How do medications treat viral skin infections?

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Medications are only used for certain kinds of viral skin infections, and only when they are needed. For example, antiviral drugs may help herpes simplex virus outbreaks to be shorter and less severe, but people with a herpes outbreak (for example, cold sores) may choose to use over-the-counter topical ointments only. Some antiviral medications boost the immune system to fight the virus, while others attack the virus itself. Some medications may be applied to the skin - for instance, warts are often treated with trichloroacetic or salicylic acid.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.