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Red & Spotty Skin With Muscle Pain, Weakness & Headaches

author image J.M. Andrews
J.M. Andrews has been a professional journalist for more than 20 years. She specializes in health and medical content for consumers and health professionals. Andrews' background in medicine and science has earned her credits in a wide range of online and print publications, including "Young Physicians" magazine.
Red & Spotty Skin With Muscle Pain, Weakness & Headaches
Red itchy skin on the back of a child's leg. Photo Credit Taborsk/iStock/Getty Images

If your symptoms include red and spotty skin accompanied by muscle pain, weakness and headaches, you might be suffering from several different conditions. You could have the virus mononucleosis and several autoimmune conditions, including lupus and celiac disease. Although you'll need to schedule a visit with your physician to determine the cause of your symptoms, you may be able to eliminate some suspect conditions by reviewing the possible causes of your symptoms. If your symptoms seem severe or if they begin to worsen, seek medical care immediately.


Mononucleosis, a viral infection, causes a fever, sore throat and swollen lymph glands -- especially in the neck, according to the National Library of Medicine. It also can cause a rash with red and spotty skin, muscle pain, weakness and headaches. If you have mono, your symptoms may begin with fatigue, a sore throat and a headache. Your throat likely will begin to hurt more as the viral infection progresses, and you'll probably develop a pink rash. Anti-viral medications don't work against mononucleosis, so if you have it, your physician probably will tell you to simply treat the symptoms with pain relievers. Your fatigue may linger for two or three months.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease, caused by a bacterium transmitted by an infected tick, initially causes a bull's-eye-shaped rash at the site of the tick bite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the rash develops, you might experience muscle pain, weakness and headaches accompanied by a fever and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, Lyme disease can spread throughout the body and cause seemingly unrelated symptoms, such as severe headaches, neck stiffness, heart palpitations and dizziness. Many patients experience bouts of painful arthritis in their joints. Most cases of Lyme disease respond to antibiotics, especially if they're caught early, so if your red and spotty skin takes the form of a bull's-eye rash, see your doctor immediately.


In the autoimmune disease lupus, your disease-fighting white blood cells mistakenly begin attacking your own tissues, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Top symptoms of lupus include joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, weakness, headaches and a red rash, often on the face. It's difficult to diagnose lupus, because there's no specific test for it. If your physician suspects you have lupus, she'll likely talk to you extensively about your symptoms and order some blood tests. Treatments for lupus can include a variety of different medications to help calm your immune system and prevent complications from the disease.

Fifth Disease

Fifth disease, a viral infection, occurs mainly in children. But adults can catch it, too, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus causes a red, lacy rash, muscle and joint pain, weakness and malaise, and occasionally headaches. It usually also causes a low-grade fever and occasionally symptoms of a cold. Generally, your physician will recommend you rest at home if you have Fifth disease, drink plenty of fluids, and let the infection run its course. However, if your immune system doesn't function properly, you may need additional treatment.

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