Jun 30 2009

Treating Mononucleosis – Skin Rash

Published by at 4:56 am under Natural treatments

If you have a skin rash during a bout of Epstein Barr or mono, it is important to determine the cause of the rash. It is possible that the rash is a post viral rash or it can due to an allergy or intolerance to medication or food. Let’s have a look at the common causes for a skin rash when treating mononucleosis.

Antibiotics are of no use in treating viruses like Epstein Barr – the virus which causes mono. In fact using antibiotics like amoxicillin and ampicillin in mono patients may cause a measle-like rash.

Occasionally antibiotics may be prescribed when treating mononucleosis if a secondary bacterial infection like strep throat develops. In these cases it is worth getting a swab and culture done to confirm if you have developed a secondary infection. If you do test positive for a bacterial infection, then amoxicillin and ampicillin should be avoided.

Viral skin rash

A skin rash in the early, acute stage of mono can be a viral rash which normally resolves itself within a couple of days. This skin rash is commonly seen in children.

Allergy or intolerance to medication or foods

A more extensive and prolonged skin rash can be an allergic reaction or an intolerance to a medication or food that you have been taking. Many drugs can be hard for the body to metabolise. If liver function is impaired, as it often is with mono, the rash may be itchy, red and raised. It may be accompanied by nausea, poor appetite, headaches and malaise.

Natural remedies for a mono skin rash

If a skin reaction does appear when you are treating mononucleosis there are a few remedies you can try. Topically you can try some healing gels like paw paw ointment or aloe vera gel which can take the itch and redness out of the rash.

Exposing the skin to sunlight may enhance healing – just don’t get sun burnt. If using sunlight when treating mononucleosis it is advisable to test how your body reacts first for a few minutes. Although most of my patients find sunlight helpful, some individuals seem to get an adverse reaction to sun which can worsen their symptoms.

When treating mononucleosis patients with a skin reaction, I have found the nutrients vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc and the omega 3 fats can reduce the inflammation and discomfort. Anti-inflammatory foods in the diet like turmeric, ginger, garlic, deep sea fish, pineapple and paw paw are also excellent.

Doing some gentle liver cleansing with lemon juice in warm water on rising, plus plenty of fluids throughout the day is essential to flush the virus and toxins out of the body.

For more information on treating mononucleosis naturally with nutrients, herbs, a healthy diet, liver cleansing and lifestyle changes, then please refer to my e-book “Nature’s Amazing Mononucleosis Cures”.

21 responses so far

21 Responses to “Treating Mononucleosis – Skin Rash”

  1. Matt Monetti says:

    I am quite likely to have a rash due to complication of taking amoxicillin while I had a viral infection. This webpage makes the most sense, but I hope there is more information available. I had ruptured an eardrum on a return flight in mid December. For days prior I felt under the weather and sub coming to full out weakness fell asleep early on the day before my return. I felt feverish and like I was developing a serious cold. On the ninth day of taking the amoxicillin I developed a very itchy rash. It started behind my ears, but soon after was on my arms and then legs. It continued to spread throughout out my extremities and scalp. My extremities also swelled to the point I could not close my hands and walking was painful. That day I went to a doctor who thought it a allergic reaction to the antibiotic and prescribed methyl prednisone. There was very little relief, so I revisited the doctor who then up the steroid to a more powerful prednisone. I had a low-grade fever on that visit and a cough (I have not taken any of the prescribe second antibiotic or cough syrup but both symptoms seem to have disappeared). The swelling is gone in hands and arms, and greatly diminished in my legs and feet. Benadryl helps relief the itch, but I don’t want to use it to frequently. Unfortunately, none to this treatment seems to relief the rash much. The rash seems elusive. Sometimes its course seems like it just moves from one location to another nearby one, but other times it jumps elsewhere. The rash starts out as bumps and then join to form huge welt-like marks and then as they disappear (if) they become a red blotch before returning to normal. I haven’t had much on my chest, back or face relative to other areas. The most intense itch has been on my hands (mostly palms and fingers, scalps (particularly along the hairline) and feet. At times these areas become painful on palpation which really stinks when you have an intense itch. I must say I felt much better today than previous days, but as I type this evening I feel/see the itch reoccur in some area on my arms and legs and forehead, jaw line and below my chin. I have not taken a medication of any sort in twelve years prior to this by choice and it a significant challenge to my beliefs of healing be in this predicament. Like I said it seems that the information that has been reported on this webpage seems to be the most likely explanation, so I hope that I can get more information on the best course of action and progression. It’s been difficult to get any information at all, but this seems like a good lead. Thank you so much and have a blessed New Year!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for your post. Sorry to hear of your rash. It does sound like it may be a side effect of the amoxicillin.

