Indian Fire Rash

August 29, 2014 | 0

Rash is a skin manifestation of both systemic and local medical conditions. Most skin rashes are due to either allergic or infective causes. The Indian fire rash, commonly known as impetigo,  is a communicable skin infection that mostly affects children and infants. It manifests as red ulcers on the face particularly on the nose and around the mouth. The major cause of this kind of rash is bacterial infection. Bacteria are inoculated into your body through cuts or insect bites. However, they can appear on an otherwise normal skin.

Types of Indian fire rash

The most common type of this rash is impetigo contagiosa. It is also known as ninbulluos impetigo. Its onset is marked by appearance of reddish sore on your face and around the nose and mouth. The papules burst and release pus and other fluids including blood that later form crust. The fluids and pus released are highly contiguous and can readily infect another person. The sores are also itchy but do not pain.

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If the crust is removed, it leaves a reddish spot that heals and does not form a scar. However, such spots normally leave an ugly appearance on the face. Lymph nodes draining affected area become inflamed and swollen. No fever is experienced since this is mostly a local as opposed to a systemic condition. Other parts of the body may also be affected as you may scratch a sore then touch another area of your body.

The second type is called ecthyma. This is a more severe variant of this condition.  It may be as invasive to reach deeper layers of the skin. Pus and fluid may develop in these deeper tissues causing ulceration. The ulcers produce a thick gray-yellow exudate. The extremities are commonly affected.  Scars are formed when the ulcers heal as opposed to the spots in impetigo contagiosa.

The third type of this rash is called bullous impetigo. Bullous impetigo has a preference in children below the age of 2 years. Painless fluid-filled blisters may be observed on the torso, legs and arms. The skin around affected area is reddish and pruritic. Blisters are of variable sizes. These blisters rupture after a few days to form scar tissue, which may be present for a considerable amount of time.


Bacterial infections are the major causes of this condition. Bacteria implicated in the pathogenesis include staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pyogenes. These bacteria are normal flora of the skin i.e. they are normal harmless on the skin where they reside. They become harmful only when they access the internal structures of your body through a lesion on your skin such as a cut.

In the adults, the major cause of such avenue of entry of bacteria is through trauma. Other skin conditions such as dermatitis can also lead to development of the Indian skin rash. In children, the major cause is insect bite. Since it is highly communicable, close physical contact is a major secondary cause.

Other secondary spread methods include sharing of items such as towel, clothes and toys. It should be noted that any age group can be affected by the extremes of age are the most predisposed group. They also display severe symptoms. This is because of the waning immune system in the old and the immature immune response in the very young.


Signs and symptoms of this condition can be variable in different individuals. Red sores which rupture after a few days realizing pus and fluid are is an invariable manifestation. The affected area is also itchy. Painless blisters filled with fluid may be seen especially in the bullous type. Severe cases may present as painful pus filled sores which normally ulcerate.


Complications after its development are extremely rare. It often does not require medical intervention as it subsides spontaneously in a span of 3 weeks. However, in the case of complication, you should visit a medical doctor who will prescribe you antibiotics to kill the offending organisms. These drugs are available in both topical and oral formulations. The topical formulations are the best because they cause less side effects compared to the oral ones.

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You will apply the medication at the affected area only. They are for external use only.

Other treatment method methods include the use of white vinegar mixed in water then applied on the infected or affected area for a period of about 10 – 20 minutes. You should also maintain good hygiene at the area infected by keeping it clean all day long. Topical medication such as antibiotics should only be applied when the area is dry. Care must be taken when drying this area to avoid further inoculation of microorganisms.


Prevention is the best option as it will save you both time and money. Preventive measures include staying away from infected individuals. Indian fire rash is a highly communicable condition and physical contact with a victim almost always results in infection. You should also avoid sharing things such as fomites. This is because they have the capacity of transferring infective organisms from one person to another.

Indian Fire Rash – Pictures

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