Learn what you need to know about treating these common infections.
  • Vaginal infection
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infections
  • Staph infections
 

 
 

 

Herpes Treatment

There is currently no treatment that can cure oral herpes and genital herpes, but there are oral and topical prescription antiviral medications that can treat symptoms and control outbreaks. Using medication to treat herpes is not required. However, if you would like to, speaking with a health care provider can help determine which treatment may be right.

Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) (oral herpes)


The symptoms of oral herpes will generally subside in 1 to 2 weeks without treatment. However, if treatment is preferable, there are two topical antiviral medications available to speed up the healing process and reduce viral activity:
  • Acyclovir ointment (brand name Zovirax)
  • Penciclovir cream (brand name Denavir)

For those with frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes, your health care provider may recommend using a commonly prescribed oral antiviral medications usually used for genital herpes.

If you and your health care provider choose not to use medication, there are self-care measures you can follow during an outbreak, which include:
  • Washing blisters gently with soap and water to minimize the spread of the virus to other areas of skin
  • Applying ice or warmth to the area may reduce pain

Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) (genital herpes)


The three medications currently approved to decrease the pain and discomfort associated with an outbreak and to shorten healing time are:
  • Acyclovir (brand name Zovirax)
  • Famciclovir (brand name Famvir)
  • Valacyclovir (brand name Valtrex)

Patients are generally treated in either an episodic therapy or suppressive therapy regimen. For an episodic therapy approach, therapy is started as soon as the tingling, burning, or itching starts, or as soon as the blisters are noticed. A suppressive therapy approach is used to help patient with frequent or severe outbreaks reduce the frequency and recurrence.

If you and your health care provider choose not to use medication, there are self-care measures you can follow during an outbreak, which include:

  • Warm baths to relieve the pain associated with genital lesions
  • Gentle cleansing with soap and water