Denouement and Discussion
Varicella is usually a mild viral illness characterized by a vesicular pruritic rash that appears in crops. The rash begins as a macule that then develops into a vesicle on an erythematous base described as a "dewdrop on a rose petal." The vesicles, which appear on the skin or mucous membranes, crust and usually heal with little, if any, scarring. Rarely, children with varicella may develop complications such as a secondary bacterial infection, hemorrhagic varicella, bullous lesions, pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis, Reye's syndrome, myocarditis, and arthritis. Previous reports have suggested that individuals who develop varicella while receiving steroid therapy are at risk for developing a more fulminant course marked by prolonged duration of the disease, higher temperatures, more extensive rash, and possibly disseminated infection and death. Steroid therapy has also been reported to reactivate varicella in patients who have recently recovered from the illness. However, recent
Pattishall EG, Feingold M. Picture of the Month. Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(8):795–796. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140100057029
Browse and subscribe to JAMA Network podcasts!
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: