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Acrodermatitis is a childhood skin condition that may be accompanied by mild symptoms of fever and malaise. It may also be associated with hepatitis B and other viral infections.


Health care providers do not know the exact cause of acrodermatitis. But, they do know that it is linked with other infections.

In Italian children, acrodermatitis is seen frequently with hepatitis B. But this link is rarely seen in the United States. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, mononucleosis) is the virus most often associated with acrodermatitis.

Other associated viruses include:

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Coxsackie viruses
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Some types of live virus vaccines


Skin symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Rash or patch on skin
  • Brownish-red or copper-colored patch that is firm and flat on top
  • String of bumps may appear in a line
  • Generally not itchy
  • Rash looks the same on both sides of the body
  • Rash may appear on the palms and soles. It does not occur on the back, chest, or belly area (this is one of the ways it is identified, by the absence of the rash from the trunk of the body).

Other symptoms that may appear include:

Exams and Tests

The provider can diagnose this condition by looking at the skin and rash. The liver, spleen, and lymph nodes may be swollen.

The following tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions:


Acrodermatitis by itself is not treated. Infections linked with this condition, such as hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr, are treated. Cortisone creams and oral antihistamines may help with itching and irritation.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Acrodermatitis usually disappears on its own without treatment or complication. Associated conditions must be watched carefully.

Possible Complications

Complications occur as a result of associated conditions, rather than as a result of acrodermatitis.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if your child has signs of this condition.

Alternative Names

Papular acrodermatitis of childhood; Gianotti-Crosti syndrome; Acrodermatitis - infantile lichenoid; Acrodermatitis - papular infantile; Papulovesicular acro-located syndrome


Cherry JD. Cutaneous manifestations of systemic infections. In: Cherry JD, Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL, Steinbach WJ, Hotez PJ, eds. Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 58.

Gelmetti C. Gianotti-Crosti syndrome. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 88.

Review Date 4/14/2015

Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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