herpetic whitlow

Herpes infection of the tip of the finger has a specific and distinctive appearance known as herpetic whitlow. The tip of the finger is covered with clear fluid filled vesicles which lie under the thickened skin of the fingertip. Treatment is, as we say, usually supportive, since there isn't much we can offer except time; time cures all. If the infection is severe, it is acceptable to try antiviral medication such as acyclovir. Not to be confused with a felon.

Herpetic whitlow. These can look much worse, especially if the infection is contracted by a toddler with an oral herpes infection who sucks his finger or thumb.
©2008 Jeffrey Hull

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