Monkeypox: a new global health emergency with predominant dermatological manifestations

Int J Dermatol. 2023 Jan;62(1):3-11. doi: 10.1111/ijd.16504. Epub 2022 Nov 21.


Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus belonging to the Orthopoxvirus genus. Previously endemic to Africa, outbreaks have been reported from all over the world, the largest of which is currently ongoing. Dermatologists are principally involved in recognition and diagnosis of the infection. This narrative review primarily focuses on clinical manifestations and highlights the unique epidemiological features of current outbreak. Lesions observed during the current outbreak lack the evolution described in endemic disease. Polymorphic lesions are common and may be confined to anogenital area. Onset of "prodromal" symptoms may coincide with onset of skin rash, and these may be altogether absent. Mortality rates observed are low. The exanthem should be differentiated from other infections such as herpes, molluscum contagiosum, smallpox, and other poxvirus infections. Presentation as an isolated genital lesion warrants differentiation from syphilis, chancroid, and other sexually transmitted diseases. Close intimate contact during sexual encounters is the primary mode of transmission, and other coexisting sexually transmitted infections are frequently diagnosed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exanthema* / virology
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / diagnosis
  • Mpox (monkeypox)* / epidemiology