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Treatment of dendritic ulcer

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Immediate referral to ophthalmologist.

The standard treatment is acyclovir 3% eye ointment, five times daily for at least three days after the ulcer has healed. Ganciclovir ointment may also be used as an alternative, applied 5 times a day for 7-10 days.

Treatment should be started immediately and continued in a specialist centre.

Steroids are contraindicated in suspected cases of herpes simplex keratitis.


Wilhelmus KR. Antiviral treatment and other therapeutic interventions for herpes simplex virus epithelial keratitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 9;(1):CD002898.

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