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Genital herpes treatment

Your doctor may prescribe anti-viral medication to help reduce the severity of genital herpes symptoms. This is most effective when started within 72 hours of the first symptoms.

If you have frequent or severe recurrent episodes there are medications available to help control them. However there is no cure for herpes.

The symptoms can also be helped by:

  • gently bathing the area with a warm salt solution (1 teaspoon to 2 cups water, or 1 cup of salt in a bath)
  • pain medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • local anaesthetic ointment
  • urinating while sitting in a warm bath, if urination is painful.

Last reviewed: June 2017

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