Infections that can cause mottled skin
Some severe infections can cause skin discolouration and mottling, including:
- Rheumatic fever
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that is usually spread by breathing in tiny droplets from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. The infection usually affects the lungs but can affect other body parts.
The infection can cause skin changes such as rashes, ulcers, and lumps to appear. Other symptoms may include:
- a persistent cough and bringing up bloody phlegm
- loss of appetite
- fever or high temperature
Rheumatic fever is a rare complication of a bacterial throat infection. It can cause tiny bumps to appear under the skin, and the symptoms usually appear up to 5 weeks after you have had a throat infection.
Sepsis is a serious, life-threatening condition and can be difficult to spot because there are so many possible symptoms. Sepsis can sometimes look like other conditions like a chest infection or flu.
Sepsis can cause your skin to change appearance. Some people with sepsis may develop a haemorrhagic rash, where clusters of tiny spots that look like pinpricks appear on the skin. It may also cause your skin to become blotchy.
If you suspect you or someone else may have sepsis, you should seek immediate medical help.
Meningitis is a serious infection that affects the protective membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord, also called meninges. Although it can affect anyone, it is common in babies, young children, and adolescents.
Symptoms of meningitis include:
- stiff neck
- being unable to tolerate bright lights
Another major symptom of meningitis is a skin rash. You can distinguish between a meningitis rash and one caused by sepsis by rolling a glass over it. If it does not fade, it can be a sign of meningitis. If you or anyone you know have symptoms of meningitis you should seek medical help immediately.