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How do medications treat viral skin infections?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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.

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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.