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Variation in Body Location

“Common things happen commonly,” the saying goes. Most people know that herpes simplex “cold sores” frequently occur on the lips, and that they are often on the genitals when sexually transmitted.

However, herpes lesions can occur at any body location. Knowledge of the morphology of herpes infections, grouped vesicles, will help the skin diagnostician avoid missing variants of this disease. 

Herpes Simplex Virus

Classic labial/orofacial herpes simplex with involvement of the lips

Classic labial/orofacial herpes simplex with involvement of the lips

 

Classic genital herpes simplex with involvement of the shaft of the penis

Classic genital herpes simplex with involvement of the shaft of the penis

 

An eyelid location of herpes can be easily mistaken for bacterial conjunctivitis

An eyelid location of herpes can be easily mistaken for bacterial conjunctivitis

 

Grouping of vesicles, crusts, and erosions suggest herpes simplex, despite the unusual location at the leg

Grouping of vesicles, crusts, and erosions suggest herpes simplex, despite the unusual location at the leg

 

An unusual variant location of herpes simplex involving the neck

An unusual variant location of herpes simplex involving the neck

 

Involving the palm, the thick stratum corneum can obscure the appearance of vesicles

Involving the palm, the thick stratum corneum can obscure the appearance of vesicles