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November 1977

Topical Treatment of Herpes Labialis With Chloroform

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs Taylor and Gwaltney), Pediatrics (Dr Hendley), and Dermatology (Dr Greer), University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville.

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(11):1550-1552. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640110070010

• The efficacy of topical chloroform treatment of herpes labialis (HL) was evaluated in 50 patients with culture-verified HL. Treatment was begun within 48 hours of lesion onset, with either chloroform or camphor-in-oil placebo applied locally once a day for three days. Patients were observed daily by one investigator who also cultured and photographed the lesions. The photographs were evaluated by two other investigators. By direct observation, the time for scab formation was significantly less in the group treated with chloroform (P <.01). No difference in time to healing was noted. Blind evaluation of the serial photographs showed a trend for more rapid scab formation and healing in patients treated with chloroform, but the differences were not significant. The minimal benefit derived from topical chloroform therapy of HL does not appear sufficient to recommend its routine use.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1550-1552, 1977)

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