Contagious Skin Rashes in Adults


Rashes can be irritatingly painful, itchy and embarrassing. There are several contagious rashes that can infect adults. The best way to avoid catching a contagious rash is by practicing good hygiene and using extra caution around infected people.

Hot Tub Rash

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults and children can catch a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, more commonly known as Hot Tub Rash, from poorly maintained hot tubs, spas or pools. This germ can cause a bumpy rash all over the body, and it may be particularly severe in areas that are covered by a swimsuit because of prolonged exposure.


  • Impetigo is a contagious rash that can spread when a person comes in contact with the fluid from the rash of an infected person. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults may also experience this rash after having a respiratory infection or another skin disease.


  • Scabies is a parasitical infection. It is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin and release toxins, which can cause a pimple-like rash to appear. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, scabies is spread by person-to-person contact or by sharing a bed or items of clothing with an infected person.

Chicken Pox

  • Chicken pox is often thought of as a childhood disease, but adults who have never had chicken pox can still catch it. The CDC reports that adults in particular are more likely to experience a severe case of chicken pox, which may lead to hospitalization or even death.

Molluscum Contagiosum

  • Molluscum contagiosum is viral infection of the skin that results in a rash that appears as small, pink lumps or bumps on the skin. It is spread through person-to-person contact or by coming into contact with items that an infected person used on the rash, such as a towel. According to the CDC, this is a mild skin infection that will normally clear up on its own.

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