Eczema herpeticum

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Eczema herpeticum
Classification and external resources
Specialty infectious disease
ICD-10 B00.0
ICD-9-CM 054.0
DiseasesDB 31391
eMedicine article/1132622
MeSH D007617

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.

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.


Eczema herpeticum was first described by Austrian dermatologist Moriz Kaposi in 1887.[4] 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.


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.[5] Foscarnet may also be used for immunocompromised host with Herpes simplex and acyclovir-resistant Herpes simplex.

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Reitamo, Sakari; Luger, Thomas A; Steinhoff, Martin (2008). Textbook of atopic dermatitis. Informa Healthcare. p. 70. ISBN 184184246X. 
  5. ^ Brook I, Frazier EH, Yeager JK (April 1998). "Microbiology of infected eczema herpeticum". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 38 (4): 627–9. PMID 9555806. doi:10.1016/S0190-9622(98)70130-6. 

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