Herpes prescription treatment online

In order to treat herpes, consult with one of our board-certified doctors online today to prescribe the right antiviral medication to manage your herpes symptoms. Get a new prescription to treat herpes or refill an existing prescription today.*

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*Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of herpes. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment. If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Learn about herpes

Herpes simplex viruses are a common group of viruses that cause infections in humans. Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) primarily leads to oral herpes, characterized by cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth and facial areas. Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) causes genital herpes, with sores or lesions appearing in the genital and anal regions during outbreaks. Both types of herpes have no known cure or vaccine, but antiviral medications can help manage symptoms and reduce the duration of active outbreaks.

  • Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1): oral herpes

    Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) is the more common of the two types of herpes simplex viruses, primarily causing oral herpes (cold sores). This herpes simplex virus type is highly contagious. It is a common virus that afflicts roughly 67% of the world’s population. Many people with HSV-1 infection do not experience symptoms and don’t realize that they are carrying or transmitting the virus.

    During herpes outbreaks, you can experience painful sores and lesions in your mouth, eyes, and nose. Herpes on lips and gums are commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. During an active outbreak, herpes blisters can also develop on your chin or cheeks (facial herpes).

  • Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2): genital herpes

    Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) is the strain that causes genital herpes, affecting roughly 20% of sexually active adults in the United States between the ages of 14 - 49. HSV-2 is primarily spread through sexual contact and can cause sores or lesions on the genital and anal regions during genital herpes outbreaks.

    Similar to HSV-1, an infected person may not develop symptoms for genital herpes infections. During genital herpes outbreaks, herpes blisters can develop on penis and scrotum of people with penis. People with vaginas can develop vulval, labial, cervical, and vaginal herpes sores. Blisters around anus, buttocks, and inner thighs are also common during recurrent outbreaks.

    Specific testing is required to find out which type of HSV an infected person carries.

    There is currently no cure or vaccine for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. If an infected person is diagnosed with herpes, our medical team may prescribe antiviral medications like acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir to decrease the duration of the acute outbreak and active symptoms.

Herpes causes

  • Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex viruses, specifically HSV-1 and HSV-2. The viruses are highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person's skin, saliva, or genital secretions.

    HSV-1, which causes oral herpes, is typically transmitted through coming in contact with the virus in the sores around the mouth. This can occur through kissing, sharing utensils or personal items, or engaging in oral sex with an infected individual during an active outbreak.

    HSV-2, which causes genital herpes, is mainly spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Transmission can occur even when there are no visible sores or symptoms present.

    Pregnant women who have an active herpes infection can pass the virus to their newborn during childbirth. This can result in a severe and potentially life-threatening condition called neonatal herpes.

    It's important to note that herpes can be transmitted even when there are no visible sores or symptoms present, as the virus can be shed from the skin or mucous membranes. Using barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams, and practicing good hygiene can help reduce the risk of transmission.

Herpes symptoms

  • It’s important to remember that many people with HSV-1 or HSV-2 do not develop any herpes symptoms. Many commonly experience flu-like symptoms during the first outbreak. It can take from 2-20 days after exposure for the initial outbreak to appear. If symptoms present, common herpes symptoms include:

    • Mild fever

    • Swollen lymph nodes

    • Pain or burning during urination

    • Fatigue

    • Headaches or body aches 

    • Sores and lesions in your mouth, eyes, and nose

    • Blisters can develop on penis and scrotum of people with penis

    • Unusual vaginal discharge, vulval, labial, cervical, and vaginal herpes sores for people with vaginas

    For many, it could take years for any signs of infection to develop. However, even if you don’t show signs of a herpes outbreak, you can still pass the infection to others.

Herpes treatment services

The herpes virus group includes a large cluster of viruses that cause a variety of conditions, from herpes zoster (shingles) to Epstein-Barr (the primary cause of mononucleosis) to Kaposi’s sarcoma. Our full range of medical services has you covered with your herpes symptoms and diagnosis.

Among the family of viruses, there are two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV) that cause cold sores and genital blisters, which we commonly associate with herpes.

  • How to treat herpes

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes simplex virus (HSV). However, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of herpes and reduce the number of outbreaks you experience. Various prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies are available to help prevent outbreaks and manage symptoms.

