Eczema Herpeticum in a Wrestler

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Eczema herpeticum (EH), first described in 1887, is characterized by a disseminated skin infection consisting of dome-shaped papules and is associated with fever, lymphadenopathy, and malaise. The condition commonly occurs on the trunk, head, and neck and is associated with numerous skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis. It is a result of a superimposed herpes simplex virus infection on otherwise compromised skin. It is a rapidly spreading infection, and early antiviral treatment is essential. Herpes gladiatorum is a common infection in the wrestling population, and atopic dermatitis is a common skin condition in the general population. Together, these 2 conditions can greatly increase the risk of EH infection. It is important for both sports medicine physicians and dermatologists to be aware of the risk of EH infection in this population, the presenting signs and symptoms, and be ready to respond quickly with antiviral treatment.

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