Differential Diagnosis

When a patient presents with a possible Herpes simplex infection, it is important to consider other conditions.  Table 1 describes conditions that should be considered in the differential diagnosis.

Table 1- Differential diagnosis

Other Conditions 


Aphthous Ulcer

Lack of prodromal symptoms and the ulcers do not involve the vermillion border of the lip

Angular Cheilitis

It commonly begins as a dry, irritated patch of skin


Primary infection with a painless genital ulcer; secondary infection is characterized by fever, chills, malaise, and rash

Bacterial Pharyngitis

Fever, chills, enlarged tonsils with exudate


Viral syndrome of fatigue, cytopenia’s, fever, and rash


Severe desquamating rash involving the oral mucosa


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