Kawasaki Disease Pictures

Kawasaki disease happens when a trigger causes inflammation in the arterial walls. It mostly happens in children, but can occur in adults. The cause isn’t very clear, but researchers think the trigger may be a virus or other infection. The inflammation can spread into the muscles of the heart and cause cardiac abnormalities. The disease can affectskin, lymph nodes, and the eyes, mouth, and throat. This article will show you some Kawasaki disease pictures so you can understand what it looks like.

Kawasaki Disease Symptoms

Classic symptoms of Kawasaki disease include:

  • Very high fever
  • Skin Rash
  • Peeling skin on the hands and feet
  • Unilateral lymph node swelling in the neck area
  • Bright red and cracking lips
  • Reddened eyes
  • Joint Pain
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain
  • Irritability

The fever usually comes on first and stays high for 5 or more days. It doesn’t seem to come down with fever reducers. The skin peeling usually starts around 2 or 3 weeks after the fever begins. The average length of the acute illness is 10 or more days. Some people recover in just a few days. Now let’s take a look at some pictures of Kawasaki disease.

Kawasaki Disease Pictures

This is the “classic” rash of Kawasaki disease and shows up as a blotchy red rash all over the trunk. It can then spread to the rest of the body. When accompanied byhigh fever, bright red tongue and lips, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and skin peeling, then Kawasaki disease is highly suspect.

“Strawberry Tongue” seen in Kawasaki disease. The tongue becomes enlarged and red with enlarged papillae (the bumps on the tongue). There can be a white coating underneath, or a complete “Red Strawberry Tongue” where no white coating exists.

Peeling hands in adult onset Kawasaki disease. The onset of peeling usually occurs in the later stages or “convalescent” stages of the illness.


Elderly man with “Incomplete Kawasaki Disease.” The cracking lips are a classic sign of the disease. He also has a slight rash over his face, arms, and legs.


Red Cracked Lips from Kawasaki Disease. Kawasaki causes very red lips that tend to crack and peel. This usually occurs in the acute phase of the illness in the first 5 days.

Kawasaki Disease rash covering whole body. The rash usually starts on the trunk and then spreads to the limbs and face.

Unilateral neck swelling in Kawasaki disease. One of the possible signs of Kawasaki disease is swollen lymph nodes in the neck area. This is usually unilateral on one side and accompanied by high fever. It can often be misdiagnosed as classic Mumps.

Complications of Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease pictures cannot show what can happen inside the body from the disease. Severe complications can result in a small percentage of children and adults that suffer from the disease. These include:

  • Blood vessel inflammation known as vasculitis
  • Heart inflammation known as myocarditis
  • Arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats
  • Inflammation of the heart valves

The above complications can cause permanent heart damage. One of the more serious complications is a bulge in an artery known as an, aneurysm. This can lead to blood clots and heart attack. If the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause severe bleeding into the body. In a very small number of cases, Kawasaki disease can be fatal.

Treatment for Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease pictures look terrible, but luckily treatments are available.

Treatment for Acute Phase

If you think your child has Kawasaki disease, this condition needs to be evaluated immediately by his or her doctor. Because of the severe complications with the heart, treatment must be started immediately and most often in a hospital.

  • Doctors will give your child intravenous immune globulin to help fight off any viral infection and reduce the high fevers. This can help prevent an aneurysm from forming. They usually only need to give this medication for around 24 hours. However, some kids need a little longer to respond and more doses need to be given.
  • Doctors can also give anti-inflammatory medications to help bring down the inflammation that causes blood vessel damage. This will be given along with aspirin in high doses to stop formation of blood clots. Your child may go home on low-dose aspirin as a preventative measure for blood clots over the next few weeks.
  • In the hospital, your child will most likely be on a cardiac diet which is low in salt and fat.

Note: Keep in mind that if your child has immune globulin administered, they should not have any vaccinations for 11 months after treatment.

Treatment for Convalescent Phase

  • With cardiac complications, a pediatric cardiologist will most likely follow your child long-term. They can watch your child’s heart for any changes or signs of damage that is ongoing.
  • Your child may need to be on a blood thinner long-term to prevent any blood clots in the arteries near the heart. The cardiologist will monitor the arteries for healing and once they are okay, the blood thinners will be stopped. This usually takes about 18 months after the initial acute phase.
  • Angioplasty or a stent may be needed to increase the blood flow to the heart in cases where the artery becomes twisted cutting off blood flow. This can be done without surgery during a cardiac catheterization where a thin catheter is passed into the heart via the groin artery.
  • In very rare instances, a child may need open heart surgery to repair either the valves or replace a blocked artery with a graft (CABG).

Is Kawasaki Disease Contagious?

Doctors do not know what actually causes Kawasaki disease. It has not been found in genes and does not seem to be an actual viral illness on its own, thus it’s not been proven to be contagious. However, there have been “outbreaks” of the disease which has led researchers to think that it may be caused by a virus. By outbreak, this just means several children in one community, but not more than one child in a household. 

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