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Glandular Fever & Rash

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Glandular Fever & Rash
Close up of a couple kissing outdoors Photo Credit oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

Glandular fever, more commonly known as mononucleosis, is an infectious disease that is transmitted through saliva. This has given it the street name of the “kissing disease.” MayoClinic.com states that glandular fever may be transmitted from sneezing or coughing, but it is not as contagious as most common cold viruses. Mononucleosis is typically accompanied by a skin rash that produces a pinkish rash throughout the body. The rash can become worse if the patient is taking certain antibiotics, according to MedlinePlus.


Glandular fever mostly affects children and young adults, especially children below the age of 3. According to the Australian Children, Youth and Women’s Health Services, nearly 40 percent of teenagers in first-world countries will be infected by mononucleosis. The disease is the result of the Epstein-Barr virus and lays dormant even after the symptoms diminish.


Glandular fever typically produces a rash, but it will be accompanied by other defining symptoms of the condition. The most common symptoms for mononucleosis are fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and a swollen spleen, according to MedlinePlus. Glandular fever may also cause an outbreak of hives, a skin rash that is not contagious but extremely itchy. Hives can appear and disappear within minutes for no reason.

Treating the Virus

There is no cure for mononucleosis. The best treatment for the viral infection is to allow the immune system to kill the virus on its own. The Australian Children, Youth and Women’s Health Services recommends the patient pay close attention to the body’s signals for rest. Sleeping enables the immune system to strengthen and fight more effectively the viral infection. Increase the amount of liquids in the diet and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Treating the Rash

Rash from glandular fever is typically related to the use of amoxicillin. A rash does not mean the person is allergic to the antibiotic, but the doctor may need to be consulted about another option for an antibiotic, according to MayoClinic.com. If the rash is hives, they can be treated with over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointments and lotions. Taking an antihistamine may also help reduce hives.


Rash from mononucleosis can cause secondary skin infections. If someone experiences pus-filled skin or extreme swelling, she should talk with a physician. Strep throat is another complication of the viral infection, according to MedlinePlus. The virus can lead to death in people with other conditions that have compromised the immune system.

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