Herpetic Whitlow

A herpetic whitlow is a painful viral infection on the fingers, caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). HSV is mainly transmitted sexually or through intimate contact. You're more likely to get herpetic whitlow if you've had cold sores or genital herpes.

If you suffer from a herpetic whitlow, practice precaution with your loved ones as herpes is highly contagious.
  • Symptoms
  • Small pockets of fluid beneath the skin

    • Painful

    • At hand or finger


    Enlarged fingers

    • With redness

    or Enlarged toes

    • With redness


    Pain when touching finger or toe


    Pain in toes

    • Tip of toes

    or Pain at fingertip(s)

    • Throbbing

    • At finger pad



    • Less than 38°C (100. 4°F), Greater than or equal to 38°C (100.4°F)




    Enlarged or swollen lymph nodes

    • Under the armpits


  • Risk factors
  • Contact with a person with herpes simplex

  • Treatment
  • Herpetic whitlow doesn’t require treatment. The condition usually heals within a few weeks without medication, but a prescription antiviral drug can shorten the duration of an outbreak and can also help to lower the risk of transmitting the virus to other people. If a blister ruptures and an infection develops, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic. You can treat herpetic whitlow at home by: 1-Taking a pain reliever — such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen — to help reduce pain and fever. 2-Applying a cold compress several times a day to help reduce swelling. 3-Cleaning the affected area daily and covering it with gauze.
  • Recommended specialist
  • If you have Herpetic Whitlow, then a visit to a dermatologist is highly recommended.

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