Caring for your HIV-related problem: Skin Rash/Dermatitis 
PROBLEM: Skin rashes or changes in skin condition may be short or long lasting. You may experience redness, itching, swelling or pain. Depending on the cause, they may occur anywhere on the body.

This problem may be due to different kinds of infection such as bacterial, viral or fungal infections. HIV infection, drug reactions, radiation treatments, emotional stress (anxiety), allergic reactions, too much sun, or other health problems may cause some rashes.

TREATMENT:  There are many ways to treat this problem. The first step is to contact your physician or nurse. By working together, a treatment plan can be developed for you. This plan may include prescription or non-prescription medications, or other treatments.  If possible, the cause of the rash should be identified.
SELF CARE:  Here are some strategies you may try to help you feel better:
  • Bathe or shower with a mild, non-perfumed soap (such as Cetaphil™ or Dove™) and lukewarm water. Avoid hot tubs; they dry your skin.
  • Air or pat dry your skin after bathing.
  • Use bandages for any bleeding, discharge or drainage to prevent spread of infection on your own body or to others.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • For dry skin, use unscented moisturizing creams or lotions that do not contain alcohol. Lotions containing aloe may help.
  • In dry climates or in very warm apartments, dry air can irritate the skin. You may want to consider a warm mist humidifier.
  • Wear light, non-irritating clothing and a hat when in the sun.
  • Keep sheets and blankets off sensitive skin. For example, use a pillow at the foot of the bed to hold sheets off your feet.
  • Check in your drugstore for Aveno™, calamine lotion or use an oatmeal and water mixture on affected areas of body to reduce the itch.
  • Some oils, such as sweet almond, nourish dry skin.
  • Pay special attention to new skin changes and report these to your doctor or nurse.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Do not share towels or linens.
  • Try not to scratch. Keep your fingernails short and clean.
Guidelines for the symptoms of
Anxiety Depression Diarrhea Fatigue Fever
Forgetfulness Insomnia Lipodystrophy Nausea Neuropathy
Night Sweats Shortness of Breath Skin Rash/Dermatitis Unplanned Weight Loss Vaginal Problems
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