Fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) is sometimes called "slapped-cheek disease" because of the rash that some people get on the face.
If a rash appears, usually it has two or three distinct stages:
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 days.
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.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD, MPH - PediatricsKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine