Characterization of Herpes Simplex Virus Infections Seen in the Pediatric Dermatology Office

Julia K. Gittler, Euphemia W. Mu, Seth J. Orlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background/Objectives: Atypical and severe clinical manifestations of primary and recurrent herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections may present to a pediatric dermatologist for evaluation. The purpose of this study was to characterize the clinical features of the population diagnosed with HSV referred to a pediatric dermatology office. Methods: This retrospective case series examined patients diagnosed with HSV in a pediatric dermatology practice at an academic medical center from 2005 to 2015. Characteristics of the population were collected and analyzed. Results: In this study of 48 children diagnosed with HSV, 33% presented at age 2 years or younger, with approximately half having exhibited initial symptoms before 2 years of age; 39.6% of the population had six or more outbreaks per year. The outbreaks were equally divided between unifocal and multifocal presentations, with 60% of children without any labial or mucosal involvement. Suppressive treatment was initiated in 33% of patients; the average age at initiation was 6 years. Conclusion: Our data characterize a subset of immunocompetent young children who present to pediatric dermatologists with frequent HSV outbreaks that are often multifocal and involve cutaneous sites, with or without mucosal involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-449
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Dermatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Dermatology


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