  • Herpes medication

  • How to prevent herpes

    The best way to avoid herpes symptoms is to not contract the virus in the first place. Herpes gets passed from one person to another via skin to skin contact. You cannot get herpes from surfaces e.g. toilet seats or clothes.

    If you do have herpes, there are many things you can do to avoid outbreaks. Various triggers contribute to herpes outbreaks for infected individuals. Such triggers can be environmental or physiological and often include:

    • Physical or emotional stress

    • Fatigue

    • Menstruation

    • Illness

    • Intercourse or friction from clothes

    • Weather (UV rays, cold, heat, or wind)

    The chances of a herpes outbreak can also be reduced with the help of prescription medications.

  • When to see a doctor for herpes

    It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of herpes symptoms or suspect you may have been exposed to the herpes virus. If you suspect you may have herpes, you should book an appointment with one of our doctors to test for herpes and diagnose your symptoms. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can begin antiviral medication, avoid future outbreaks, and avoid spreading the virus to others.

Herpes treatment FAQs

  • What does herpes look like?

    Many times, herpes won’t “look like” anything because the symptoms can take days, weeks, months, or years to show up. The herpes simplex virus can lie dormant for long periods of time without causing any outbreak at all. In the case of oral herpes (usually caused by the HSV-1 virus), symptoms will look like fever blisters or cold sores. Herpes symptoms may be easily mistaken for things such as ingrown hairs, pimples, bug bites, or irritation caused by shaving.

    When the symptoms of genital herpes (HSV-2) show up, you might only see small red bumps or blisters. This means the virus has traveled to the surface of your skin and that an outbreak is starting.

    Can herpes be just one bump? When a herpes outbreak does occur, it usually looks like a small patch of white or red bumps. At first, the blisters might just itch or tingle but in time, they’ll become irritated and inflamed. As the outbreak worsens, you might experience fever-like symptoms including headaches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or backaches. Herpes blisters will swell until they burst, scab over, and eventually heal.

  • What is herpes?

    Herpes is a viral infection that can be found on the mouth or the genitals. This infection belongs to a family of over 70 different related viruses. The infection causes small, fluid-filled blisters to form on the skin and mucous membranes.

    There are a total of eight herpes simplex viruses that can be contracted by men, women, and children, the most common of which are HSV-1 and HSV-2.

  • How do you get herpes?

    Herpes can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person's skin, saliva, or genital secretions.

    Oral herpes, caused by HSV-1, is mainly spread through coming in contact with the virus in the sores around the mouth. Transmission can occur through kissing, sharing utensils or personal items, or engaging in oral sex with an infected individual during an active outbreak.

    Genital herpes, caused by HSV-2, is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex. This can occur even when there are no visible sores or symptoms present.

    Pregnant women who have an active herpes infection can also pass the virus to their newborn during childbirth.

  • Can you get rid of herpes?

    No, there is no cure for herpes. The herpes virus remains in your body throughout your life. On the positive side, there are medications available that can shorten and prevent herpes outbreaks, as well as make it harder for you to pass it on to your partner.

  • How long are cold sores contagious?

    Cold sores are contagious from the moment that symptoms present until they are completely healed. The healing process usually takes at least ten days.

  • Can you get treatment for herpes online?

    Yes, you can get herpes treatment online. You can speak to one of our board-certified doctors today, who will evaluate you for herpes symptoms. If needed, they can order further testing at the lab nearest you.

    If you qualify, they can then send a prescription for antiviral medication for herpes to the pharmacy nearest you. Our doctors can also easily fill existing prescriptions for oral and genital herpes and send them to your local pharmacy. Book an appointment to speak to a doctor today to discuss the best treatment options for you.

  • What are the risk factors for herpes?

    Some risk factors for herpes may include:

    • Having unprotected sex

    • Having multiple sexual partners

    • Kissing someone with a herpes virus that is active

    • Weakened immune system due to illness, such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS

    • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Is there a way to prevent getting herpes?

    Here are some steps to take to prevent contracting herpes:

    • Always wear condoms or a dental dam during any forms of sexual intercourse

    • Don’t have sex with your partner until the outbreak is completely gone

    • Always inform your partner if you are infected with the herpes virus before you have

  • What are the signs of herpes in men?

