Cold Sores (Herpes labialis) Treatment

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in 7 to 10 days.

Treatment may include:

  • antiviral topical ointments (such as acyclovir and penciclovir)
  • antiviraloral medications (such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir Valtrex)

Using a medication such as Valtrex may shorten the duration of cold sores and decrease your pain.

Without proper hygiene, this virus can be very contagious. This is why it is important if you have cold sores to wash your hands often, especially after you may have touched your face. Do not share cups or utensils with another person.valtrex

Although the infection can stay in the body forever, the number of outbreaks usually decreases over a period of years. You can pass genital herpes to someone else even when you experience no symptoms.


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Information provided on is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Only your healthcare provider should diagnose your healthcare problems and prescribe treatment.