What’s to Know About Eczema Herpeticum?

eczema herpeticum

Eczema Herpeticum is an infectious skin disease caused by Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV1), the same virus which is also known to cause cold sores in or around the mouth. Eczema herpeticum is a type of infection which is disseminated and presents with fever, blisters or erosions over the skin anywhere on the body. We gathered eczema herpeticum up-to-date information from different sources including eczema herpeticum NHS to let you know about the disease in a better way.

Being similar to chicken pox it is also called as Kaposi varicelliform eruption which was described initially by Kaposi in 1887. Chickenpox and eczema herpeticum resembles in the form of blisters or eruptions. It is mostly seen in close association with Atopic Dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Although it is a rare skin condition it is highly contagious and can be of more severity in persons with weak immune systems. If Its treatment is not sought out on time it can end up in severe disseminated eczema herpeticum ultimately leading to death.

Causes of Eczema Herpeticum

eczema herpeticum nhs

Eczema herpeticum is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus 1(HSV1) or Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV2). It is also seen in patients with Atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. All these patients are prone to get infected by Herpes Simplex virus. It is common in children and infants and those already affected by Severe Atopic dermatitis. Other skin conditions which make it prone to eczema herpeticum includes Pemphigus Vulgaris, thermal burns, Darier disease, Cutaneous T cell lymphoma, and Ichthyosis.

Symptoms of Eczema Herpeticum

eczema herpeticum baby

Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 is the causative factor of Herpes on face and neck so the first symptom will appear on such sites. Blisters start erupting on face and neck after the incubation period of virus gets completed which is up to 2 weeks after infection or contact with the virus. The blisters erupt in clusters and are painful and fluid filled. After seven to ten days the blisters start to erupt on new sites and can become disseminated eczema herpeticum. The blisters can break and fluid oozes after which the lesion gets crusted and heals in another four to six weeks. The symptom which one might experience with eczema herpeticum in adults or eczema herpeticum baby are:

  • Blisters which may be filled with pus or clear fluid.
  • High-grade fever with chills.
  • Swollen lymph nodes draining the infected region.
  • Malaise.
  • Itching over the blisters, lesions or eruptions.

It is important to timely diagnose eczema herpeticum baby because their immune system is not developed to cope up with the severity of herpes eczema herpeticum. As soon as you feel any symptom mentioned above or your baby already have atopic dermatitis and suddenly rash or blisters start appearing you must have sought eczema herpeticum treatment pediatrics on time.

Diagnosing Eczema Herpeticum

Eczema Herpticum is usually diagnosed by the appearance of characteristic lesions or rash and symptoms. However, being similar to some other skin diseases for example chicken pox, impetigo or flare-up of any eczematous condition it is essential to confirm the diagnosis before treating. One of the investigations for confirming the diagnosis is the culture of fluid or the lesion infected. It will tell whether the infective agent is Herpes simplex virus or not. Diagnosing this, It’s also help in managing the condition appropriately and timely which prevents life-threatening complications.

Eczema Herpeticum Treatment

eczema herpeticum treatment

Eczema herpeticum treatment basically depends on the severity of the eczematous Herpeticum and also on the pre-existing skin disease, if any. Being a viral disease, the anti-viral drugs are the main element of eczema herpeticum treatment. If prescribed timely it can minimize the chances of hospital admission in cases of eczema herpeticum baby and eczema herpeticum in adults.

Oral acyclovir with the dosage of 400 to 800 mg five times a day for 10 to 14 days or Valaciclovir 1g twice daily for 10 to 14 days is the mainstay of eczema herpeticum treatment. In the most severe case or disseminated infection which is not responding to oral treatment IV Acyclovir is recommended. If a superimposed bacterial infection is also prevailing, then antibiotics are also prescribed. Topical steroids are used to heal the lesions or pre-existing skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.

If you encounter eczema herpeticum baby or child then antivirals are the first line eczema herpeticum treatment pediatrics. The recommended dosage of Acyclovir according to eczema herpeticum NHS is 30mg/kg/day divided into five times daily for a period of 7 to 10 days depending on the severity of eczema herpeticum baby patient. Antivirals are also available in form of syrups for eczemusHerpeticum treatment pediatrics. Topical antibiotic cream is also prescribed in eczema herpeticum treatment pediatrics to reduces the risk of secondary bacterial infection.

Eczema Heprticum Outcome

If treated on time with proper management complete resolution is suspected within four to six weeks whether it is eczema herpeticum baby or eczema herpeticum in adults. However, if due to any reason management of eczema herpeticum is delayed or do not undergo proper eczema herpeticum treatment following complications can result:

  • Permanent scarring resulting from blister formation.
  • Spread of the infection in the cornea causing disease known as herpetic keratitis which can lead to blindness if not treated.
  • Spread of infection in the lungs, liver or brain can lead to death.

Immediate treatment can save you from the life-threatening complications of eczema herpeticum. Prevention is the key to stay safe from this. If you are prone to get infected from HSV you must stay away from the contacts already infected with the virus. If you have any close contact affected by this or even Herpes (cold sore) try to avoid contact with the patient as much as possible. Do not share their things of daily usage like utensils, cosmetics, towels because of the highly contagious nature of Herpes Simplex virus. We hope that this article about eczema Herpeticus will help you in managing the disease timely by contacting the doctor.

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