Viral Skin Diseases


Viral skin infections, including molluscum and verruca vulgaris, are some of the most commonly encountered lesions in a medical dermatology office. Viral skin infections, which often cause troublesome skin conditions, are incredibly common and can affect anyone at any age, adults and children alike. Viral skin infections can produce localized or disseminated lesions. These infections range from mild to severe. The symptoms depend on the type of infection. Some symptoms that are common to many skin infections includerashes, swelling, redness, pain, pus, anditching.

Age distribution of skin and subcutaneous disease burden. Fig.1 Age distribution of skin and subcutaneous disease burden. (Karimkhani, 2017)

Viral Skin Diseases

  • Chickenpox
  • Chickenpox (varicella), a viral illness characterized by a very itchy red rash, is one of the most common infectious diseases of childhood. Chickenpox is an illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a viral skin rash consisting of fluid-filled blisters that are intenselyitchy.

  • Measles and rubella
  • Measles causes a viral rash that usually starts behind the ears and spreads to the face, neck, and trunk. The rubeola virus is responsible for this illness. Rubella symptoms are milder than in measles and include low-grade fever, rash, and lymphadenopathy. Immunizations have decreased the number of cases of measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox.

  • Genital Herpes
  • Genital herpes is a viral skin rash in the genital area caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2. Most commonly, HSV-1 causes sores around the mouth and lips while most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2.

  • Roseola
  • Roseola is a disease caused by human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) infection. Roseola shows oval-shaped pale red patches scattered pretty much over all the body, apart from face and head. In most children, it is a self-limiting illness that can be associated with febrile seizures.

  • Warts
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a viral infection that commonly causes skin or mucous membrane growths (warts). The type of HPV determines which epithelium it affects. Genital warts (condyloma acuminatum) are sexually transmitted and are usually caused by HPV-6 or HPV-11.

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  1. Karimkhani, C.; et al.Global skin disease morbidity and mortality: an update from the global burden of disease study 2013. JAMA Dermatol. 2017, 153(5): 406-412.

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