Viruses – Erythema Infectiosum

December 2nd, 2010

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.

Erythema Infectiosum- Reticulated Rash