The herpes simplex virus is categorised under two types - herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). While oral herpes is caused by HSV-1, genital herpes can be a result of either strain [1].

Although there is no cure for herpes and symptoms can sometimes clear up on their own, it’s important to seek treatment to reduce both the severity and frequency of the infection.

See also: Neonatal Herpes: Can Babies Contract Herpes?

The Best Ways to Treat Herpes

While treatment for herpes cannot completely cure the virus, it can help in reducing symptoms and reduce the likelihood of it spreading between sexual partners. Treatment for both oral and genital herpes differ.

See also: What is Herpes? How to Deal With a Herpes Diagnosis

Treatment for oral herpes

Commonly known as a cold sore, oral herpes is primarily caused by HSV-1 [2]. Though oral herpes usually clears up on its own within a number of days, there are some things you can consider that will help relieve any irritation or pain:

  • Cream to ease pain and irritation
  • Antiviral cream to speed up healing time
  • Cold sore patches

Treatment for genital herpes

Similar to oral herpes, genital herpes is known to clear up by itself but the right medication can stop the symptoms getting worse as well as ease any pain [3]. If you have genital herpes, you may be prescribed:

  • Antiviral medication
  • Anaesthetic cream

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting an STD is with regular screening. This can be done by taking a trip to your doctors office or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home Herpes Test can detect herpes simplex antibodies for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be there to offer a helping hand should you have any questions.

See also: How do you Check for Herpes From Home?


  1. World Health Organization. Herpes simplex virus. Online:, 2020
  2. NHS. Cold sores. Online:, 2020
  3. NHS. Genital Herpes. Online:, 2020