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August 1997

Viral FolliculitisAtypical Presentations of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Zoster, and Molluscum Contagiosum

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia (Drs Weinberg and James); the Department of Medicine, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii (Dr Mysliwiec); the Dermatology Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (Dr Turiansky); and the Institute of Virology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Md (Dr Redfield).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(8):983-986. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890440053009

Background:  Viral folliculitis is an infrequently reported entity. The patients described herein were seen over a 12-year period of practice in a referral dermatologic setting. The cases involve a variety of viral infections limited to the hair follicle.

Observations:  We describe 5 patients with a variety of viral folliculitides: 2 with herpetic sycosis caused by herpes simplex; 1 with herpex simplex folliculitis (this patient also had human immunodeficiency virus); 1 with herpes zoster without blisters; and 1 with molluscum contagiosum.

Conclusions:  These 5 cases demonstrate that viral folliculitis has varied causes and presentations. Clinicians should consider viral agents in the differential diagnosis of superficial infectious folliculitis, especially in cases that are refractory to antibacterial or antifungal therapy.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:983-986