Medicine: Herpes Hazard

People who suffer from recurrent cold sores are constantly on the lookout for a way of curing these harmless but unsightly excrescences. The Medical Letter, an independent publication written by physicians for physicians, suggests that one treatment may be worse than the affliction.

Doctors had recently discovered that sores caused by the herpes simplex viruses could be cleared up quickly if they were painted with a photoactive, or light-sensitive dye, then exposed to fluorescent light (TIME, July 12, 1971). But new research with animals suggests that people with herpes might do better to avoid such treatments. Although the dyes, which have not...

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