Eczema herpeticum

Eczema herpeticum is a rare but severe disseminated infection that generally occurs at sites of skin damage produced by, for example, atopic dermatitis, burns, long term usage of topical steroids or eczema.[1] It is also known as Kaposi varicelliform eruption, Pustulosis varioliformis acute and Kaposi-Juliusberg dermatitis.

Eczema herpeticum
Eczema herpitcum.jpg
SpecialtyInfectious disease Edit this on Wikidata

Some sources reserve the term "eczema herpeticum" when the cause is due to human herpes simplex virus,[2] and the term "Kaposi varicelliform eruption" to describe the general presentation without specifying the virus.[3]

This condition is most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2, but may also be caused by coxsackievirus A16, or vaccinia virus.[1] It appears as numerous umbilicated vesicles superimposed on healing atopic dermatitis. it is often accompanied by fever and lymphadenopathy. Eczema herpeticum can be life-threatening in babies.


In addition to the skin, this infection affects multiple organs, including the eyes, brain, lung, and liver, and can be fatal.


It can be treated with systemic antiviral drugs, such as aciclovir or valganciclovir.[4] Foscarnet may also be used for immunocompromised host with Herpes simplex and acyclovir-resistant Herpes simplex.


Eczema herpeticum was first described by Hungarian dermatologist Moriz Kaposi in 1887.[5] Fritz Juliusberg coined the term Pustulosis varioliformis acute in 1898. Eczema herpeticum is caused by Herpes simplex virus HV1, the virus that causes cold sores; it can also be caused by other related viruses.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Olson J, Robles DT, Kirby P, Colven R (2008). "Kaposi varicelliform eruption (eczema herpeticum)". Dermatology Online Journal. 14 (2): 18. PMID 18700121.
  2. ^ "eczema herpeticum" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ "Kaposi varicelliform eruption" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  4. ^ Brook I, Frazier EH, Yeager JK (April 1998). "Microbiology of infected eczema herpeticum". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 38 (4): 627–9. doi:10.1016/S0190-9622(98)70130-6. PMID 9555806.
  5. ^ Reitamo, Sakari; Luger, Thomas A; Steinhoff, Martin (2008). Textbook of atopic dermatitis. Informa Healthcare. p. 70. ISBN 978-1841842462.

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