Close-up of an eczema herpeticum rash. Eczema herpeticum occurs in persons suffering from eczema who become infected with the herpes simplex virus (type 1). The presence of inflammation due to eczema and the possibility that the sufferer may be on steroid treatment contribute to the spread of the virus. In severe cases the rash resembles that of smallpox. Eczema is a general term for an inflammatory dermatitis of the skin that has no obvious external cause (as opposed to "contact" or "industrial" dermatitis) and is sometimes called endogenous or constitutional eczema.
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