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June 1979

Herpetic Whitlow and Keratitis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Dr Eiferman) and Pediatrics (Dr Adams and Ms Stover), University of Louisville, and the Department of Surgery, Indiana University, Indianapolis (Dr Wilkins).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(6):1079-1081. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010533003

• Two patients had herpes simplex infection of the fingertips (herpetic whitlow) associated with herpetic keratitis. Both patients were health-care professionals who probably acquired their disease from patients. Herpetic whitlow can be distinguished from a paronychia by the lack of a tense pulp space, formation of vesicles, and serous (rather than purulent) drainage. The fingertip inflammation resolves spontaneously, leaving normal healthy skin, in about two weeks.