Genital Herpes Treatment

Genital herpes can not be cured, but there are medications that can shorten outbreaks. If you have the first herpes outbreak, your doctor will most likely prescribe antiviral medicine to speed up healing. Antiviral medicines for genital herpes treatment include: acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir.

If you have recurrent genital herpes, you can also take the medicine during outbreaks to heal more quickly, but you must start the treatment as soon as you notice the early symptoms of genital herpes. Recurrences are usually much milder than the first outbreak and last just a few days, so you may not need antiviral medication. If the recurrences are frequent, you should consider taking antiviral medication every day. This will reduce their frequency and severity, or even completely stop the recurrences.

Keep in mind that during an outbreak, you can still pass on herpes to your sex partner, even though you are taking medication.

How to relieve genital herpes pain?

Here are some things you can do to relieve genital herpes pain:

  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, paracetamol or aspirin may help relieve pain and fever.
  • Wear loose cotton clothing.
  • Place ice packs or cool compresses over the sores for 5-10 minutes several times a day.
  • Don't use perfumed soaps, bubble bath, deodorants or anything else (chemicals) that might irritate. Take warm baths, and then gentle dry affected areas (sores) with a hair dryer on its lowest setting or with a soft towel.
  • Use salt water to wash the genital area, it can soothe and dry the sores.
  • If you have pain when urinating, it can be less painful when done in a warm bath.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This will make your urine more dilute and may make urinating less painful.


  • Don't share a towel or a sponge or clothing with others, you may pass on the infection.
  • Don't touch the sores, and if you do, wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid sex until the sores have healed.
  • When the symptoms are gone and you resume sexual activity, use lubricants to avoid friction that may trigger a recurrence.

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