Sunday, 27 January 2013

Eczema Herpeticum

I intend to write a series of posts on how I have been personally affected, what has helped me, and just general things relating to it.


Last year was horrible for me. I have no idea how I managed but I got through University, where I did a very hands-on course in Conservation & Restoration of Historic Objects... not exactly an eczema sufferers first choice, but alas, we all have our passions and hobbies - mine are just bad for my health!

In 2012 I developed the dreaded eczema herpeticum, not once, not twice, not even thrice but quadruple times!!! For those who aren't in the know, eczema herpeticum is essentially when the herpes simplex virus attacks and spreads throughout the eczema. It can be seen to be a dermatological nightmare and hospitalisation is often required if it is not caught at an early enough stage. In some cases it can even lead to death.


The first time I contracted it was after I'd taken a course of steroids to help with a severe bout of eczema, in April. So as you can see my skin is remarkably clear on that front (yay!) but not so great with the herpes simplex which you can note had reached my eye. 

This was the fourth time I got it, in October. One night I just had an excruciating pain behind my ear that hurt so badly I couldn't sleep. My lymph nodes were also rather prominent and I had just assumed it to be eczema at the time. But no, as you can see it has the characteristic blistered pustules. It stayed confined to my hair and neck that time thankfully!

As a consequence of having had the virus I am now on a permanent course of Aciclovir tablets, 400mg, twice a day. It also means that when my eczema becomes severe and infected I can no longer rely on steroids as a "quick fix" because the result will be this. As I have been infected with the virus I will probably have outbreaks from time to time which is just something that one has to kinda, well, get used to. Though I was rather upset by a remark from an ignorant woman who said under her breath with rather a lot of malice,  "oh God, I don't want what she's got!!!" which really annoyed me because all she'd get is ONE measly bloody cold sore. Not a whole face full of them.

But aside from that my advice is, if you suffer from severe eczema stay away from people with cold sores. Unluckily for me my partner bestowed this upon me as he gets coldsores from time to time. Tut. But I love him so I'll let it slide... xD


  1. I found out last Wednesday I've got Eczema Herpeticum from a viral swab from weeping skin on my cheek. I was 20 in March. After over 3 years of monthly out breaks and no viral diagnosis. (They even put my on ciclosporin prior to ruling out the viral possibility)
    I just want to thank you for writing your blog and sharing your experience. It's helped me begin to come to terms with my diagnosis.

  2. Hi

    Eczema herpeticum is most commonly caused by Herpes simplex 1 and 2, but it can also be caused by other viruses such as coxsackievirus.

    Both persons who have herpes simple virus, and persons who have skin conditions such as eczema, or any other skin condition which damages the skin can get eczema herpeticum. It may also occur in persons with normal skin.

    It most commonly occurs on the face and the neck, and very rarely occurs throughout the body, even though this can happen.Very rarely it will affect multiple organs and is rarely fatal. In addition as long as the condition is picked up quickly there is adequate antiviral treatment, as well as other treatment, so person affected by the condition, do not usually need admitting to hospital.

    You should be aware that any one can get this very rare disease, so evne your girlfriend van get it. However, the emphasis is on rare, so bear that in mind. You do not have to be afraid to be with your girlfriend, just be careful not to have contact ith the open herpes vesicles.

    It is also useful to know that people tend to have outbreaks of herpes simplex when they are stressed. If there are stressors in your girlfriend's life, then it may be worthwhile identifying these and seeing what can be done to relieve her stress.

    Also, I guess from your comment that you and your girlfriend have discussed this concern of your. This situation could also be causing her stress, and cause her to have more regular breakouts of herpes simplex. Stress is also not good for persons suffering from eczema, since it can bring on flare ups.

    It would be good for you and your girl friend to educate yourselves about this, so that you can objectively see that this is rare. Also do not put too much pressure on yourselves, and relax and have fun. Decreased stress levels will be good for both of you.