Herpes simplex labialis developed in a patient immediately following dermabrasion. The patient was hospitalized because the infection had spread rapidly over the dermabraded face and was complicated by secondary impetiginization. Herpesvirus hominis type I and Enterobacter aerogenes were isolated from cultures. Intravenous acyclovir and oral antibiotics were administered. On this regimen, new vesicle formation ceased in 36 hours. Complete resolution of the infection occurred within 6 days, with an excellent cosmetic result. Observation at 1 month confirmed no sequelae (in particular, scarring). The “at risk” patient with a history of recurrent herpes labialis should be identified prospectively in an attempt to prevent possible reactivation; should this complication ensue, appropriate treatment should be immediately administered because a state of local immunocompromise exists. We believe our patient benefited greatly from vigorous treatment, with significant shortening of time to healing. Prophylaxis with oral acyclovir of “at risk” patients prior to dermabrasion is proposed.
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