Few viruses have the innate ability to penetrate intact skin. However, once entry into the host is gained by other routes, skin involvement is manifested by a great many viruses whether it be through specific cutaneous tropism resulting in cell death, immunopathologic processes, or even neoplastic transformation. This brief review is by no means comprehensive, the focus being on areas of clinical significance. Rapid progress is being made in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the ubiquitous herpesviruses that continue to cause severe complications. Many viruses are now known to infect the fetus and further data available for human parvovirus B19 and rubella. Cutaneous involvement with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 has also received recent attention.
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