Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > 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 ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.