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March 1983

Cryotherapy in Recurrent Herpes Simplex

Author Affiliations

Ferrara, Italy

Arch Dermatol. 1983;119(3):188. doi:10.1001/archderm.1983.01650270006007

To the Editor.—  The phenomenon of "herpetism" for those who suffer from it represents a great problem from a physical, psychological, and aesthetic point of view.Following the many reports found in the ophthalmologic literature1-3 on the treatment of herpes simplex keratitis with cryotherapy, we adopted the same principle, using it for the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex infection of the skin.For the past five years, 16 patients suffering from typical recurrent herpes simplex localized on the lips, cheeks, and nose (nine patients), or sacrum and buttocks (seven patients), have been undergoing cryotherapy. All had previously tried various remedies such as antibiotic ointments, idoxuridine, alcohol compresses, and smallpox vaccinations. Liquid nitrogen on cotton wool was applied to the lesion for approximately 5 to 8 s on days 1 and 3 after every relapse. All of the patients noticed a more rapid disappearance of the blisters and immediate relief

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