Here on Focus@4, we want to know what matters to you. Tryna Jarrell recently wrote this facebook post. She wanted us to do some research on Zostavax, a vaccine for shingles.
She wrote, "Can it help those of us who are plagued with hsv1 (fever blisters)? If it works for that would it be a preventive vaccine for hsv-2?"
Focus@4's Candace Sweat, spoke with a local dermatologist, doctor Melanie Appell at Total Skin and Beauty Dermatology Center.
The short answer is no, the zostavax vaccine will not work for hsv1 (commonly known as fever blisters), or hsv2.
Here's why: Appell says Herpes consist of a group of different viruses. Hsv1, hsv2, and shingles are all different. Zostavax is a live vaccine used to prevent the reactivation of the herpes zoster virus, he virus that causes chicken pox when people are younger, and can appear as shingles later in life.
Appell says Zotavax is used as a one-time injection typically for people fifty and older, who had chicken pox and want to prevent shingles.
"Shingles can be a very debilitating condition. And it is ideal to prevent that," she says.
Though zostavax is not made for hsv1 or hsv2, doctor appell says there are treatments that specifically for those viruses.
There are oral or topical treatments. She says a good oral treatment is valacyclovir. She says the best thing to do in Tryna's case is visit a physician who is familiar with the treatment of fever blisters and the herpes virus in general.