Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Chickenpox and Smallpox Rash Comparison
Source: The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
0 to 2 days of mild illness pass before the rash
2 to 3 days of severe illness pass before the rash
Lesions first appear on the face or trunk.
Lesions first appear in the throat or mouth, then on the
face, or on the upper arms.
Lesions develop in successive fashion. While some are new,
others are crusting over (in "crops").
Lesions develop at the same time, and they look alike on any
one section of the body, such as the abdomen, arms, or face.
Lesions change rapidly, crusting over within 24
Lesions change slowly, scabbing over after 9 to 15
Lesions sit on the skin surface and look like small blisters.
Lesions become firm, dome-shaped, and deep in the
Rash rarely develops on palms and soles.
Rash commonly develops on palms of the hands and soles of the
Lesions are most concentrated on the torso, with fewest on
the hands and feet. Lesions can affect the face and scalp, but rarely affect
the entire body equally.
Lesions are most concentrated on the face, hands, and
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.