Viral Skin Infections

Have you noticed a strange rash or weird infection on your skin lately? Viral skin infections, which often cause troublesome skin conditions, are incredibly common and can affect anyone at any age, adults and children alike. 


If you’re looking for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan, our board-certified dermatologists at Brentwood Dermatology are experienced in treating viral skin infections to help our patients find relief. 


Learn more about viral skin infections by reading our helpful guide below. And if you’re experiencing any of the signs or symptoms we mention, visit a physician or dermatologist as soon as possible.

What are Viral Skin Infections?


A viral skin infection is a type of skin infection caused by a virus rather than bacteria or another organism. The term “viral skin infections” is actually a medical category encompassing a wide range of skin conditions that are a reaction from a virus inside the body (systemic infection) or an infection of the skin itself (cutaneous infection). 


Furthermore, considering viral skin infections include many different types of infections, they can range from mild to severe, very common to rare, and self-limited (the infection does not spread to others) to highly contagious.

Viral Skin Infection FAQs


Interested in learning more about viral skin infections? Like many other medical conditions, the more you know, the better you can treat. Read our expert answers to frequently asked questions about viral skin infections below.

How common are viral skin infections?

This depends on the type of viral skin infection. For instance, chickenpox and certain types of warts, which are viral skin infections, are very common among young children. Conversely, a viral skin infection called “orf” is less common due to it being caused by exposure to sheep.

Are viral skin infections contagious?

The level of contagiousness depends on the type of viral skin infection. For example, chickenpox is highly contagious and is usually spread through direct contact with another infected person, whereas molluscum contagiosum tends to be self-limited. 


Furthermore, the method by which a viral skin infection is passed may be different depending on the virus that causes it. Some may be passed by direct skin to skin contact, while others may be transferred similar to the flu or common cold.

What are the symptoms of a viral skin infection?

The symptoms of a viral skin infection depend on what type of infection it is. However, most viral skin infections may show symptoms including: 


  • Skin rash (small bumps, blisters, red spots, or inflamed patches)
  • Fever
  • The skin may itch, burn, sting, or hurt
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite


It’s important to visit a board-certified dermatologist or experienced physician anytime a rash develops or these symptoms occur, even if not severe, as the underlying virus causing the symptoms could require medical attention.

What are the treatment options for a viral skin infection?

How viral skin infections are treated depends on the type of infection. However, many viral skin infections clear up and go away on their own. If the infection fails to resolve over time, dermatologists usually prescribe topical medication or over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal sprays. 

What are the types of viral skin infections?

There are a considerable amount of different viral skin infections, far too many to list here. However, the most common viral skin infections you’re most likely to come across include: 

  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Measles
  • Fifth disease
  • Rubella
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Hand-foot-and-mouth disease
  • Warts 

Viral Skin Infection Photos


In many cases, the type of viral skin infection can be determined simply by how it looks and where it’s located. Use the photos of common viral skin infections below to get a better understanding of how they can show up and appear on the body.

Find Board-Certified Treatment for Viral Skin Infections at Brentwood Dermatology


If you or a family member are dealing with a troublesome skin rash, it might be a viral skin infection. Our team of board-certified dermatologists are experienced in identifying and treating all varieties of viral skin infections to help alleviate symptoms, minimize discomfort, and get patients back to enjoying life. 

Contact our Brentwood office to make an appointment or get in touch with us online. We look forward to helping you find relief!