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Dealing with viral skin infections in the community setting

Many skin conditions, while no longer requiring hospitalisation, still require a level of knowledge and skill from community nurses, particularly with assessment and diagnosis. Atopic eczema is one such skin condition and can cause significant discomfort, par􀀃ticularly when inflamed skin becomes virally infected, leading to to complications such as eczema herpeticum and molluscum contagiosum. Both of these viral infections can increase the discomfort of eczema, leading to a variety of symptoms including blisters, sore skin, itch and rash. It is important that community nurses are able to identify skin conditions of this type and know whether to treat themselves or refer on to dermatological specialist nurses for more specialised management.