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 diseases 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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]


Even though the disease may develop at any age it is mostly present in childhood.[5] Those who are affected typically had pre-existing cutaneous condition like atopic dermatitis.[5]


Eczema herpeticum was first described by Hungarian dermatologist Moriz Kaposi in 1887.[6] 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. doi:10.5070/D39DR4C02Z. 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. ^ a b Liaw, Fang-Yih; Huang, Ching-Fu; Hsueh, Ju-Ting; Chiang, Chien-Ping (December 2012). "Eczema herpeticum". Canadian Family Physician. 58 (12): 1358–1361. ISSN 0008-350X. PMC 3520662. PMID 23242894.
  6. ^ Reitamo, Sakari; Luger, Thomas A; Steinhoff, Martin (2008). Textbook of atopic dermatitis. Informa Healthcare. p. 70. ISBN 978-1841842462.

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