Eczema herpeticum is a rare, severe, and disseminated infection of herpes simplex virus in the setting of eczematous skin diseases.
We experienced a case of this disease in a 9-month-old infant characterized by a sudden onset of monomorphic vesicles on the head, right lower leg, and two hands. The infant has a 7-month history of atopic dermatitis and his condition was initially regarded as a complication of atopic dermatitis and bacterial infection. After treatment of cefoperazone and dexamethasone, the eruptions got worse. The diagnosis of eczema herpeticum was made according to the clinical features and further confirmed by the findings of herpes simplex virus type 2.
The infant was cured by oral treatment with valacyclovir.
The case highlights that the awareness for the sign of eczema herpeticum when diagnosing children with a sudden onset of disseminated vesicles in the setting of chronic skin disease should be increased. Oral valacyclovir may be an effective and convenient treatment option for pediatric outpatients with eczema herpeticum.
aDepartment of Dermatovenereology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University
bDepartment of Diagnostic Ultrasound, Second University Hospital of Sichuan University
cDepartment of Lab Medicine
dDepartment of Pathology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.
Correspondence: Yuping Ran, NO. 37, Guo Xue Xiang, Wuhou District, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Abbreviations: AD = atopic dermatitis, EH = eczema herpeticum, HSV = herpes simplex virus, PCR = polymerase chain reaction, TEM = transmission electron microscopy.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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Received March 15, 2016
Received in revised form June 23, 2016
Accepted June 24, 2016