Atypical primary varicella rash: Systematic literature review

Calogero Mazzara, Gregorio Paolo Milani, Sebastiano A G Lava, Mario Giovanni Bianchetti, Gianluca Gualco, Giacomo D Simonetti, Pietro Camozzi, Lisa Kottanattu
Acta Paediatrica 2022 February 17

AIM: In previously healthy subjects, primary varicella presents with a distinctive vesicular rash that is more intense on the trunk and head than on the extremities. However, an atypical presentation may occasionally develop. We aimed at systematically assessing the characteristics of cases affected by atypical primary varicella rash.

METHODS: The United States National Library of Medicine, Excerpta Medica and Web of Science databases were reviewed, without date or language restrictions. Articles were eligible if reporting previously healthy and immunocompetent subjects with a primary varicella rash (i.e., a photo-localised primary varicella or skin inflammation-associated primary varicella).

RESULTS: Thirty-eight reports providing information on 59 cases of atypical primary varicella were identified. Twenty-four cases (median 8.5 years of age, 19 females) were photo-localised and 35 (median 4.8 years of age, 15 females) were associated with pre-existing skin inflammation (including cast occlusion, diaper irritation, operative sites, burns, insect bites, vaccinations or pre-existing skin disease). The skin rash was monomorphic and without a "starry sky" appearance.

CONCLUSION: Primary varicella may have a modified presentation in areas of irritation such as sun exposure or pre-existing inflammation. There is a need for a wider awareness of these modulators of varicella rash.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.