
  • Eggplant: The seeds of eggplant (baingan) are stimulant. According to Dr. Sanyal of Calcutta, intake of half a gram to one gram of these seeds daily for three days will help develop immunity against measles for one year.
  • Chamomile: Chamomile gives soothing effect. Add chamomile or marigold to the bath water to calm your child and soothe the symptoms.

Prevention Tips to Keep Measles Rash Away from Children

  • As light has a detrimental effect upon the eyes during measles, because of the weakened condition of the external eye tissues, the child should have his eyes shaded or the room should have subdued light.
  • Lukewarm water baths can be given every day to ease itching.
  • Children having measles should not be allowed to mixed with others.
  • Eat plenty of raw fruit and vegetables every day to cleanse the system.
  • Vitamin E oil can be applied to the spots to prevent scarring. Take vitamin E supplements for the same reason.
  • Increase the intake of foods containing vitamin C and zinc to aid the action of the immune system.
  • Acidophilus should be taken after any illness to encourage production of the healthy bacteria in the gut.


Q. What is the fastest cure for measles?
There is no single cure for it; the best way to treat it is to let the virus run its course. The best way to prevent complications from measles is to ensure that you and those around you have been vaccinated.

Q. How do you treat measles rash?
It is typically treated with supportive care. This includes rest and fluids, as well as over-the-counter medications to reduce fever and discomfort. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to reduce the severity of the symptoms. It is important to note that there is no specific treatment for it, so it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you or your child has measles.

Q. What helps the itching from measles?
The itching associated with measles can be relieved with over-the-counter antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). It is important to keep the skin cool and moisturized to help relieve the itching. Applying calamine lotion or oatmeal baths can also help.

Q. What is the natural medication for measles?
There is no natural medication for measles. The best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated.

Q. How long does measles itching last?
The itching associated with it usually lasts for 1-2 weeks.

Q. How do you treat measles rash with natural remedies?

  1. Keep the rash clean: Clean the rash with a cool, damp cloth several times a day.
  2. Keep the person cool: Dress the person in lightweight clothing and keep the room temperature cool.
  3. Use oatmeal baths: Oatmeal baths can reduce itching and irritation caused by the rash.
  4. Apply aloe vera: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe the rash.
  5. Add moisture: Apply petroleum jelly or another moisturizer to the rash to keep it from drying out and becoming more irritated.
  6. Use chamomile: Chamomile tea can be used as a compress or added to the bath to help reduce inflammation.
  7. Take vitamin A supplements: Vitamin A has been shown to boost the immune system and help fight off the virus.

Q. Is it okay to scratch measles?
No, it is not okay to scratch. Scratching the rash can cause it to spread and become more severe. If you have measles, seek medical treatment.

Q. Can we take bath in measles?
No, it is not safe to take a bath when you have the condition. Taking a bath or shower may irritate the skin rash caused by the virus and make it worse.

Q. Does measles rash itch?
Yes, it can itch.

Q. Can a measles rash start on the back?
Yes, it can start on the back. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash of red spots breaks out. It usually starts on the face at the hairline and spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.

Q. Why do some foods like eggs cause an aggravated measles rash?
Some foods, such as eggs, contain proteins that can cause an exaggerated reaction in people with measles. These proteins can stimulate an immune response that can result in an aggravated rash. Additionally, some people may be allergic to the proteins in eggs, which can also cause an exaggerated reaction.

Q. Can a measles rash start on the chest?
Yes, it is possible for a measles rash to start on the chest. The measles rash typically begins at the hairline and spreads downward to the rest of the body. It usually starts on the face and then spreads to the trunk, arms, and legs.

Q. How does a measles rash look like?
A measles rash looks like a red or reddish-brown spotty blotchy rash that usually starts on the face and spreads across the body. The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person has been infected with the virus and typically lasts for about 3-5 days.

Q. What does the German Measles rash look like?
The German Measles rash appears as a red or pink, blotchy rash on the face that spreads to the rest of the body. It may start with a few spots on the face and then spread to the chest, back, arms, and legs. The rash usually lasts for about three to five days.

Q. Why does the measles rash typically start on the face?
It typically starts on the face because the virus typically enters the body through the respiratory system and then spreads throughout the body. It can take up to 14 days for the virus to incubate before the rash appears. By the time the rash appears, the virus has already spread throughout the body, starting at the face.

Q. Does measles rash spreads all over the body before it starts to fade? Or does it fade from the face and chest and then appears on legs and arms?
The rash usually starts on the face and upper neck and spreads downward and outward to the rest of the body. As the rash appears, it gradually fades in the same direction.

Q. How long does it take for the measles rash to go away?
It typically lasts for 3 to 5 days. The rash typically starts to fade after the 3rd day and should be completely gone within 1 week.

Q. Why is that chickenpox causes a vesicular rash, but measles causes a macular rash?
Chickenpox and measles are both viral diseases caused by the varicella-zoster and the morbillivirus, respectively. The difference in rash between the two comes down to the type of cells the virus infects. Chickenpox infects the epidermal layer of the skin, which causes vesicular rash. Measles on the other hand, infects the dermal layer of the skin, which causes macular rash.

Q. Why is it that the manifestation of measles is a rash?
The rash that appears during a infection is caused by the body’s immune response to the virus. When the virus enters the body, it triggers an immune response that releases measles-specific antibodies. These antibodies cause inflammation in the skin, which leads to the characteristic red rash.

Q. After how many days rash appears on the body after the attack of measles?
Rashes typically appear around the third or fourth day after the initial symptoms.

Q. How can you tell the difference between heat rash and measles?
Heat rash is a skin condition that is caused by excessive perspiration and is characterized by tiny red bumps and/or a prickly feeling on the skin. Measles is an infectious disease caused by a virus, and is characterized by fever, runny nose, cough, and a red, blotchy rash that starts on the face and spreads over the body.

Q. What is the order of the occurrence of rashes in measles?
The order of occurrence is as follows:

  1. Prodrome (early signs): fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes
  2. Maculopapular rash: small red spots with flat, red patches that start on the face and spread downward to the trunk, arms, and legs
  3. Koplik spots: small, white spots inside the mouth along the cheek lining
  4. Post-Koplik spots rash: more red spots and blotches that spread to the extremities
  5. Resolving rash: the rash fades and disappears over a period of days

Q. What makes measles so contagious?
It is highly contagious because it is spread through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can stay in the air for up to two hours and can be spread to other people during that time. People can also get measles by touching surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus.

Q. What causes measles?
It is caused by a virus called the measles virus (or rubeola virus). It is highly contagious and is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucus.

Q. Can a child get measles once vaccinated?
No, a child cannot get measles once they have been vaccinated. Vaccines provide protection against disease by helping the body to recognize and fight off the virus. This immunity is usually lifelong, so once a person is vaccinated they should not get the disease.

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