Daily Bolus of LR: Herpetic Whitlow

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August 30, 2011 by dailybolusoflr

Herpetic whitlow


  • This is an infection of the distal phalanx caused by HSV 
  • This infection is associated with prodromal fevers, pain, and swelling of the digit followed by the appearance of clear vesicles
  • The digital pulp spaces remain soft, which is helpful for differentiating it from a pulp space infection
  • It is important to differentiate herpetic whitlow from other hand infections because in the treatment of whitlow, incision and drainage is contraindicated due to viral dissemination and secondary contamination
  • Management is supportive with dry occlusive dressings, antivirals against herpes if the infection is caught early, and splinting and elevation for comfort



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