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December 1981

Cryotherapy for Herpes Simplex Infections

Author Affiliations

Chesapeake, Va

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(12):757-758. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650120003002

To the Editor.—  Shelley1 has successfully used epidermal surgery to prevent recurrence of herpes simplex in the treatment site. He advanced the idea that shedding of virions to the surface may be blocked by epidermal denervation and minute scarring.2 Perhaps efforts in treatimg herpes simplex should be concentrated on altering the superficial nerves rather than on blocking viral replication.The use of cryotherapy for herpes simplex has been given little attention in the literature. Danziger3 found cold in the form of ice packs to be effective in reducing symptoms and the duration of recurrent attacks if the ice packs are applied for at least one hour to early lesions. Hoede4 and Gheorghiu,5 each using ethyl chloride, found cryotherapy useful in reducing both symptoms and the incidence of recurrence.In a number of patients that I have treated, I have found that a light application of

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