SJIA Rash vs. Other Rashes

A rash is typically one of the first signs of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but many other conditions also cause rashes. Here’s how to tell the difference between an SJIA rash and other common ones.

SJIA. A spotty pale red or pinkish salmon-colored rash that appears with spikes in fever and may last a few minutes to a few hours. It rarely occurs on the face, and more typically appears on the chest, upper arms and upper thighs, although it can be found on other parts of the body. It usually doesn’t recur in the same location. It is generally flat, but can emerge in raised, small patches. It rarely itches.

Dermatitis. This is a general term for skin irritation and inflammation that has many causes. It causes a red, swollen and itchy rash that may be bumpy, scaly or patchy and can occur anywhere on the body.

Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis. This thick, red rash with scaly white or silvery patches is usually found behind the ears or on the eyelids, knees, elbows and scalp. It may itch and cause swelling in the fingers and toes as well as pitted or infected-looking nails.

Juvenile Dermatomyositis. This red to bluish-purple rash typically appears in patches around nails, knuckles, elbows, knees, chest and back. Often mistaken for dry skin or eczema, it can also appear as a red or purplish rash on eyelids and cheeks. It worsens in the sun and is usually accompanied by muscle weakness and/or pain.

Juvenile Scleroderma. This disease causes skin to harden and tighten into oval patches or in straight lines. The patches are often shiny and smooth and can be light or dark. There are two types: localized and systemic. Systemic is rare in children, but tends to affect the fingers, hands, forearms and face.

Juvenile Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Lupus causes a butterfly-shaped rash that spans the cheeks and bridge of the nose, resembling a sunburn. It may also cause a scaly, disk-shaped rash on the face, neck, ears, scalp and/or chest.

Hives. Hives is a sudden outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or splotches that vary in size, typically due to an allergic reaction. It may itch, burn or sting and can appear anywhere on the body. Hives can last anywhere from a few hours up to a day.

Poison Ivy. The poison ivy plant can cause red, itchy streaks or patches that occur anywhere the plant has touched skin. It may create bumps or large, oozing blisters that leak yellowish pus and can last from 10 days to six weeks.

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