Genital herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of this virus, I and II. Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV-2. There is currently no cure for genital herpes, though there are treatments that can make living with herpes manageable.
Oral Antiviral medication
Herpes can be managed in a variety of ways. You may have to try a few interventions to find one that works for you. One that your physician will probably try first is prescription antiviral medications such as acyclovir and Valtrex. These may even help stop the spread of infection to your partner. They can, however, be costly and have side effects like stomach and digestive problems, hair loss and can tax the kidneys.
Diet changes can help you live with herpes. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can bring on outbreaks. You can reduce outbreaks by adding lysine to your diet. Also consume substances that contain high amounts of zinc, and vitamins C, B and E. Many fruits and vegetables contain these. In order to ensure enough of the proper vitamins and minerals, you may take a multivitamin. Avoid foods such as chocolate or nuts, as they contain arginine, which can cause or exacerbate an outbreak.
Stress can exacerbate or even cause outbreaks of herpes. Stress management techniques can minimize the chance of an outbreak. Some ways to do this are through meditation, muscle relaxation techniques, physical exercise or massage. Talk therapy may be something you use to decrease your stress.
There are also topical antivirals, like Dynamiclear, available that your physician can suggest. These work by killing the pathogens on contact. They are applied once per sore per outbreak, so they're more cost effective than oral medications if they work for you.
Though these have not been thoroughly investigated, there is anecdotal evidence of interventions that some herpes sufferers swear by. One of these is to avoid artificial sweeteners. Many individuals with herpes believe that these trigger outbreaks. Another of these is the use of acetone on the sores. This can be found in nail polish remover. This also has not been investigated by the medical community and is anecdotal in nature. Some people also use ice. When they feel the tingle that announces the beginnings of sores, they hold the ice on until it melts. These are all "home remedies" that do not have scientific backing.