Infants born of a mother with recurrent genital herpes should probably be observed and treated with an antiviral drug only if evidence of disease develops because risk of infection for these babies is about 5%. Because the herpes attack rate for an infant born of a mother with a primary genital infection is much higher, the infant probably should be treated before he or she develops disease, although definitive information is not available. There is no proof that, prednisone prevents postherpetic neuralgia, but, this question is being studied by a collaborative group. There is a potential to use acyclovir prophylactically to prevent herpes zoster in immunosuppressed patients who have undergone transplant procedures. Indications for use of acyclovir for herpes zoster have not been established, but its major use probably will be for elderly patients and immunocompromised individuals. If acyclovir can decrease the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia, its use will expand in the elderly. In patients with recurring erythema multiforme, acyclovir might be tried prophylactically even if no recurrent herpetic lesions are found, providing serum antibodies to herpes simplex virus are present. © 1988, American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.. All rights reserved.