Ecthyma contagiosum

Last Updated: 2020-11-19

Author(s): Anzengruber, Navarini

Contagious pustular dermatitis, infectious labial dermatitis, ecthyma contagiosum, thistle disease and scabby mouth

Zoonosis caused by parapoxvirus ovis, a DNA block virus, with low contagiosity.

  • A common disease among sheep farmers.
  • Self-limiting, but frequent recurrences (immunity to infection).
  • Incubation period: 3-11 days
  • Infection occurs through injured skin through direct contact with sheep, lambs and goats. Ecthyma contagiosum occurs especially in spring.
  • Usually on finger extension sides (rarely on the face).
  • Week 1: Maculopapular stage.
  • Week 2: Cockade stage.
  • Week 3: Exudation.
  • Week 4: Formation of a crust.
  • Week 5: Papillomatous transformation, then regression.
  • Generalization very rare. In addition, regional lymphadenopathy is common.

Medical history, clinic, dermatopathology, virus detection.

Vascular granulation tissue with epidermal ballooned cells and reticular degeneration.

Healing after approx. 5 weeks without scar formation.

  • Local drying and antiseptic
  • e.g.:


  • Iodine-povidone (Betadine®-Lsg.)
  • Allow to act for 2-3 minutes.
  • CI: Hyperthyroidism, M. Duhring, in the context of radioiodine therapy.

    According to specialist information, pregnancy and lactation are also contraindications. In the opinion of the attending physician, it will be used here anyway at best.


  • Tanning agents (Tannosynth®) several times a day
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