Currently, there is no cure for either the HSV1 or HSV2 viruses. Treatment of herpes includes strengthening the immune system to prevent outbreaks and treatment of the outbreaks themselves. With time, a person who has been diagnosed with herpes may be able to detect when an outbreak will occur. Symptoms that precede an outbreak such as itching, pain, or tingling sensations may occur in the infected area a few days before a lesion appears.
There is no consensus whether or not L-lysine supplements may be useful in treating herpes. Some studies have indicated that amino acids such as L-lysine may be useful in reducing the frequency of herpes outbreaks, or can reduce the time needed for sores to heal. However, other studies have not been able to produce the same results with L-lysine.
Additionally, another amino acid, arginine might increase the chances of having a herpes outbreak if eaten in large amounts. Arginine is commonly found in food. There are no clinical studies that have proven that foods higher in arginine lead to a higher susceptibility of having a herpes outbreak. As always, talk with your doctor regarding home remedies for herpes.
In addition to medication, eating a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, and reducing unhealthy amounts of stress may help in reducing outbreaks. Also important is reducing the likelihood of transmitting genital herpes to a partner, by abstaining from sexual activity during outbreaks.
Although both oral and genital herpes cannot be cured, they can be treated with medication, oral or topical. Anti-viral medication can be prescribed for persons experiencing their first outbreak, or for those with subsequent outbreaks. If outbreaks are frequent (6 or more times per year), then daily (suppressive) medication may be prescribed; this medication may significantly reduce (up to 80%) outbreaks. Persons with oral herpes may be prescribed the same medication as for genital herpes. Topical anti-viral creams might speed up the healing of skin lesions.
Although herpes is common, HSV1 and HSV 2 are treatable. Simple changes in lifestyle, along with appropriate medication, may reduce the frequency or severity of herpes outbreaks. Additionally, wearing protection before sexual activities, such as a condom, can greatly reduce the chances of contracting HSV, or of giving it to your partner.