Skip to main content

Fifth disease rash

Fifth disease rash on face, with close-up of second-stage body rash.

Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is sometimes called "slapped-cheek disease" because of the rash that some people get on the face.

A bright red rash occurs on the cheeks, and then the rash may appear on the rest of the body. The rash may last for 7 to 10 days.

The rash on the body starts as round red spots and begins to take on a lacy look. It can be itchy, especially in older children. The rash may come and go for several weeks. Even though a rash comes back, it does not mean the illness is worse.

Current as of: June 12, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.


PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.