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Natural Remedies You Have at Home for Genital Herpes Outbreaks

A man in a checkered shirt exhibits pain in the groin area while considering home remedies for genital herpes.

 

Several pharmaceuticals are available for genital herpes treatment, such as valacyclovir. But these come with side effects, and not everyone wants to take a prescription forever.

Whether you prefer natural, at-home treatments or you'd just like to try something new, here are a few natural remedies you probably have at home for treating a genital herpes outbreak.

Infographic: Natural Remedies You Have at Home for Genital Herpes Outbreaks

Coconut Oil for Genital Herpes

Besides being great for cooking, coconut oil can provide some significant health benefits. In some cultures, the coconut tree is even referred to as the tree of life. Clinical studies on coconut oil and its components have even backed some of these benefits:

Not enough evidence exists yet on coconut oil for genital herpes to prove that it directly treats herpes lesions; however, its many beneficial qualities may soothe irritated skin around outbreaks and moisturize dry herpes scabs.

Monolaurin, a coconut-oil-derived fatty acid, has also shown some promise as a natural treatment for genital herpes.

Epsom Salt Bath for Genital Herpes

While many people think of Epsom salt baths for treating sore muscles, they might not realize a soak can help with genital herpes symptoms as well.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends 10–20 minutes in a warm Epsom salt bath for genital herpes relief. The Epsom salts cleanse, soothe, and reduce the itching caused by genital herpes lesions.

You can purchase Epsom salts at local pharmacies, online, or even in bulk at animal feed stores.

Baking Soda for Genital Herpes

During the blistering phase of your genital herpes outbreak, you may want to try using baking soda. In addition to keeping the area dry and making it less hospitable to bacteria, baking soda may help to gently speed up the drying of your herpes blisters.

To try this method, mix pure baking soda with a little water until it forms a thick paste. Apply the paste to your sores with a cotton swab or cotton ball, being careful to use a new swab each time so you don't contaminate your baking soda mixture.

Cornstarch for Herpes

Cornstarch works in much the same way as baking soda. Its goal is to dry the genital region and the fluid-filled herpes blisters. You can create a cornstarch paste exactly the same way as a baking soda paste. For both, be sure to dispose of any leftover paste after you’ve finished using it.

Rubbing Alcohol and HSV-2

Rubbing alcohol is used widely in the medical field to cleanse and sanitize surfaces and skin. It also has a skin-drying effect, which anyone who frequently uses alcohol-based hand sanitizer has experienced.

Rubbing alcohol can help to keep the genital area sanitary during a herpes outbreak, and it may help to dry out herpes blisters. However, it could also be very painful and harsh on open lesions.

If you decide to use rubbing alcohol for your genital herpes blisters, use caution; only dab on small amounts with a cotton swab or ball and discontinue use immediately if you experience pain, burning, redness, or further skin irritation.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Genital Herpes

Apple cider vinegar has become known for all kinds of wonderful health benefits as a food, including lowering your blood sugar and helping with weight loss. Evidence also demonstrates apple cider vinegar's topical antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

However, applying undiluted vinegar to your nether regions could be extremely painful, especially with open sores present. Instead, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts warm or cool water and apply to the area. You could also fill a small hip bath or sitz bath basin with the mixture and soak the affected areas for several minutes.

Garlic and Genital Herpes

Scientists have long known about garlic’s antimicrobial properties. In fact, a compound in garlic called allicin even demonstrates antiviral activity against herpes, both when ingested and applied topically.

To try this natural remedy, crush up a clove of fresh garlic and mix it into olive oil. Apply this mixture to your genital herpes lesions up to three times daily. Consider wearing something to protect your clothing from the mixture, such as a menstrual pad or pantyliner.

Another Alternative for Genital Herpes Outbreaks

If you prefer natural remedies but want to try something backed by more extensive clinical research, you may want to consider light therapy. You may not already have this treatment in your kitchen cabinet, but it’s a proven therapy that allows you to avoid pharmaceuticals in the comfort of home.

Multiple studies show that red light therapy not only reduces the pain of a genital herpes outbreak, it also decreases the viral load in people’s systems, potentially decreasing the severity and frequency of recurring outbreaks.

The Luminance RED Genital Sore Treatment Device is an FDA-registered, handheld device that harnesses similar waves of red light for the management of genital herpes blisters without the use of chemicals.

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