Symptom: Hemorrhagic rash

Hemorrhagic rash: Skin rash caused by bleeding under the skin
Introduction: A hemorrhagic rash occurs when tiny capillaries under the skin start to bleed just under the skin. This type of rash can occur in meningococcal disease and certain hemorrhagic fevers (e.g. Dengue hemorrhagic fever). All of these conditions are very serious and a hemorrhagic rash, or a suspected hemorrhagic rash, is a medical emergency. Seek professional medical attention immediately for any suspected hemorrhagic rash or meningococcal rash.

One of the main examples of a hemorrhagic rash is the meningococcal rash from meningococcal disease (specifically the type called meningococcal septicemia). The meningococcal rash has certain particular characteristics. It often starts out looking like lots of tiny blood spots under the skin. These spots will increase over time as more under-skin bleeding occurs. Gradually, the spots become bruises, and eventually become large red-purple areas of obvious bleeding.

One of the main tests of the meningococcal rash is that it does not fade under pressure. In other words, the skin does not turn whiter or go paler under pressure. Unfortunately, this is not always true in the early stages of the rash, so the rash needs to be assessed regularly to avoid a misdiagnosis in the early stages.

The pressure test involves pressing on the rash to see whether it fades. One convenient way is to press on the rash with a clear see-through drinking glass, to see through the glass how the rash responds. Whereas most rashes from allergies or viral infections will fade, the meningococcal rash does not fade (except in early stages of the disease).

Detailed cause information for symptom: Hemorrhagic rash:
  • Possible causes of symptom: Hemorrhagic rash (5 conditions)
  • Medical conditions causing symptom: Hemorrhagic rash (1 conditions)

    Medical articles on symptoms: These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Hemorrhagic rash type of: Rash (105)
    Symptoms: symptom center, symptom groups, symptom descriptions

    Possible causes of symptom: Hemorrhagic rash: The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Hemorrhagic rash as a symptom. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

    Conditions listing symptoms: Hemorrhagic rash: The following list of conditions have 'Hemorrhagic rash' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


  • Meningococcal disease ... hemorrhagic rash

    Last revised: Nov 3, 2003

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