Viral skin infections are infections of the skin caused by viruses. These infections are different from skin infections caused by bacteria or fungi, but some of their symptoms may be similar. A major difference between viral skin infections and bacterial or fungal skin infections is that viral skin infections can’t be treated with antibiotics or antifungal drugs. Some examples of viral skin infections include herpes simplex (cold sores and genital herpes), herpes zoster (shingles), warts, and molluscum contagiosum.


Viral skin infections are caused by viruses, which are microbes that can multiply only when it is inside a living organism like a human being. Herpes virus, human papillomavirus (HPV) and pox virus groups are the common virus groups that infect the skin. The most common viral skin infections are shingles, chicken pox, warts,measles and hand, foot and mouth disease


Herpes Simplex: The herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV, is an infection that causes herpes. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals or mouth. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus:

HSV-1: primarily causes oral herpes, and is generally responsible for cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face.

HSV-2: primarily causes genital herpes, and is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks.

Herpes Zoster: Herpes zoster infection, often known as shingles,is a common viral infection caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus. The varicella zoster virus is also known as herpes zoster and is a member of the human herpesvirus family. Herpes zoster infection is more likely to affect older people and people with a weak immune system. It causes a burning pain, followed by a painful blistering rash, which tends to only affect one area of the body.

Warts: A wart is a small growth with a rough texture that can appear anywhere on the body. It can look like a solid blister or a small cauliflower. Warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. The appearance of a wart depends on its location on the body and the thickness of the skin. Palmar warts appear on the hand. Plantar warts affect the feet. People with a weakened immune system are more likely to have warts.

Molluscum Contagiosum: Molluscum contagiosum is an infection caused by a poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum virus). The result of the infection is usually a benign, mild skin disease characterized by lesions (growths) that may appear anywhere on the body. The lesions, known as Mollusca, are small, raised, and usually white, pink, or flesh-colored with a dimple or pit in the center. They often have a pearly appearance. They’re usually smooth and firm. Mollusca may occur anywhere on the body including the face, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, and genital area, alone or in groups.

Measles: Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine. Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children.

  • Chicken pox: Chickenpox is a very contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It mainly affects kids, but adults can get it, too. The telltale sign of chickenpox is a super-itchy skin rash with red blisters. Over the course of several days, the blisters pop and start to leak. Then they crust and scab over before finally healing.
  • Rubella: German measles, also known as rubella, is a viral infection that causes a red rash on the body. Aside from the rash, people with German measles usually have a fever and swollen lymph nodes. The infection can spread from person to person through contact with droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. 


  • Rashes
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Spots
  • Mostly depending on the virus
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Diarrhoea 
  • headache and pain
  • Dehydration


For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.

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