    I would recommend you do a few days of a gentle cleansing diet based around fresh vegetables, fruit, quality protein, healthy fats and lots of pure water. If you have not already, I would add some probiotics like acidophillus and bifido bacteria into your diet to replensih the healthy gastrointestinal flora. Some of the anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, fish oils, vitamin C and zinc would be worth including. When the itch appears you could try a warm oatmeal bath or try a topical ointment like aloe vera or paw paw. I hope you start to feel better soon.

  3. Matt Monetti says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply! It’s music to my ears! I intend to go along with your recommendation and move back out of the medical paradigm where one problem leads to another through interactions (side effects) that most are not fully aware of or tend to understate. It’s too easy, and profitable for the medical and pharmaceutical establishments, to remain in the medical world once you’ve landed there. I know better and still there I was. I can’t tell you how many websites I searched where one after another story was “I have this similar rash and the doctors treat it several different ways without success and none could reveal an underlying cause”. I’m so thankful I found your website and am convinced that this is how I came to be in this predicament. I hope that others will arrive at your page and find it as helpful and avoid additional complications. My wife is a chiropractor, we live through chiropractic philosophy but in rare emergent cases seek medical advice. The power that made the body heals the body! Medicine can only hope to alleviate the symptoms with minimal consequence elsewhere while the real healing is delivered through innate intelligence. The life force will serve us best when we treat our body as the temple it truly is! Do you have any other means of publicizing your knowledge in this area (FaceBook, email, …)? I would like to stay in touch and see that others are aware! Thanks Again!!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Matt,
    Yes I agree that many people get stuck in the conventional medicine loop. The body has a wonderful self-healing mechanism if given the chance. I’m sure your chiropractic knowledge will help. Keep us posted on how you go.
    PS. I do a weekly blog on natural healing plus the occasional Youtube video, podcast and ezine article when time allows!

  5. Alex says:

    I have mono, and am currently on the mend. My sore throat has been healed for weeks, and my bouts with fatigue are few and far between. But over the past couple of days, I have noticed something of a skin rash developing on my back. Raised skin and bumpy, but not particularly itchy, and only a very light shade of red. Today, it spread to my face a bit. I know that the mono is still very much in my system, but most of the websites that I’ve read say that rashes are more common during the preliminary stages. What am I currently experiencing?

    Side-note: I took a Claritin D 24-hour Allergy pill this morning, and have a sketchy history with the pill in the past. Never developed a rash because of it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I am experiencing an allergic reaction.


  6. admin says:

    Hi Alex,
    Yes the viral rash commonly seen in mono usually appears in the initial, acute stage of the infection although I have had patients who experience the rash at a later stage. In the longer term mono can compromise liver function so seemingly safe drugs and foods can cause a reaction. I would be drinking lots of fluids and adding some anti-inflammatory foods like fish oils, ginger, turmeric, vitamin C and zinc into your regime. If the rash persists, then using a gentle soothing cream like paw paw or aloe vera extract may help.

  7. Libby says:

    I’ve had mono for about two weeks now, and one of the new things that’s started in the past day or two is that I’m itchy all over, especially my feet. I don’t have a rash or any bumps yet, so I’m not sure if this is related, but it’s driving me crazy and keeping me up all night! I can’t seem to get it to stop. Any suggestions? Ive tried different lotions, but thats it.

  8. admin says:

    Hi Libby,

    Sometimes itchiness can come from the liver being involved in mono. I would recommend you take some natural anti-inflammatories like vitamin C, zinc, ginger, fish oils and turmeric. Drinking plenty of pure water, following an alkaline diet and doing some dry skin brushing may also help. Lemon juice in warm water on rising or a gentle liver cleanser would be advisable.

    Best Wishes

  9. Jo says:

    My sister had mono about 6 months ago and she has this rash and it will not go away ..Shes 18 and is devastated she has tried creams antibiotics and still nothing … My ? Is how ling does this rash usually go on for ??

  10. admin says:

    Hi Jo,

    The skin rash with mono is normally seen in the acute, initial stage of the infection and wears off within a couple of weeks. In some people the rash can appear after antibiotics, particularly if the virus is still active. I would recommend your sister gets off any antibiotics, replenishs her gastrointestinal flora with some probiotics and eats a pure, fresh food diet. The use of a topical cream like calendula or aloe vera may be helpful.


  11. Stephanie says:

    Not confirmed Mono, but my 4 yr old daughter has been onslotted with a virus for the last week, Ear Ache, sore neck (glands behind left ear swollen) aching legs, fever, fatigue. We started amoxicillin on Friday night and she broke out in a rash on Sunday night. Amoxicillin was stopped. We are 2 days fever free, but rash persists and now eyes are swollen and she is being treated for pink eye. Still not herself, though appetite is improving. She takes a multi vitamin and a probiotic. Any other suggestions for the ginger, etc in a 4 yr old (35 #) whether it is mono or just a general virus? Thank you so much!

