Picture of Herpetic Whitlow
Herpetic whitlow is a viral infection of the hand caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). It causes swelling, redness, and tenderness of the skin that may be associated with blisters. An outbreak typically lasts between 2 and 3 weeks. Prompt treatment (within 48 hours) with antiviral medication such as valacyclovir (Valtrex), acyclovir (Zovirax), or famciclovir (Famvir), may reduce the length and severity of an infection. It is important to keep the infected area covered. Contact with the lesion may result in new sores or passing the virus on to others.
Text Reference: "Common Acute Hand Infections." American Family Physician.