Unfortunately, there is no cure for genital herpes. If you have a herpes outbreak, you can take prescription drugs to lessen the severity and shorten the healing time. But, according to the Mayo Clinic, there is no over-the-counter medication that has been shown to be effective. Fortunately, according to Epigee, there are many at-home herpes remedies that you can try to help relieve you genital herpes symptoms.
To help the outbreak heal as quickly as possible, keep the infected area clean with soap and water, says Mother Nature Inc. Do not use petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointments. A herpes outbreak needs lots of air to heal, and these ointments can block this air and slow the healing process. Also, wearing loose-fitting, cotton underwear will help your skin to breathe and accelerate the healing process.
To lessen your chances of infecting others, avoid touching your herpes sores and avoid any and all sexual contact from the onset of symptoms. According to Epigee, you should also frequently wash your hands, especially under the fingernails throughout the day. Also, herpes can be very painful, so, to help ease the discomfort, you can take baths in warm water and apply cool, non-herbal tea bags to the affected area.
Many people believe that taking an L-Iysine supplement is a good treatment for a herpes outbreak. According to Epigee, it is believed that a diet high in L-Iysine but low in arginine levels can prevent outbreaks. However, studies do not show L-Iysine to be effective in preventing or shortening herpes outbreaks, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You may be able to prevent future herpes outbreaks by making small lifestyle changes. According to Epigee, caffeine has been shown to have some anti-herpes properties. It is also believed that lowering your stress level and learning better handle stress may be beneficial in preventing herpes outbreaks. Taking herbal medicines like aloe vera, echinacea, and tea tree oil also may be helpful.
These remedies can treat a herpes outbreak, but it is still possible to infect others with herpes even if you currently show no symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, the only way to protect your sexual partner from possibly contracting the disease is to take prescription medication. People with genital herpes who are sexually active with a non-infected partner should use a condom or dental dam along with antiviral suppressive therapy.