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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: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine


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