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Herpetic Whitlow

Herpetic Whitlow is a painful skin infection of the hand and fingers. In this condition, the base of the nail or pulp of the finger is afflicted with a small painful abscess that are pus filled. This skin infection is caused by Herpes simplex virus. It is characterized by intense pain in the affected finger. While herpetic whitlow usually begins in one finger,the other fingers soon get affected. In severe cases, the person may lose the affected nail or suffer disfigurement of the finger. There is intense pain when the abscess bursts. There may be itching, swelling and tenderness in affected area.

Secondary infection can lead to fever and swollen glands in the armpit. Herpetic Whitlow tends to affect housewives whose hands are wet for long periods due to washing and cleaning. It is also noticed among healthcare workers. Use of latex gloves while working with cleaning agents, scouring powders and detergents can help in keeping this infection at bay. Children and adults must keep the hands clean and dry. Herpetic whitlow is treated with oral anti viral agents such as Acyclovir. Topical steroid creams or ointments are applied.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: August 11, 2020