What do I need to know about caring for someone with genital herpes?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

In most cases, people with genital herpes should be able to manage the disease on their own. However, the most important thing to remember about caring for someone with genital herpes is that the infection is contagious. Avoid physical contact with the infected skin areas during an outbreak. An outbreak of genital herpes should go away on its own about one week. To help manage any irritation or pain during this time, over-the-counter ointments such as lidocaine, pain relievers such as aspirin, or antiviral drugs from their doctor can be effective. People who suffer from a compromised immune system may have worse or longer-lasting outbreaks, and should be examined by a doctor. Herpes infections near the eye should also be seen by a medical professional.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.