    Some men have no symptoms or signs of the infection. Symptoms of herpes in men may include:

    • Headache or body aches

    • Fever

    • Swollen lymph nodes

    • Blisters or sores on the penis

    Other symptoms that are less common include:

    • Blisters or sores inside or on the anus and around the thighs and buttocks

    • Eye infection

  • What are the signs of herpes in women?

    Some women have no symptoms or signs of the infection, while some may only have an initial outbreak and no other recurring symptoms. Others may have experience chronic recurrent outbreaks of the herpes virus. The initial symptoms may include:

    • Headache

    • Swollen glands

    • Painful or uncomfortable urination

    • Vaginal discharge

    • Itching in the anal or vaginal area

    • Flu-like symptoms – fever

    • Pain in the vagina, buttocks, or legs

    After 1-2 days, women may develop vulval, labial, cervical, and vaginal herpes sore

  • Do they test for herpes when pregnant?

    Screening for herpes in pregnant women is not routine, unless the mother has signs and symptoms of herpes. If you are pregnant or plan to be and have symptoms of herpes, it is important to ask your doctor to be tested so that your child is not at risk.

  • What are the signs of herpes in pregnant women?

    Pregnant women with genital herpes, may pass the virus to the newborns during delivery - a condition known as neonatal herpes and can be serious or fatal. Neonatal herpes affect about 0.1% of babies born in the United States. Neonatal herpes can result in damage to the central nervous system and can cause mental retardation.

    Talk with our online medical staff and let them know if you have genital herpes. At the time of your delivery, ask your doctor to examine you early in labor to make sure you don’t have any sores or signs of infection like pain, tingling, or itching.

  • What are the signs of herpes in children?

    The herpes virus can be spread to babies and children if they are kissed by someone that is infected and has active cold sores. Children may develop symptoms such as painful blisters on the mouths and gums. Sometimes, they will also develop fever or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Wash your hands frequently if you have a cold sore and you are around children.

  • Can herpes go away by itself?

    No. The virus does not go away by itself. While the blisters and sores may go away on their own, the herpes virus remains in the body. Antiviral medications can help prevent future herpes outbreaks and treat symptoms.

  • How long does herpes take to cure?

    Currently there are no known treatments to cure herpes. Treatment options are available to help manage frequent outbreaks and manage symptoms.

  • What is the incubation period of herpes type 2?

    HSV-2, also known as genital herpes, is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD). 

    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the typical HSV-2 incubation period is 2 to 12 days after exposure, with an average of 4 days.

    It’s important to note that his disease manifests differently in all kinds of people, so while you may not have experienced typical symptoms after the 2 to 12 day HSV-2 incubation period, it does not necessarily mean that you did not contract HSV-2. 

    While the HSV-2 incubation period is typically within 2 to 12 days, keep in mind that many people have no symptoms after contracting HSV-2 or don’t show enough signs to notice that they have it. 

    If you were knowingly exposed to HSV-2, this also does not mean that you have it for certain. As with many illnesses, this sexually transmitted disease is complicated, and not all individuals will catch it, or present it in the same way after the HSV-2 incubation period. 

  • What are my options for herpes treatment over the counter?

    Herpes symptoms can be both physically and mentally stressful; it's natural to look for fast, over-the-counter treatment options. However, making sure you have the right diagnosis and treatment plan is critical to help manage your symptoms both in the short and long term. Genital herpes can cause genital sores and can also be mistaken for other conditions such as syphilis, genital warts (HPV), BV, yeast infection, irritation from shaving, molluscum contagiosum, and even ingrown hairs or pimples.

    Doctor-prescribed antiviral medications are the most effective way to shorten herpes outbreaks and reduce their severity. These drugs are available only by prescription. While some over-the-counter ointments might offer temporary relief from discomfort, they don't address the underlying virus or shorten outbreaks like prescription antivirals can. A doctor will also evaluate whether there's a need to test for any other possible sexually transmitted infections.

    Our board-certified physicians are available 24/7 for discreet, online doctor appointments. Within an hour, you can receive a diagnosis, discuss treatment options (such as prescription antivirals), and have a prescription sent directly to your local pharmacy. Appointments are available with or without insurance, and we accept most major plans.

    Seeing a doctor online goes beyond a prescription.

3 simple steps to request your treatment online today

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book a herpes treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your clinician regarding your herpes symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up prescription for herpes treatment.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Herpes treatment pricing details

How it works

To request herpes treatment and get a new or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.