Eczema herpeticum is a transmittable viral infection brought about by the herpes simplex virus. The condition typically affects babies and young children with atopic dermatitis and defined as eruptions of extensive vesicular or fluid-filled skin.
What are the risk factors?
- Atopic dermatitis
- Severe burns
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Irritant seborrheic dermatitis
- Pemphigus vulgaris
- Poor immune system
What are the indications?
The usual signs of eczema herpeticum generally include the following:
- Skin red rashes that leads to the formation of blisters and ulceration
- The skin lesions typically include vesicles filled with fluid with a reddened base. These blisters or vesicles might rupture, leading to skin ulcers. In most cases, these blisters can be itchy or painful.
- Skin sores form in areas affected by eczema
- The neck and head region as well as the upper trunk are typically affected but the lesions might also be present within the mouth.
- Some of the associated symptoms can be seen such as fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes
In some instances, the condition can be chronic or recurrent.
Management of eczema herpeticum
Generally, eczema herpeticum is considered as a medical emergency. Prompt diagnosis and treatment is vital in achieving a positive outcome.
The following treatment options might be considered:
- Antiviral medications
- Topical skin creams and ointments
- Proper management of any underlying immune-related ailments
- Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections
In most cases, it is not possible to prevent an episode of eczema herpeticum, but the following measures can be considered:
- Avoid the triggers such as some of the underlying risk factors which includes atopic dermatitis and eczema
- Proper treatment of any underlying condition
- Observe correct hand washing techniques to prevent the virus from spreading
- Always cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing
- Avoid individuals who have cold sores or other related infections
- Avoid contact with infected individuals
In most cases, the condition has a good outcome. The skin lesions that arise are expected to recuperate within 2-6 weeks.