Can signs of body rashes be Herpes?

Dear Dr. Amy:

My question is about a child who has a rash that appears on his legs, arms, chest, and back. He had the chicken pox when he was 4 months old. He is plagued with allergies, and I am pretty sure his immune system is very weak. He has asthma and is constantly being treated with steroids. The unfortunate part of this is that he is only 4 years old. His rash began on his thigh, below the right buttock. It appears as small circles that heal and form “deep” scabs. It is somewhat difficult to describe, but they have a definite pattern. What makes me think that it has something to do with herpes is, that when the scab first appeared, his younger brother contracted the chicken pox. The doctor was very evasive (like he didn’t know what it was) and prescribed Zovirax. However, it seems like the rash has just spread all over his body. I just wondered if you have encountered anything like this, and if you can tell if this is the herpes virus affecting his whole body? Also, is this contagious to everyone who comes in contact with him?
Worried Mom

Dr. Amy’s Response:

Dear Worried Mom,

It sounds like you need to find a pediatric specialist who is knowledgable in infectious disease, virual infection, and/or immune systems. Your pediatrician may not have the expertise to manage this particular problem as it is quite specific. Try calling the American Medical Association at (312) 464-5000 or at or The Center for Disease Control at (800) 232-1311 for a local referral.


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