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Your doctor may recommend a prescription for Zovirax Ointment to manage the early episodes of a herpes infection. The active ingredient called Acyclovir is an antiviral medicine that helps reduce the pain and the severity of lesions and sores caused by a herpes infection. Zovirax Ointment can help treat the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that appears as cold sores or blisters for those with compromised immune systems. If you are diagnosed with shingles from the varicella-zoster virus, applying Zovirax Ointment to the blisters will help with healing faster.
Once Zovirax Ointment has been applied to the targeted areas, it is absorbed into your skin cells where Acyclovir is converted by a viral enzyme, then by a host-cell enzyme where it becomes Acyclovir triphosphate (ACV-TP). It can now inhibit and inactivate an essential enzyme that the virus needs which sabotages the viral DNA chain. Without the ability to make its own viral DNA, the virus cannot multiply and their population dwindles away. Zovirax Ointment is not a cure for the herpes virus, it does not prevent the infection from returning, and it will not guard against spreading the virus to others.
HSV-1 is referred to as oral herpes while HSV-2 is genital herpes. Both of these viruses are very contagious and can be passed to others by kissing, sharing a toothbrush or eating utensils with an infected person, and sexual contact. Even if there are no visible sores present, herpes simplex virus can still be passed on. HSV breakouts can be triggered by emotional or physical stress or a compromised immune system from a medical condition or medications, fatigue, or menstruation.
You do not have to worry about contracting shingles if you have never had, or have been vaccinated for, chickenpox caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Once this virus has run its course, the virus lays dormant in the collection of nerve cells of your spinal or cranial nerves. And it waits. It may never reactivate, but others may be inflicted with painful sores and blisters years later. Shingles only affects bands of skin over top of the infected nerve fibers, and only on one side of your body. This could be your sides around the rib cage area or your head and face. This is truly a painful infection.
Ask your doctor about the safety of applying Zovirax Ointment if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding. Disclose other medical conditions or allergies you have to your doctor and list any OTC or Rx drugs you currently use or take, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements so it can be determined if Zovirax Ointment is the right medication for you.
Using a rubber glove or finger cot when you apply Zovirax Ointment will decrease the risk of spreading any of the virus to other areas. Remove and dispose of the cot or glove safely after applying Zovirax Ointment and wash your hands. Apply as directed by your doctor and for the time period recommended even if the sores or lesions appear to have healed and are no longer visible. Never share any meds with anyone else and keep them out of children’s reach.