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A to Z: Eczema Herpeticum

May also be called: EH

Eczema herpeticum (EX-eh-muh her-PET-ih-kim) is a skin infection that occurs when the skin becomes infected by herpes simplex (the type of viruses that causes cold sores).

More to Know

EH is more likely in those who have eczema, an ongoing skin condition that causes itchy rashes and weakened skin. It also can occur in people with some other skin disorders.

Symptoms may include painful red blisters (filled with fluid or pus) or sores, fever, swollen glands, and tiredness. The infection can spread quickly to the eyes or internal organs, causing serious problems, so prompt treatment is very important.

Doctors prescribe an antiviral medication to help the body fight the herpes simplex virus. The health care team may initially give this through an IV in the hospital. Bacteria can infect the sores, so the doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic.

Keep in Mind

Blisters usually go away within 2–6 weeks. A person can get eczema herpeticum more than once.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.