Indian Dermatology Online Journal

: 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 231--232

Kaposi's varicelliform eruption in phenytoin-induced erythroderma

Kikkeri N Naveen, D Joshika Bhandary, MD Chandan, SB Athaniker 
 Department of Dermatology, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Kikkeri N Naveen
Department of Dermatology, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Sattur, Dharwad - 580 009, Karnataka

How to cite this article:
Naveen KN, Bhandary D J, Chandan M D, Athaniker S B. Kaposi's varicelliform eruption in phenytoin-induced erythroderma.Indian Dermatol Online J 2017;8:231-232

How to cite this URL:
Naveen KN, Bhandary D J, Chandan M D, Athaniker S B. Kaposi's varicelliform eruption in phenytoin-induced erythroderma. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Jun 25 ];8:231-232
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Full Text

A 48-year-old female presented with 15-days-duration of erythroderma after taking phenytoin. She had erosions covered with thick yellow crusts around the oral cavity, started 12 days after erythroderma. [Figure 1]. Systemic examination and blood investigations were within normal limits. The patient was treated for erythroderma and her general condition improved, however, the perioral erosions increased in number with thick crusting. On further probing, the patient admitted to picking at the lesions and also provided a history of few tiny fluid-filled lesions around the mouth a few days prior to admission. Patient had no previous history of fluid filled vesicles around oral cavity. A Tzanck smear was taken from the base of the lesions after removal of the crusts, which revealed epithelial multinucleated giant cells [Figure 2]. A diagnosis of Kaposi's varicelliform eruption (KVE) was considered and the patient was subsequently put on acyclovir to which she responded well [Figure 3].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}

KVE refers to a widespread cutaneous infection with a virus that normally causes localized or mild vesicular eruptions, occurring in a patient having pre-existing skin disease. Most cases are due to herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, however, coxsackie A16 and vaccinia may also be responsible in a minority of patients. Susceptible dermatoses include Darier's disease, pemphigus foliaceus and with rare reports in association with Hailey–Hailey disease, Grover's disease, ichthyosis vulgaris, congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, psoriasis, pityriasis rubra pilaris, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, Sézary syndrome, rosacea, drug eruption, and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome.[1] Ferrari et al. reported 19 cases of KVE which included four adults, familial cases, and previously healthy patients, and highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.[2]

The present case is reported to raise awareness among treating dermatologists about this condition and the importance of Tzanck smear.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Sterling JC. Viral infections. In: Burns T, Breathnach S, Cox N, Griffiths C, editors. Rook's textbook of dermatology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2010. p. 33.35-33.37.
2Ferrari B, Taliercio V, Luna P, Abad ME, Larralde M. Kaposi's varicelliform eruption: A case series. Indian Dermatol Online J 2015;6:399-402.