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Oral Herpes Treatment

Is there a cure or treatment oral herpes?

No, there is not a cure for oral or genital herpes, but there are treatment options available. Avoiding oral sex or kissing someone with herpes can help prevent the spread of herpes. The first herpes symptoms after infection may also go away on their own after 10-14 days, although the infection itself remains dormant in your body.

Antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, are the most effective medications available for people infected with herpes. These medications are used to help to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms, however they cannot cure the infection.

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Oral herpes can be transmitted by kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinks, or during sex. Since oral herpes can be contracted from both Type 1 and Type 2 strains of the Herpes Simplex Virus, our doctors recommend getting tested for both of these HSV strains at the same time.

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Do oral herpes drugs prevent the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virus from spreading?

No, there are no drugs that can stop the transmission of the virus. Avoiding personal contact with an infected area is the best way to help avoid contracting the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses. Antiviral medications can help minimize the effects of cold sores, especially if taken at the onset of the infection.

FDA-approved / cleared medications treat fever blisters and cold sores

The best time to treat cold sores and fever blisters is as soon as you notice the symptoms. This means you should begin treatment as soon as you see signs that you may be developing early symptoms. Though antiviral herpes medications do not completely eliminate oral herpes, they have been shown to shorten and often lessen symptoms of outbreaks.

  1. "Herpes Treatment." American Sexual Health Association. http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/stdsstis/herpes/herpes-treatment/
  2. "Cold Sores." American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/cold-sores
  3. Usatine, Richard, and Rochelle Tinitigan. "Nongenital Herpes Simplex Virus." American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2010/1101/p1075.html
  4. "Herpes Simplex." American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/herpes-simplex#overview
  5. "Herpes." Center for Young Women's Health. April 26, 2019. Accessed June 24, 2019. https://youngwomenshealth.org/2012/10/18/herpes/

Medically Reviewed by on Jun 18, 2019

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