Viruses – Erythema Infectiosum
Erythema Infectiosum, also called Fifth Disease, is a very common viral infection in children caused by the Parvovirus group which I frequently encounter in my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices. Erythema Infectiosum most commonly occurs in late Winter and early Spring. Erythema Infectiosum has three phases: 1. Slapped Cheeks- the cheeks are very erythematous (red) but are asymptomatic. This typically occurs after a 7 day incubation period from the time of infection. A mild prodrome of fever and runny nose may follow the incubation period prior to the appearance of slapped cheeks. 2. Reticulated Rash- a few days after the slapped cheeks phase, a reticulated rash develops on the extremities and trunk. 3. Recurrent Rash- After resolving, the slapped cheeks recurs after exposure to heat, exercise or sunlight. Approximately 10% of children with Erythema Infectiosum develop arthralgias (joint pains), whereas arthralgias occurs in 80% of adults with Erythema Infectiosum. No treatment is needed for Erythema Infectiosum.