Herpes may be caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus or the herpes simplex 2 virus. While both viruses may cause cold sores or genital herpes, herpes simplex 1 is usually associated with cold sores, while herpes simplex 2 is usually associated with genital herpes. Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes, although certain treatments exist that may provide relief from symptoms.
Even if you opt for over-the-counter treatments, seeing a doctor may be helpful in learning more about the condition. The more you know about herpes, whether around the mouth or around the genitals, the better chance you have at relieving your symptoms and preventing the spread of the virus to others. Over-the-counter products are usually topical creams or ointments that work to relieve the pain and itching sometimes associated with herpes blisters and sores. A licensed physician may recommend specific topical medications, so a consultation is usually helpful.
Anti-viral medication is often prescribed in treating herpes. These are usually orally taken medicines that work to fight the virus that causes herpes. Intravenous therapy may be used to treat severe herpes infections or patients with immune disorders who also have herpes.
While medications are usually prescribed or recommended to relive herpes, other methods may also be used to provide further assistance in fighting herpes. The amino acid lysine is found in many common foods like chicken, fish, eggs, soy and milk. Supplements of lysine may also be available. Garlic and thyme may also be recommended. Talk to a doctor for more information about alternative treatments and dietary or vitamin supplements that may help to treat herpes.