Herpes: Caring for Sores


 

Good hygiene matters when you have herpes. Take care of your sores to speed healing. Neglected sores can lead to other infections.

Warm baths can ease itching and burning caused by sores.

To Ease Your Symptoms

  • Take any medications as directed.
  • Take aspirin or an aspirin substitute for pain.
  • Take warm baths to relieve itching of sores. And don't share towels when you have a sore.
  • Urinate in a tub of warm water to prevent burning. This works for women with genital herpes.
  • Don't wear tight clothes or nylon underwear. They can trap moisture, cause chafing, and prevent sores from healing.

Use mild soap to wash your sores. Dry thoroughly to promote healing.

To Speed Healing

  • Wash the sores with mild soap and water. And wash your hands after you touch a sore.
  • Dry the affected area completely. Blow-drying the sores on low heat may help speed healing.
  • Don't bandage sores. The dry air helps them heal.
  • Avoid ointments unless they are prescribed. They retain moisture and may cause other infections.
  • Don't pick at the sores. This can slow healing.
  • Don't touch your eyes when you have a sore. The virus may travel from your fingertips to your eyes.

Resources

National Herpes Hotline: 919-361-8488, www.ashastd.org

CDC National STD Hotline: 800-227-8922, www.cdc.gov/nchstp/dstd

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