Herpetic Whitlow is a lesion on the finger or thumb caused by the Herpes simplex virus. It is a painful infection that typically affects the fingers or hands. Occasionally infection occurs on the toes or the nail cuticle.
Herpes Whitlow can be caused by HSV – 1 or HSV – 2. HSV – 1 Whitlow is often contracted by healthcare workers that come in contact with the virus. It is commonly contracted by dental workers and medical personnel exposed to oral secretions.
Herpetic Whitlow Symptoms
Symptoms of herpetic whitlow include swelling, reddening and tenderness of the skin of the infected finger. This may be accompanied by fever and swollen lymph nodes. Small, clear vesicles initially form individually, then merge and become cloudy.
It is often observed in thumb-sucking children with primary HSV – 1 oral infection (autoinoculation) before seroconversion and in adults aged 20 to 30 following contact with HSV – 2 infected genitals.
Associated pain often seems significant about the physical symptoms. The herpes whitlow lesion usually heals in two to three weeks.
Herpes Whitlow Treatment
Anti-viral treatments applied to the infected skin, particularly Acyclovir, had been showed to be effective in decreasing the duration of symptoms. Lancing or surgically peeling off the lesions may make it worse by causing a superinfection.
This infection is a common disease yet every individual needs unique treatment and care. People with illness and their families are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the latest medical treatment and approaches as well as healthy lifestyle choices.