Herpetic whitlow

Herpetic whitlow, HSV infection of the finger, is most often seen in medical practitioners, although it may occur as a complication of primary oral or genital herpes by inoculation of virus via a break in the epidermal surface. Clinical signs and symptoms include the abrupt onset of edema, erythema, and localized tenderness of the infected finger. Vesicular or pustular lesions of the fingertip indistinguishable from pyogenic bacterial infection are seen. Fever, lymphadenitis, and epitrochlear and axillary lymphadenopathy are common. Recurrences may occur. Prompt diagnosis to avoid unnecessary and potentially exacerbating surgical therapy and/or transmission to patients is necessary.