Skin Infections

Viruses cause a wide array of skin infections. Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) cause some of the most common skin infections. HSV type 1 tends to cause vesicles in the mouth and on the lips, commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. HSV type-2 tends to cause genital herpes. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 85 percent of the population has blood test evidence of exposure to HSV-1, even if they never had symptoms. The varicella virus causes chickenpox, an illness characterized by itchy fluid-filled bumps on the skin that eventually rupture and scab over. The varicella virus also causes shingles, which is a reactivation of the virus years after the initial bout of chickenpox. Another group of viruses, the human papillomaviruses (HPV), cause warts. Warts are a very common skin infection and can affect any skin surface. The feet, hands and face are frequently affected by common warts or plantar wart. Genital warts are the most common sexually transmitted infection. Among women, genital warts caused by certain types of HPV can predispose to cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against these cancer-causing types of HPV.

  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Measles

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