Viral folliculitis. Atypical presentations of herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and molluscum contagiosum

Arch Dermatol. 1997 Aug;133(8):983-6. doi: 10.1001/archderm.133.8.983.


Background: Viral folliculitis is an infrequently reported entity. The patients described herein were seen over a 12-year period of practice in a referral dermatologic setting. The cases involve a variety of viral infections limited to the hair follicle.

Observations: We describe 5 patients with a variety of viral folliculitides: 2 with herpetic sycosis caused by herpes simplex; 1 with herpex simplex folliculitis (this patient also had human immunodeficiency virus); 1 with herpes zoster without blisters; and 1 with molluscum contagiosum.

Conclusions: These 5 cases demonstrate that viral folliculitis has varied causes and presentations. Clinicians should consider viral agents in the differential diagnosis of superficial infectious folliculitis, especially in cases that are refractory to antibacterial or antifungal therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Folliculitis / virology*
  • Herpes Simplex*
  • Herpes Zoster*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molluscum Contagiosum*