Nongenital herpes simplex virus

Richard P. Usatine, Rochelle Tinitigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nongenital herpes simplex virus type 1 is a common infection usually transmitted during childhood via nonsexual contact. Most of these infections involve the oral mucosa or lips (herpes labialis). The diagnosis of an infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 is usually made by the appearance of the lesions (grouped vesicles or ulcers on an erythematous base) and patient history. However, if uncertain, the diagnosis of herpes labialis can be made by viral culture, polymerase chain reaction, serology, direct fluorescent antibody testing, or Tzanck test. Other nonoral herpes simplex virus type 1 infections include herpetic keratitis, herpetic whitlow, herpes gladiatorum, and herpetic sycosis of the beard area. The differential diagnosis of nongenital herpes simplex virus infection includes aphthous ulcers, acute paronychia, varicella-zoster virus infection, herpangina, herpes gestationis (pemphigoid gestationis), pemphigus vulgaris, and Behçet syndrome. Oral acyclovir suspension is an effective treatment for children with primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. Oral acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are effective in treating acute recurrence of herpes labialis (cold sores). Recurrences of herpes labialis may be diminished with daily oral acyclovir or valacyclovir. Topical acyclovir, penciclovir, and docosanol are optional treatments for recurrent herpes labialis, but they are less effective than oral treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1075-1082
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume82
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

Cite this

Usatine, R. P., & Tinitigan, R. (2010). Nongenital herpes simplex virus. American family physician, 82(9), 1075-1082.