The prevalence of recurrent herpes labialis ranges between 15% and 40%. In the paediatric population frequent recrudescence leads to different consequences according to the patients’ age. A recent review of clinical studies on the effectiveness of antivirals (acyclovir and valaciclovir) for the prevention of recurrent herpes simplex has considered 4 studies, of which 3 RCT in an adult population and a retrospective study in an adolescent population. The results of the review show that the continuative therapy safely decreases the number of relapses. From a practical point of view a prophylactic antiviral therapy (with acyclovir or, in alternative, with valaciclovir in adolescents) can be proposed for children/adolescents with recurrent herpes labialis and with remarkable clinical (or psychological) involvements. It is not possible to define its duration: if it is effective it may last 6 months, with the possibility to administer it again in case of clinically significant relapses after treatment interruption.
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