Vol 3, No 4 (2017)
Review paper
Published online: 2018-03-01

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Comprehensive treatment of herpes simplex virus

Aleksandra Lesiak12, Joanna Narbutt12
Forum Dermatologicum 2017;3(4):147-151.


Herpes simplex virus infection has been accompanying people for thousands of years. This disease was already described by the ancient Egyptians. The most common clinical form of HSV infection is still herpes labialis, mainly caused by the HSV-1 virus. Research conducted in the middle of the last century allowed to conclude that type 1 of the virus most often causes infections above the waist, while type 2 of herpes virus — infection in anogenital area and meningitis. Despite the views among patients that herpes, or ‘cold’, is a relatively trivial disease, in our opinion it is justified to treat this disease entity. First; implementation of the therapy shortens the duration of the disease, which reduces the stress associated with the cosmetic defect of the occurrence of changes within the lip. Secondly; the use of treatment also reduces subjective symptoms such as tingling, pain or burning. The drug most often used in the treatment of herpes is acyclovir, effective especially in inhibiting HSV replication. Nevertheless, from a comprehensive physician’s point of view and on the basis of objective data, the use of combination therapy, i.e. the administration of a general drug containing acyclovir and the simultaneous use of topical treatment leads to shortening of the disease duration as well as reducing pain. The oral drug effectively inhibits the replication of the HSV virus and reduces the frequency of relapses, and local treatment with acyclovir relieves skin changes and reduces the risk of their spread.

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