Illustration copyright 2000 by
Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is sometimes called
"slapped-cheek disease" because of the rash that some people get on the
If a rash appears, usually it has two or three distinct
A bright red rash occurs on the sides of the
face and sometimes on the forehead and chin. This rash usually is gone within 5
Another rash appears on the neck, trunk, forearms, upper
legs, and buttocks. This rash starts as round red spots and begins to take on a
lacy look. It can be itchy, especially in older children. This second stage
lasts a week or less.
After the body rash fades, it may come back
if the person is out in the sun, gets too warm, or is under stress. This rash
lasts 1 to 3 weeks. Even though a rash comes back, it does not mean the
illness is worse.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.