Some Important Info You Need to Know About Eczema herpeticum

eczema herpeticum pictures

According to the British Association of Dermatologists eczema herpeticum is a widespread infection which is potentially serious and can affect people with atopic eczema.

According to DermNet New Zealand, it is a disseminated viral infection which is also known as Kaposi Varicelliform eruption. It can affect people of all ages both male and female but is more common in infants and children.


According the BAD (British Association of Dermatologists), the virus known as Herpes simplex which causes cold sores also causes this type of eczema. The virus sometimes affects a small area but may also spread to quite larger areas of the skin.

According to Consultant 360 for Paediatricians, the condition is associated with an early onset of atopic dermatitis that can be caused by HSV type 1 or type 2 virus.

Is it hereditary?

Experts believe that eczema herpeticum is not genetic. So, it may not be passed down genetically. However, it is viral, it can be easily transferred from one person to another.


Following are some of the main symptoms associated with the condition.

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  • Uncomfortable feeling
  • High temperature
  • Shivering
  • Feeling of wellness
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Painful Eczema
  • Clustered blisters
  • Punched out erosions
  • Lethargy and distress

How does it look like?

It starts in the form of blisters containing fluid or pus. The blisters first occupy a small area but then spread to other areas. The blisters look similar to those of dyshidrotic eczema which affect hands and feet. Eczema herpeticum mainly affected areas are face and neck.


It is very important to check with your doctor or dermatologists immediately because the condition might have developed into a serious infection. Furthermore, it needs to be distinguished from dyshidrotic eczema which is very much similar in appearance. The doctor may also need to take some biopsy and send it to the lab.

According to the Consultant 360 for paediatrician, the condition is very rare. It can be diagnosed by a Tzanck smear.

According to British Association of Dermatologist, eczema herpeticum can be cured completely. However, some people might get recurring attacks.


As the condition is viral, antiviral treatment is usually prescribed as soon as the condition is diagnosed. The treatment is orally administered in normal cases whereas in severe cases, the patient may need to be admitted into a hospital for anti-viral treatment through a vein.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), eczema herpiticum is a serious condition and if not diagnosed promptly may pose serious health problem especailly in case of children. NICE urges that children who have suspected eczema herpeticum should receive an immediate and urgent treatment. The institute further emphasises the child should be referred for the same day specialist advice.

The National Health Service (NHS UK) also takes the condition seriously and urges that if you doubt that you or your child has the condition you must contact your GP (General Practitioner) or call 111 or immediately go to a local hospital

According to the National Center for Biotechnology, if left untreated eczema herpeticum can cause severe infection and even death.

According to Medscape, it is a life threatening herpetic super-infection and is a dermatologic emergency.

Should You Call a Doctor?

Yes, immediately. As we have seen in the above paragraphs, all health organisations and medical experts think it to be a very serious viral infection. It is, therefore, absolutely important to call your doctor urgently or contact your local emergencies services depending upon the country you live in.



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