You cannot cure herpes, but there are various treatment options available.
One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for herpes is antivirals. These include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir. Antivirals help to lessen the transmission rates of herpes. They also help to reduce the severity of outbreaks. When taken daily, antivirals can cut the possibility of transmitting the herpes virus to your partner in half.
Antivirals can be taken in one of two ways. The first way is suppressively. Suppressive treatment of herpes means that the patient is taking antivirals daily. This is usually the case for when herpes outbreaks are quite frequent. As mentioned above, when antivirals are taken daily, the chance of passing the herpes virus to another person is dramatically reduced. That chance is reduced further still when the other person is also taking antivirals. Taking antivirals daily in the suppressive form also helps to reduce the symptoms of flare-ups in infected individuals.
The other way of taking antivirals is intermittently. Intermittent treatment of the herpes virus means that antiviral medications are kept around in order to treat specific flare-ups. When an outbreak occurs, the person starts taking antiviral medication. The antiviral medication is taken for about two to five days and after this time, the outbreak is more likely to end. Intermittent treatment of herpes helps to terminate the outbreak more quickly, as well as less painfully. This is because the medication helps to make the sores disappear.
When the herpes virus is negatively impacting a person’s day to day life, then suppressive therapy is chosen over intermittent treatment.
There are also topical creams that can help to manage the pain that is caused by open sores. However, topical creams are less often prescribed and are mostly just for pain management.
Other ways of relieving discomfort in a patient with herpes include wearing loose-fitting clothing and taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin.
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