COVID Vaccine Rash

As we continue on through COVID and all its variants, as dermatologists we continue to receive many questions regarding COVID, the vaccine, and related skin conditions or treatments. This article will address these common, but very similar questions:

Does the COVID vaccine cause a rash?

Will I have a skin reaction from the COVID vaccine?

What do I do if I get a rash from the COVID vaccine?

According to Dr. August Natalie, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “Research through Massachusetts General Hospital* has shown that some individuals develop a red, itchy, swollen, or even painful rash where they received their COVID-19 vaccine shot. Some of these reactions occurred immediately and others were delayed a few days. However, this reaction is rare and occurs only in a small percentage of people. Localized reactions to a vaccine – not just the COVID vaccine – are fairly common and typically not a cause for concern. The irritation or swelling is likely a form of dermal hypersensitivity reaction related to the immune system.”

Other common vaccine-related skin reactions that may occur in a small percentage of people are:

  • Hives – itchy, raised welts on the skin
  • Pruritus – a sensation that makes you want to scratch your skin
  • Morbilliform – a measles-like rash

“To relieve the discomfort for these skin reactions, I recommend using a topical steroid, applying a cool compress or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever,” noted Dr. Natalie. “If the skin reaction continues to worsen or grow in size, please contact your local dermatologist to be evaluated.”

Suffering from hair or skin conditions as a result of COVID or the COVID vaccine?

We recommend that anyone with new or worsening skin, hair or nail conditions seek out help from a board-certified dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and find the best course of treatment to fit your lifestyle. Find a location nearest you to schedule an appointment.

*To learn more about the Massachusetts General Hospital study visit this link.