How to Get Rid of a Herpes Sore

It takes about two weeks to get rid of a sore caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The herpes simplex virus type one (HSV-1) typically causes sores around the oral cavity, and the herpes simplex virus type two (HSV-2) often causes sores around the genitals or other parts of the body. Herpes sores usually heal without any intervention, but treatment promotes faster healing and eases symptoms of discomfort, skin irritation and pain. Plus, getting rid of a herpes sore prevents further spread of the virus.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Herpes Sore on the Body

Wash the herpes sore with soap and water. Use an antibacterial soap and allow the skin to air-dry.

Apply an essential oil remedy six times a day until the sore heals. Mix two drops each of ginger, thyme, hyssop and sandalwood with 2 tbsp 1. of grapeseed oil. Use a cotton swab to apply the remedy on affected areas, and discard after each use.

Avoid a recurrence by consuming a diet high in lysine and low in arginine. The herpes simplex virus depends on low levels of lysine and high levels of proteins rich in arginine to thrive and reproduce 4. Lysine has antiviral properties and blocks the manufacture of arginine proteins in the body. Some of the foods rich in lysine are vegetables, legumes, fish, chicken and turkey. Avoid foods rich in arginine, such as chocolate, seeds, almonds and other nuts.

Oral Sores

Gargle for one minute with a mouthwash solution containing three parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide. Rinse the mouth again with water to remove the fizz caused by the hydrogen peroxide. The pH balance of your saliva changes when using a hydrogen peroxide solution, making your oral cavity a harsh environment for the herpes virus.

Apply a drop of peppermint oil to the affected area. Peppermint oil has antiviral and antibacterial agents that work against the resistant strain of HSV-1 and prevents further advancement of sore formation.

Coat the sore with lemon balm and keep the sore lubricated, applying as often as needed. A study conducted at the University of Heidelberg in Germany found that lemon balm served as an antiviral agent against both types of herpes virus, and lemon balm is an effective treatment for recurrent herpes sores.

Apply milk of magnesia to the sore as a protective coating. As an alternative application, use 1 tbsp. of milk of magnesia as a mouthwash. Use before each meal to protect the sore from spicy foods that cause further discomfort.


Use a sodium laurel sulfate-free toothpaste if you have herpetic stomatitis as sodium laurel sulfate may cause irritation to an oral sore.

If skin irritation occurs while using the essential oil remedy on the body, discontinue use. Apply lemon balm in place of the essential oil remedy. Although the remedy is safe to use on mucous membranes, some patients may experience skin sensitivities when using essential oils.


If the sore does not heal within three weeks, make an appointment with your doctor.

Do not use the essential oil remedy if you are pregnant.