How do medications treat oral herpes?

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There is no cure for oral herpes. The infection is the result of a virus, herpes simplex type 1, which remains in the body even when there is no outbreak on the skin. However, antiviral medications can help to ease and manage symptoms of the infection, and they may help your cold sores heal in a shorter amount of time. Antiviral skin creams can help, but don't significantly reduce the time it takes to get rid of outbreaks. Over-the-counter painkillers can help with discomfort.

Continue Learning about Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

If you have a cold sore then you have been affected by the contagious virus herpes simplex type 1, otherwise known as oral herpes. Herpes simplex type 1 differs from herpes simplex type 2, which will usually cause sores in your ge...

nital area. If you have oral herpes you may never notice any symptoms. Or, you may develop painful sores on your lips or other facial areas that last for many days. To relieve the pain of your cold sores, consider pain-relieving ointments, as there is no medical cure for oral herpes. However, if your cold sore does not clear up within one to two weeks, visit your doctor to make sure there is no underlying bacterial infection.
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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.