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Rapidly developing vesicular eruption

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The patient’s previously diagnosed dermatologic condition, paired with her recent exposure history, led to the diagnosis in this case.



A 23-month-old girl with a history of well-controlled atopic dermatitis was admitted to the hospital with fever and a widespread vesicular eruption of 2 days’ duration. Two days prior to admission, the patient had 3 episodes of nonbloody diarrhea and redness in the diaper area. The child’s parents reported that the red areas spread to her arms and legs later that day, and that she subsequently developed a fever, cough, and rhinorrhea. She was taken to an urgent care facility where she was diagnosed with vulvovaginitis and an upper respiratory infection; amoxicillin was prescribed. Shortly thereafter, the patient developed more lesions in and around the mouth, as well as on the trunk, prompting the parents to bring her to the emergency department.

The history revealed that the patient had spent time with her aunt and cousins who had “red spots” on their palms and soles. The patient’s sister had a flare of “cold sores,” about 2 weeks prior to the current presentation. The patient had received a varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine several months earlier.

Physical examination was notable for an uncomfortable infant with erythematous macules on the bilateral palms and soles and an erythematous hard palate. The child also had scattered vesicles on an erythematous base with confluent crusted plaques on her lips, perioral skin (FIGURE 1A), abdomen, back, buttocks, arms, legs (FIGURE 1B), and dorsal aspects of her hands and feet.

23-month-old girl with vesicles on an erythematous base



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