An image of a person with hepatitis C rash

Hepatitis C Rash

Hepatitis C is often associated with liver damage, or abdominal pain due to liver damage. Although these are common symptoms, there are some other symptoms that may also be indicative of a hepatitis C infection. These include jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark urine, light-coloring of the stool, an increase in fatigue, or one or more skin rashes. These rashes are not contagious. However, it is always recommended that anyone with any open wound try to prevent it from touching others, largely due to the attempt to prevent infection of the wound via external contaminants.

Urticaria

A common skin rash related to hepatitis C is called urticaria. This often occurs when the body is trying to fight off the hep C infection on its own (before any medical treatment is provided). The rash is typically itchy and widespread, which means it might be on numerous places on the body. The rash is typically red and might lead to skin swelling, which can last for many hours. It might even look like an allergic reaction.

Lichen planus

For someone with a longer existing hepatitis C infection, there may be prolonged or chronic liver damage. This sometimes leads to a rash called lichen planus. This can involve the scalp, skin, mouth, nails, and genitalia. It can appear to be white and patchy or scaly, resembling patches of very dry skin or eczema. Sometimes, the rash may appear to look like dark spots, much like round scabs on a patch of the body

Pruritus

Another hepatitis C is pruritus, the sensation of being itchy without a visible reason for the itch. This is the feeling of needing to scratch somewhere, without there being anything visible when you look at where you are scratching. This is not any sort of emergency, though it may feel scary since most times scratching occurs when there is some sort of rash, mark, or injury present.

Other skin symptoms

Sometimes, there is no rash or itching sensation, but the skin is showing generalized symptoms of liver problems. This state of damage can cause symptoms to appear on the skin. Some of these symptoms include general redness, red spots, or brown or dry patches.

What do I do if I have one or more of these rashes?

First, consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. Not every skin rash is indicative of a hepatitis C infection or of liver damage. Your physician will be able to identify your rash and either explain why it is occurring or order tests to verify or rule out other illnesses, including hepatitis C. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, your physician will be able to provide you with both the test results and the information so you can begin to understand what happens next to rid your body of the virus. Together, you and your doctor will plan a course of action that fits with your insurance, your budget, and your individual medical needs.

View References
  1. "Cutaneous Manifestations Of Hepatitis C Clinical Presentation: History, Physical, Causes". Emedicine.medscape.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
  2. Gonzalez Gompf, MD, FACP, Sandra and Siddharth Bansal, MD. "Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment - What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C Infection? - Medicinenet". MedicineNet. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
  3. "Is Your Rash Caused By Hepatitis C?". Healthline. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
  4. Veluru, Chandra et al. “Skin Rash During Chronic Hepatitis C Therapy.” Gastroenterology & Hepatology 6.5 (2010): 323–325. Print.
  5. "Viral Hepatitis And The Skin. Dermnet NZ". Dermnetnz.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

Comments

View Comments (5)
  • Tonganoxiegal
    1 month ago

    Where was all this information 20 yrs ago….I would have been easier on myself.I have had HepC for 50 yrs. Diagnosed by giving blood for a Christmas Blood Drive. Thought since I have rare blood thus the HepC (AB-) this way I could “give back” because AB- blood was so hard to get when I needed it. Then the letter came…. Don’t want your blood…. HepC????? If you also have HepC check all information, find a good Dr. and remember you are NOT crazy!!!! Be kind to yourself!! Happy Holidays!

  • makiah
    3 months ago

    You did not mention cryoglobulinemia. That presented for me as a bright red rash from my knees to my ankles. Curing Hep C also cured Cryo.

  • roccorob
    11 months ago

    During the time when I was still drinking & I was not cured I woke up one morning to find myself covered in red patches from my torso down to my thighs with lichen planas. My dermatologist told me there wasn’t much that could be done for it.
    I got real frightened at what I was doing to my body so I immediately stopped drinking and got treated with sovaldi & ribovirn and haven’t had a reoccurrence of lichen palanus since !

  • Tonganoxiegal
    1 month ago

    Isn’t it weird? I was told I had ” adult chicken pox and shingles” with this kind of flair up. Good luck on your journey!

  • CaseyH moderator
    11 months ago

    Oh wow, what a story, roccorob!! Thank you for sharing that with us. How scary! I’m so glad that you’ve been making such healthy choices now, and that you had a successful treatment!! That’s awesome!! -Casey, HepatitisC.net Team

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