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TweetThere are many types of skin diseases that can affect a person irrespective of their HIV status. Dermatomycosis or dermatophytosis is a common skin infection seen in HIV patients and is caused by fungi.
Impetigo is an infection of the skin primarily caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes after a break in the skin or with micro-tears formed during scratching.
A viral infection caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2) and has a tendency to affect the mouth or genitals.
Varicella zoster is a virus that causes chickenpox but reactivation later in life results in herpes zoster (shingles). Scabies arises from an allergic reaction to the mite Sarcoptes scabiei which burrows into the skin. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria, Treponema pallidum, which presents with painless sores (chancre) on the genitals, rectum or mouth (primary syphilis). Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection that causes small raised lesions (papules) particularly on the face, neck, scalp and genitals.
Ask a Doctor Online Now!Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. Herpes simplex infection of the mouth and face, known as orofacial herpes simplex, herpes labialis, cold sores, or fever blisters, is a common, recurrent skin condition associated with infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV infections occur in people of all races, of all ages, and of both sexes.Increasing age is associated with increased likelihood of infection. The most common locations for HSV-1 infections include: Lips Mouth (including gums, tongue, roof of mouth, and inside the cheeks) Nose Chin Cheeks Shortly after exposure to the virus, a newly infected person may develop fluid-filled blisters, occurring singly or in a cluster of several blisters.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help reduce fever, muscle aches, and pain caused by cold sores. This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here. To provide even greater transparency and choice, we are working on a number of other cookie-related enhancements. Similarly, HIV-positive patients are prone to various skin diseases that are unrelated to HIV infection.
While a number of molds or yeasts may be responsible, Malassezia furfur (Pitysporum ovale) is one of the more prevalent fungi.
Also known as cold sores (herpes labialis) or genital herpes, it can also affect other areas, most notably the perianal region (around the anus).
Chickenpox is a common childhood infection but immunization or contracting the disease early in life offers immunity against infection. In HIV infection, extensive anogenital warts are persistent and patients may commonly report warts on other areas of the body as well, especially the fingers. Orofacial HSV usually appears as small blisters or sores around the mouth, nose, genitals, and buttocks, though infections can develop almost anywhere on the skin.
Up to 80% of Americans are infected with HSV-1 by the time they are 30 years old.Only 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores.
These blisters may be yellow to gray and are fragile, so that many people never notice blisters but instead see tiny open sores (ulcers). Seek medical advice as soon as possible, especially if you are at risk for more serious complications. On occasion, however, a swab from the infected skin may be sent to the laboratory for viral culture, which takes a few days to grow.
The virus moves along the nerve fibres and affects cells of the skin, resulting in a skin rash.


It is intended for general information purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. However, there are number of HIV-related skin diseases that have to be considered as these conditions are more likely to arise with the immune deficiency associated with HIV infection.
Distribution may be anywhere on the body but the hands, legs, face and chest are more commonly affected. With HIV infection, it may spread to the anus and rectum or occur within the oral cavity (mucocutaneous herpes). In the backdrop of HIV infection however, chickenpox and shingles may be frequently seen in adults and the extremely contagious nature of chickenpox often leads to outbreaks. The hands and feet, areas between the fingers and toes, abdominal area and buttocks are typically affected. Furthermore, these cold sores may periodically come back in the same sites.Infections with HSV are very contagious and are spread by direct contact with the skin lesions. That means that approximately 80% of people with HSV infections have not been diagnosed and are unaware of their condition. Blood tests may also be performed.Untreated HSV infections will go away on their own, but medications can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of outbreaks. It is caused by the herpes varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that's behind chickenpox. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.
These diseases are not isolated only to different infections of the skin and underlying tissue but may involve non-infectious disease processes that have a tendency to arise in HIV-positive patients.
It may also be responsible for folliculitis and secondary infections in seborrheic dermatitis. There are 2 types of HSV: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). The virus is never fully cleared from the body and shingles occurs when the virus reactivates.
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the BootsWebMD Site. HSV-1 infections usually occur around the mouth, lips, nose, or face, while HSV-2 infections usually involve the genitals or buttocks. What does the shingles rash look like?Pain, itching, tingling, burning are all symptoms of shingles that may occur several days before the outbreak of the rash. Starting as small blisters on a red base, with new blisters continuing to form for three to five days, shingles is painful. Because it so contagious, HSV causes a primary infection in most people who are exposed to the virus. In severe cases of HSV infection, cold sores may involve the entire lining of the mouth and both lips.
However, only about 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores.
These severe infections may be accompanied by fever, sore throat, foul breath, and difficulty eating.Repeat (recurrent) HSV infections are often milder than the primary infection, though they look alike. Shingles symptoms: Before the rashThe first symptoms of shingles appear one to four days before the rash. However, some people never develop the symptoms of a primary HSV infection and may mistake a recurrent infection for a primary infection.
The first time someone is exposed to the virus, it causes the widespread, itchy sores known as chickenpox.
Nevertheless, the virus remains in the body, hibernating in nerve cells.Certain triggers can cause the hibernating (latent) virus to wake up, become active, and travel back to the skin.


These recurrent HSV infections may develop frequently (every few weeks), or they may never develop.
Recurrent infections tend to be milder than primary infections and generally occur in the same location as the primary infection.Most people get cold sores as children, through contact with a friend or family member who is already infected with HSV. It can be spread (transmitted) by kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinking vessels, or by using the same towel. If you have shingles symptoms, seek medical advice even if you think you've never had chickenpox. Many childhood cases of chickenpox are mild enough to go unnoticed, but the virus can still linger and reactivate.
To reduce the risk of complications, it's important to start treatment as soon as possible.
How long does shingles last?Shingles blisters usually scab over in seven to 10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months.
But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.
Who's at risk of shingles?Anyone who has ever had chickenpox can get shingles, but the risk increases with age. However, it is possible for a person who has never had chickenpox to catch chickenpox from fluid from the blisters of someone with shingles. Can shingles cause chronic pain?In some people, the pain of shingles may linger for months or even years after the rash has healed.
This pain, due to damaged nerves in and beneath the skin, is known as postherpetic neuralgia. In severe cases, the pain or itching may be bad enough to cause insomnia, weight loss, or depression. Other complications of shinglesIf the shingles rash appears around the eye or forehead, it can cause eye infections and temporary or permanent loss of vision.
These complications can usually be prevented by commencing treatment for shingles as soon as possible.
Ramsay Hunt SyndromeAnother shingles complication is Ramsay Hunt syndrome, which affects some nerves in the head. Symptoms include earache, hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo, tinnitus, loss of taste and Bell's palsy paralysis of the face.
Treatment: Antiviral medicationWhile there is no cure for shingles, antiviral medications such as aciclovir, valaciclovir and famciclovir may be recommended to reduce the severity and length of an attack. Treatment: Rash reliefOver-the-counter pain killing medication and anti-itch lotions, such as calamine, can relieve the pain and itching of the shingles rash.
If the pain is severe or the rash is concentrated near an eye or ear, seek prompt medical advice.
Home care for shinglesColloidal or oatmeal baths are an old standby for relieving the itch of chickenpox and can help with shingles as well. To speed up the drying out of the blisters, try placing a cool, damp flannel on the rash (but not when calamine lotion or other creams have been applied). The Department of Health says the Zostavax vaccination programme will prevent 38% of the 30,000 cases seen every year in people over 70. Additionally, those who get the jab but still go on to develop shingles can expect to see a 55% reduction in symptoms.



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