Important Facts About HIV Sores
There are many different types of HIV sores that are present if you have acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). With this disease, your body loses its ability to fight off infections so many skin conditions develop including viral, fungal bacterial and even cancer.
Since AIDS was first recognized in 1981, it has become a major health problem across the planet. Since a person is able to be infected for several years with HIV, they have the ability to infect many other people without knowing. Some infections may last quite a few years and then suddenly start causing some type of HIV sores which is usually when the individual finds out they are infected from seeing a doctor to treat the skin problem.
Types Of HIV Sores And Skin Conditions
- Papular Urticaria and Hives – These are pea-sized, pink bumps that spread and severely itch. They often turn into larger patches of hives. The itching is generally very uncomfortable and they are quite hard to control because they don't respond well to topical medications or antihistamines, not even in large doses.
- Acne-Like Eruptions and Folliculitis – These types of HIV sores are small pustules that form on the chest, scalp, face, back, buttocks and legs around hair follicles. They are so itchy that it is not uncommon for the patient to scratch until they bleed which causes a secondary infection.
- Leukoplakia of the Mouth – This is quite an unusual condition that is a dead giveaway that the individual is infected. They are white, small, fuzzy patches that develop on the tongue and resemble a yeast infection in the mouth. They are painless but unsightly.
- Kaposi's Sarcoma – It is common for AIDS patients to develop this type of cancer. The lesions vary in color including purple, dark red, pink or brown. They do not itch or cause pain but they can grow to be large and develop into large tumors. Kaposi's sarcoma will often involve both the lymph nodes as well as internal organs such as the liver, spleen bowel, stomach and lungs.
- Psoriasis – Flare-ups can become quite severe in AIDS patients. Silvery, salmon-pink, scale-covered patches appear on the skin, especially the elbows, knees and scalp. Some people even develop large pus-filled blisters on the palms of their hands. Many patients need to be hospitalized for treatment because the condition becomes so severe.
- Herpes Simplex – It is very common for AIDS patients to have recurrent infections of herpes simplex virus. These HIV sores can occur near the eyes, mouth, nose, genital or anal areas. They usually have a sensation of pain, itching, burning and tingling. Clusters of blisters will form and then rupture leaving ulcers that create a scab. While typical herpes sores last around 10 days, individuals with AIDS can see them remain for several weeks and have one outbreak after the other.
- Molluscum Contagiosum – This superficial infection is typically seen in young adults who are sexually active as well as small children. They are waxy or pearly, smooth bumps that can be as small as a pinhead to as big as a pea. These lesions become incredibly extensive in HIV patients.
- Shingles – These are caused by a reactivation of the dreaded chicken pox virus that infects the nerves and causes inflammation. Clusters of blisters form on one side of the body that eventually burst and leave behind crusted ulcers. They can last for several weeks in the average person but HIV patient often has to be hospitalized with intravenous antiviral and pain medication.
- Impetigo – Clusters of honey-colored, soft, large abscessed sores or blisters develop, primarily in intravenous drug users. When they break, they leave behind shallow, yellow-crusted ulcers. These are a bacterial infection and can spread through the body.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis – These HIV sores are usually found on the face, chest, groin and scalp. They look like a red, flaky rash and are typically, quite persistent.
Skin lesions are often the initial sign of HIV infection. If you have any type of sore that is questionable, it is crucial that you see a doctor or dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment options.