Viral Skin Diseases

Prim Care. 2015 Dec;42(4):517-67. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2015.08.006.


In the vast world of skin diseases, viral skin disorders account for a significant percentage. Most viral skin diseases present with an exanthem (skin rash) and, oftentimes, an accompanying enanthem (lesions involving the mucosal membrane). In this article, the various viral skin diseases are explored, including viral childhood exanthems (measles, rubella, erythema infectiosum, and roseola), herpes viruses (herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, Kaposi sarcoma herpes virus, viral zoonotic infections [orf, monkeypox, ebola, smallpox]), and several other viral skin diseases, such as human papilloma virus, hand, foot, and mouth disease, molluscum contagiosum, and Gianotti-Crosti syndrome.

Keywords: Enanthem; Exanthem; Latency; Self-limited; Vaccination; Viral shedding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antipyretics / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exanthema
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Skin Diseases, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Skin Diseases, Viral / physiopathology
  • Skin Diseases, Viral / therapy*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antipyretics
  • Antiviral Agents