Viral skin infection

Skin Disease, skin Infection, Psoriasis, alopecia areata
Viral Skin Infection

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Its function is to protect your body from infection. Sometimes the skin itself becomes infected.

  • Skin infections are caused by a wide variety of germs, and symptoms can vary from mild to serious.
  • Mild infections may be treatable with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, whereas other infections may require medical attention.
  • In some cases, viral infection can be seen as a side effect of some diseases, or in can directly affect the skin.

Types and causes of viral infection:

  • Shingles (herpes zoster)- Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
    • Even after the chickenpox infection is over, the virus may live in your nervous system for years before reactivating as shingles.
    • Shingles may also be referred to as herpes zoster.This type of viral infection is characterized by a red skin rash that can cause pain and burning.
    • Shingles usually appears as a stripe of blisters on one side of the body, typically on the torso, neck, or face
  • Chickenpox-Chickenpox, also called varicella, is characterized by itchy red blisters that appear all over the body.
    • A virus causes this condition. It often affects children, and was so common it was considered a childhood rite of passage.
    • It’s very rare to have the chickenpox infection more than once
  • Molluscum contagiosum- Molluscum Contagiosum is a noncancerous skin growth caused by a virus infecting the top layers of the skin.
    • It is similar to a wart, but caused by a different virus. The virus causing this skin growth belongs to the poxvirus family.
    • The virus is spread by skin contact and enters through breaks in the skin or hair follicles. It affects only skin, not internal organs
    • Molluscum appears as flesh colored/pink, dome-shaped bumps on the skin, often with a central indentation. They often appear in clusters. They may affect any area of skin
  • Warts-Viruses in the family of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can cause warts. There are greater than 100 different types of HPV.
    • Most cause the same type of appearing warty type lesions. Few of these HPV types are associated with malignant degeneration and progression into a type of skin cancer.
    • It is most often associated with squamous cell carcinoma.
    • Warts appear as scaly white to pink to gray bumps on the skin. When occurring on the palms of hands or soles of feet they are known for interrupting the normal skin lines
  • Measles-Measles, or rubeola, is a viral infection of the respiratory system.
    • Measles is a very contagious disease that can spread through contact with infected mucus and saliva.
    • An infected person can release the infection into the air when they cough or sneeze. The measles virus can live on surfaces for several hours.
    • As the infected particles enter the air and settle on surfaces, anyone within close proximity can become infected
  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease-and, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious infection. It’s caused by viruses from the Enterovirus family, most commonly the coxsackievirus.
    • These viruses can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with unwashed hands or surfaces contaminated with feces.
    • It can also be transmitted through contact with an infected person’s saliva, stool, or respiratory secretions.
    • Hand, foot, and mouth disease is characterized by blisters or sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. The infection can affect people of all ages, but it usually occurs in children under age 5.

Symptoms of viral infections:

  • Shingles(herpes zoaster):
    • Red patches
    • Fluid-filled blisters that break easily
    • A rash that wraps around from the spine to the torso
    • A rash on the face and ears
    • Itching
    • A fever
    • Chills
    • Headache
  • Chicken pox:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Loss of appetite
    • Development of red or pink bumps all over your body.
    • The bumps become blisters filled with fluid that leaks.
    • The bumps become crusty, scab over, and begin to heal
  • Molluscum contagiosum:
    • Very small, shiny, and smooth in appearance
    • Flesh-coloured, white, or pink
    • Firm and shaped like a dome with a dent or dimple in the middle
    • Filled with a central core of waxy material
    • Present anywhere except on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet
    • Present on the face, abdomen, torso, arms, and legs
    • Present on the inner thigh, genitals, or abdomen in adults
  • Measles:
    • Cough
    • Fever
    • Red eyes
    • Light sensitivity
    • Muscle aches
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • White spots inside the mouth
  • Hand , foot and mouth disease:
    • A fever
    • A poor appetite
    • A sore throat
    • A headache
    • Irritability
    • Painful, red blisters in the mouth
    • A red rash on the hands and the soles of the feet

Diagnosis of viral infection:

  • Measles: It is diagnosed by a doctor mostly by a physical check by looking for the characteristic of measles such as white spots in mouth, fever, cold and sore throat. And if doctor is unable to determine, then some blood test can be done.
  • Molluscum Contagiosum- It is also diagnosed by a physical check, as presence of skin bumps make it different from other skin problems. But a skin scrapping or biopsy can confirm the disease.
  • Warts- In most cases warts are also diagnosed by any physical examination, but some blood test can confirm the diagnosis.
  • Chickenpox- It is diagnosed physically by looking at the blisters on the body, and by seeing the characteristic of chickenpox such as fever or cold symptoms. In some cases blood tests can confirm the diagnosis.
  • Shingles- It is diagnosed by physical examination by looking at the rashes and blisters. In rare cases, sample of the skin or fluid of the blisters is tested.
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease- It is diagnosed physically by looking at the mouth and the feet for rashes and blisters. In some cases, throat swab and stool sample can be treated for virus.

Treatments of viral infections:

  • Measles: There is no prescription medication to treat measles. The virus and symptoms typically disappear within two to three weeks. However, your doctor may recommend:
    • Acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches
    • Rest to help boost the immune system
    • Plenty of fluids (six to eight glasses of water a day)
    • Humidifier to ease a cough and sore throat
    • Vitamin A supplements
  • Molluscum Contagiosum: In most cases, no treatment is needed. But in immunocompressed patient certain treatment can be done:
    • Cryotherapy, where doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze each bump.
    • Curettage, where doctor uses a small tool to pierce the bump and scrape it off the skin.
    • Laser therapy, where doctor uses a laser to destroy each bump.
    • Topical therapy, where doctor applies creams containing acids or chemicals to the bumps to induce peeling of the top layers of the skin
  • Warts: Warts can be treated in home using:
    • Freezing treatment- Spraying concentrated cold air onto the wart, which kills the skin and allow to scrape away the surface.
    • Treatments and patches containing salicylic acid- Treatment using products containing salicylic acid can help
    • Duct tape-Covering the wart with small pieces of duct tape can help in recovering

In cab be treated by doctor:

  • Liquid nitrogen- Freezing the wart by liquid nitrogen can help
  • Surgery- if wart doesn’t respond to any treatment, it can be the last option to cure wart.
  • Chickenpox: It is treated in home by waiting the virus to pass their system. In some cases antiviral drugs and tropical ointments can help.
  • Shingles: There is no treatment for shingles, but certain drugs can ease the symptoms, which are:
    • Anti-viral medications- to reduce pain and quick recovery
    • Anti inflammation drug- to ease pain and swelling
    • Narcotic medications or analgesics- To reduce pain
    • Anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants- To treat prolonged pain
    • Antihistamines- To treat itching
    • Capsacin (Zostrix)- To help reduce the risk of a nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia, which occurs after recovery from shingles
  • Hand, foot and arm disease: Certain treatments may contain:
    • Prescription or over-the-counter topical ointments to soothe blisters and rashes
    • Pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve headaches
    • Medicated syrups or lozenges to ease painful sore throats

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