Viral Skin Infections

Many viral infections in childhood are called "viral exanthems." Exanthem is another name for a rash or skin eruption. This type of rash is mainly caused by viruses. It may also be caused by medication, especially antibiotics. Common childhood viral exanthems include the following:

  • measles or rubeola
  • rubella
  • varicella (or chickenpox)
  • fifth disease
  • roseola

Immunizations have decreased the number of cases of measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. The above viral exanthems have distinct patterns of rashes which aid in the clinical diagnosis of the virus.

Three main groups of viruses cause the majority of viral skin infections, including the following:

  • human papillomavirus
  • herpes simplex virus
  • poxvirus

Viral skin infections require clinical care by a physician or other healthcare professional. Listed in the directory below is some additional information regarding viral skin infections, for which we have provided a brief overview.

If you cannot find the information in which you are interested, please visit the Dermatology Online Resources page in this Web site for an Internet/World Wide Web address that may contain additional information on that topic.

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