Skip to main content

Can I use Abreva on genital herpes?

5 Answers

Official Answer Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 16, 2020.

Abreva is indicated for the treatment of cold sores around the mouth caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1.
Abreva is not to be used on genital herpes which is most commonly caused by Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

There is no medication to cure your body of the genital herpes virus. Treatment is aimed at easing symptoms, reducing the frequency of recurrences and reducing transmission.

Symptoms can be improved by:

salt baths
ice packs to the affected area
pain-relieving medication – such as acetaminophen
antiviral medication – such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. These can reduce the severity of an episode if taken early enough (preferably as soon as you become aware of any symptoms appearing).

Topical antivirals like Abreva usually used for cold sores on the lips or face are not appropriate for use on the genitals.

For more information see:

Votes: +0
Alezandra 5 Oct 2023

I have had genital herpes since 1990. There’s no medical facts for what I’m about to say. But when i do get a breakout down stairs i Clean the area with alcohol(yes it stings a little) then i put Desitin cream on it and it helps it to stop the itching and it seems to help it dry up faster. I also take acyclovir during that time, the L-lysine helps prevent it from occurring as well as avoiding certain foods and exercising and meditating to avoid being stressed out. Stress is the biggest issue for bringing an out break on.

Votes: +0
QuailLady 4 Aug 2016

Yes, in my experience. I can go years without a flare up, this year I'm on my 2nd. Mine flares up when my stress and depression hit an 8 or 9 on a 10 point scale. I'm a disabled single mom and my son turned 18 end of February. Need I day more about my stress? When I notice the very beginning of a sore I grab my Herpecen L lip protectant/Abreva and apply it after every time I use the bathroom, take a bath or shower, chance my clothes... But typically no less than 3-4 times a day. Talk with your doctor though. Also, Super Lysine cold sore treatment is awesome! I prefer that to Herpecen /Abreva. It works a lot faster and I only apply it 2-3 times a day. After I wash first thing in the morning and right after my bath before bed. I would choose the Super Lysine plus stuff over the others.

Votes: +0

If you're looking for an OTC treatment or quasi preventative, L-Lysine supplement is the same type of treatment as Acyclovir. If you use it daily as maintenance, it can make outbreaks a little less painful or minimize the duration of the outbreak. It can also be used on episodal herpes. And if you have HSV I, it may make outbreaks virtually painless and brief.

Sapphyreopal5 7 April 2014

If you have HSV-1 genitally, I don't see why not. Of course as with anything you put on the skin, test it somewhere else beforehand. For those who are saying no you can't because HSV-2 causes genital herpes and HSV-1 causes cold sores, they are not 100% correct (based on old information). While most cases of oral herpes is HSV-1, it's possible for them to be caused by HSV-2. There are also more cases of HSV-1 being found in the genital region, possibly due to the decreased number of people having HSV-1 orally say in childhood. HSV is NOT a site-specific virus (can technically be found anywhere on the body, not restricted to the mouth or genitals).

Votes: +0
dixie12488 3 Jan 2015

Exactly right. This is the hypothesized reason my husband has oral sores and I have genital sores and each of us has never had the opposite. It begs the question, however, if you can get Herpes in more than one location, since it's localized to a nerve. If you infect 2 nerves with different strands, you could have different outbreaks in different places. You'd never get a cold sore though. It's interesting stuff.

juanag 22 Sep 2016

So, you can have an outbreak having never been exposed to herpes?


Juana, no, you must be exposed to herpes to contract it. Depending on sexual activity, it's possible to get HSV I I orally and HSV I genitally. However, HSV I I is considered a stronger virus and people with it that are exposed to HSV I genitally may never know it. Unfortunately, according to Doctors and literature, it's possible to be a carrier without knowing it. If there's an initial, undiagnosed episode which goes dormant and never surfaces again, a person can still spread it through sloughing skin cells.

Inactive 30 Oct 2011

Yes it can be used for herpes simplex, I also sussget valacyclovir.

All the best,

Votes: +0 free discount card

Related topics

abreva, herpes simplex - suppression

Further information

Similar questions

Search for questions

Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.