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Eur J Dermatol. 1998 Jul-Aug;8(5):310-9.

Treatment of Herpes simplex virus infections with topical antiviral agents.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA.


Clinical studies of topical therapy against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections have been reviewed. Idoxuridine (IDU) 15% in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), interferons, and penciclovir result in significant clinical benefit against this virus. IDU reduced pain duration and decreased time to loss of crust in a study of 301 patients. Alpha-interferon has shown synergism with other anti-HSV drugs such as caffeine, trifluorothymidine (TFT), DMSO, and nonoxynol-9. Finally, in a study of over 2,000 patients, application of penciclovir cream, both early and late in the course of HSV infection, decreased the duration of lesions, pain, and viral shedding. Acyclovir (ACV)-resistant strains of HSV are susceptible to (S)-1-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl) cytosine (HPMPC), and ascorbic acid shows promising effects against HSV. Using a vehicle that enhances skin penetration of a drug or possibly further exploring combination therapy may result in efficacious treatment of HSV. The possibility of topical vaccination or topical gene therapy may also prove beneficial in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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