Where There Is No Dentist 2012 193
Medicine cannot kill the herpes virus. Keep the area clean to control any
infection in the sores and to help them heal. Keep fingers and hands away
from the sores, and drink lots of fluids. Use any of the methods described
in the “General Treatment” box on pages 184 to 185.
• Begin treatment as soon as you feel a
tingling, before the cold sore appears. This
may stop the sore from developing or
developing so severely.
• A medicine called acyclovir may also help.
Give 200 mg by mouth, 5 times a day
for 7 to 10 days. You can also apply a
small amount of acyclovir ointment on
the sores 6 times a day for 7 days. It is
OK to use them both at the same time.
Acycolvir works best if taken or used early
in the infection, before the blisters burst, if
• If the sores are infected, give 500 mg of amoxicillin, 3 times a day
for 7 days.
OR for persons allergic to amoxicillin, give 100 mg of doxycycline,
2 times a day for 7 days.
OR for a woman who is allergic to penicillin, and is pregnant or
breastfeeding, give 500 mg of erythromycin, 4 times a day for 7 days.
• Antibacterial ointments such as neomycin or bacitracin can also help to
prevent and control other infections that get into the sores. Stop using
the acyclovir and spread a small amount of anti-bacterial ointment on
the infected skin outside the mouth (not in the mouth) 2 to 5 times a
day for about 5 days.
• To help ease the pain of sores outside the mouth, stop using acyclovir
and cover the area with a dry powder, like baby powder, talc, or
cornstarch. Do not use medicated powders as they can make the open
sores sting very badly. Wash hands carefully before and after using