The herpes simplex virus is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is categorized by the area of the body it affects. The herpes simplex virus belongs to the Herpesviridae family that includes HSV1 and HSV2, which are the strands of herpes that affect humans. Although there is currently no cure for this virus, there are a variety of medications available for herpes treatment.

4 Commonly Prescribed Medications for Herpes

Nucleoside analogs are the class of medication used to control the symptoms and signs of herpes. This class of medication includes Penciclovir, also known as Denavir, Acyclovir, often referred to as Zovirax, Valacyclovir, known as Valtrex, and Famciclovir referred to as Famvir.


Denavir is a medicated cream that is applied to areas that tingle, swell or other signs of an upcoming outbreak, but commonly used on cold sores.


Zovirax is available in different forms, including injection, tablet, powder for injection, capsule, and oral suspension (liquid). Zovirax is commonly used to treat genital herpes, shingles, chickenpox, and a few other types of herpes. The dosage of this medication varies from 200mg to 400mg. 200mg of Zovirax should be taken 5 times each day for 10 days. 400mg of Zovirax should be taken 7-10 days for help with the symptoms of genital herpes.


Valtrex is used for the treatment of genital herpes, cold sores, and rashes caused by the herpes virus. This medication is available in tablet form of 500mg and 1g. Valtrex can be taken anywhere from 7 to 10 days depending on the dosage and type of herpes you are treating.

Home Remedies for Herpes Treatment

Warm and Cool Compresses

A warm compress is great for inflammation, swelling, and pain. As soon as you feel a tingling sensation of a sore beginning to form, apply a warm compress. A warm compress can be made at home by stuffing a clean sock with rice and warming it for less than 60 seconds. A cold compress can also be used to reduce swelling and help with inflammation. These compresses can also be made at home by placing an ice pack in a clean washcloth. These compresses can be used as many times as needed.

Baking Soda Paste or Cornstarch Paste

Baking soda and cornstarch paste both help with drying out sores and lesions, as well as, relieve itching. These pastes can be used by using a damn q-tip or cotton ball and dabbing it into the baking soda or cornstarch to create a thick paste. Put a generous amount of the paste on your sores and reapply the paste when necessary.

Topical Garlic or Topical Apple Cider Vinegar

Some sores caused by HSV1 and HSV2 can be unsightly, which makes you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Topical garlic and topical apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help the sores heal quicker. Topical garlic should be crushed and diluted with olive oil. This mixture can be applied to sores no more than three times per day. Topical garlic offers antiviral properties that are effective for both HSV1 and HSV2 herpes virus strands. Topical apple cider offers antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that also help sores heal quickly. This solution should be one-part topical apple cider vinegar and three parts warm water.

Changes In Your Diet

Poor eating habits and nutrition can cause a lot of health problems and make the symptoms of herpes worse. A proper nutrition and a balanced diet will help with boosting your immune system and help fight the frequent occurrence of outbreaks. Pay attention to the foods you eat and make note of the foods or ingredients that cause you to have outbreaks or make your symptoms worse. Vegetables are an important part of any diet. Not only do vegetables help boost your immune system, but they also help reduce the effects of inflammation. Vegetables that are full of antioxidants include kale, tomatoes, cauliflower, and spinach. Add salmon, Chia seeds, flaxseed, and mackerel to your diet to help minimize inflammation. Vitamin C is another important part of your diet because it quickens the duration of your outbreaks and the time in between outbreaks.

Limit Your Acid Consumption

Limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are highly acidic. Some of these foods and beverages include beer, soda, fruit juices, and processed foods. These foods and beverages cause cold sores to worsen by breaking open before they’ve had time to heal. Water and sparkling water are great alternatives to highly acidic beverages.