    Thank you so much!
    A concerned momma!!!

  12. admin says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Hope your little girl is feeling a bit better. If her symptoms are still with her then it is likely to be a persistent virus like mono. If it is a simple cold or flu virus then she should be improving by now. If you are still concerned the only way to find out is through a blood test.

    It is good that you have her on a multvitamin and probiotics. If she is still showing acute symptoms then I would be adding some extra vitamin C and zinc. The anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, garlic, onion, raw pineapple and fish oils are excellent. The spices can be disguised in a stir fry or a soup or sauce.

    Best Wishes

  13. Ty says:

    I seem to be one of the few people who do NOT find the sun helpful like you mentioned.
    I’ve been diagnosed with mono and developed the full body rash very shortly after.
    However, I can’t even open the blinds in my home or step outside for more than a minute or two or any part of my body exposed to the light will make the rash 10x more severe and painful.
    Any suggestions of something I could do to make this not so disabling? I’ve begun feeling better lately and feel like I can actually get some work done, but I’m scared to step outside because of the rash and it’s sensitivity to sunlight.
    Thanks for the help!

  14. admin says:

    Hi Ty,

    Thanks for your post. In the early stages of infection some people do find they are sensitive to sunlight. The best approach is to avoid sunlight temporarily or cover up when you go outside. Drinking plenty of water and doing some gentle liver cleansing with lemon juice in warm water on rising plus lots of fresh vegetables and fruit can help. The rash can be triggered or exacerbated by antibiotics so avoid these if possible. If you have taken them, then do a course of acidophillus and bifido bacteria in order to replenish the healthy gastrointestinal flora.

    If your rash prevails then I would get your doctor to do some further tests. Some diseases like sarcoidosis are worsened by sunlight.

    Best Wishes

  15. Donna says:

    My 16 yr old was recently diagnosed with mono over a week ago. Before and during this time she has been on amoxicillin and agmentin. Two days ago she started hives and is completely covered now. She is now on prednisolone.

    How long should the rash last? Is there anything we can do to make her more comfortable? Also, can she still go to school with this rash?

  16. admin says:

    Hi Donna,
    Sorry your daughter has been diagnosed with mono. Taking antibiotics (which will not help target the virus) can often result in a nasty skin rash. I assume the doctor has now taken her off them. The rash can last anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks in severe cases. The best approach is to do a course of acidophillus and bifido bacteria in order to replenish the healthy gastrointestinal flora, drink plenty of pure water and eat a pure food diet based on fresh vegetables and fruit. Some anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, fish oil, raw pineapple, paw paw, zinc and vitamin C can be beneficial. To relieve the rash your daughter could try an oatmeal bath or use some soothing topical lotions like aloe vera or paw paw.

    Your daughter should be OK to go to school if she feels up to it. The virus is spread via saliva not the skin.


  17. Judy says:

    I am being tested for mono, but of course it is Friday and the Dr. is out! I have developed a rash under my arm and breast, some of it is raised and some not. It is not painful, a little itchey. I started taking Iodine and potassium the other day, could that cause this kind of reaction?

  18. admin says:

    Hi Judy,

    It sounds like your skin rash may be a viral rash caused by mono or a similar virus. It is unusual for the body to react to iodine or potassium. In the short term drink plenty of pure water, eat a fresh food diet and use a topical lotion like aloe vera or paw paw if the rash is itchy or uncomfortable.


  19. admin says:

    Hi Kristina,

    Sorry your little girl is suffering from a rash. It sounds like the antibiotics have triggered it. Yes aloe vera or paw paw ointment are worth trying. An oatmeal bath can help relieve the irritation as well. I would also look at replenishing her healthy gastrointestinal flora with some child friendly probiotics like acidophillus bacteria.

    Best wishes

  20. andrea says:

    A little more than a year ago my now 17 year old daughter had a severe case of mono, we ended up in the ER because her glands got so large they restricted her breathing.
    About 10 days ago she started experiencing flu like symptoms ( sore throat, muscle aches, headaches and a slight fever). 2 days after the onset she developed a blistery rash just like the chickenpox – very itchy all over, fluid filled blisters that popped and crusted over. We were sure it’s the chickenpox. However bloodtests only revealed EBV, chickenpox came back negative. Is it possible to have a rash like that with a mono flare up? Should I get her tested for anything else?

  21. admin says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Sorry your daughter is not well. The Epstein Barr virus that causes mono is a latent virus that can relapse when the body is run down or under stress. Sometimes a viral rash does appear in the early stages of infection or during a relapse. For the time being I would advise your daughter to get some bed rest, eat a light healthy diet and take some immune nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, the B complex, fish oils etc. To relieve the itch some aloe vera or paw paw gel can be used.

    Best Wishes

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