There’s no way to get rid of herpes virus from the body, but the antiviral medications will reduce the frequency, duration, and severity of the outbreaks. Analgesics like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can reduce they pain and fever. Topical anesthetic treatments like prilocaine, benzocaine, lidocaine, or tetracaine can relieve the itching and pain.
There are many antivirals that are effective in treating herpes including: aciclovir (acyclovir), valaciclovir (valacyclovir), famciclovir, and penciclovir. Aciclovir was the first discovered and is available in generic form. Valacyclovir is also available as a generic.
Evidence supports the use of aciclovir and valaciclovir in the treatment of herpes labialis as well as herpes infections in people with cancer. The evidence to support the use of acyclovir in primary herpetic gingivostomatitis is less strong.
A number of topical antivirals are effective for herpes labialis including acyclovir, penciclovir, and docosanol.
Some dietary supplements and alternative remedies claim to be beneficial in the treatment of herpes. Though there is very little evidence to support the use of many of these compounds such as echinacea, monolaurin bee products, L-lysine, zinc, eleuthero, and aloe vera. All though there have been a number of small studies showing possible benefit from monolaurin, lemon balm, L-lysine, aspirin, topical zinc, or licorice root cream in treatment, these are preliminary studies and they have not been confirmed by much higher quality randomized controlled studies.