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.
To ease your symptoms
Take any medications as directed.
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
Take warm or cool 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.
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.
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.
American Social Health Association STD Hotline 919-361-8488 www.ashastd.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 800-232-4636 www.cdc.gov/std