Herpes are painful sores that usually appear around the mouth and lip area (cold sores) or around the genitals. The herpes simplex 1 virus usually causes cold sores around the mouth, while the herpes simplex 2 virus usually causes genital herpes, although both viruses may cause the herpes infection in both areas.

When to Seek Treatment

If you notice sores around the genitals or around the mouth, speak with a doctor to determine if you have herpes. Upon diagnosis, the doctor will likely recommend certain treatments. Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes, although certain medications and treatments exist that may lessen the side effects of herpes and make outbreaks less common.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Topical creams and balms are often used to treat herpes and typically run around $25, but may be as much as $100 in some cases. Patients should speak with a doctor before using any product and should inquire as to the best way to obtain each product. Some products are available in stores, while others may be more easily obtained via the internet.

Prescription Medications

Valtrex is an orally prescribed medication that runs about $170 without insurance. Talk to your medical insurance provider to learn if your insurance covers the prescription. Other prescription medications may also be available. For more information about herpes or possible treatments, patients should consult a trained physician.