Eczema herpeticum was first described in classical fashion by Kaposi1 in 1887. It is characterized by poorly grouped, umbilicated, vesicular lesions containing clear serum, which occur initially on the eczematous skin. The onset is very acute, accompanied by high fever and malaise, and other lesions may appear later on the noneczematous areas.
As early as 1898 Juliusberg2 suggested that a virus might be the etiological agent because the lesions resembled vaccination pustules. However, for many years confusion existed because the term Kaposi's varicelliform eruption included both those eruptions resulting from a herpes simplex infection and those of the vaccinia virus. In 1941 Esser3 and Seidenberg4 isolated the virus of herpes simplex from cases of Kaposi's varicelliform eruption, and the suggestion of Juliusberg was verified. After this the two diseases came to be differentiated, with the eruption caused by the virus
RUPPE JP, WILSON EF, WOLINS W. Treatment of Eczema Herpeticum with Gamma Globulin. AMA Arch Derm. 1957;76(5):572–574. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550230038006
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