I did some reading online about small experiments done using zinc to treat oral and genital herpes. The studies shortened the duration of outbreaks and if zinc was used for extended periods of time recurrences were reduced and some people didn't experience any further outbreaks during the study period (sometimes a year or two they were followed).
But zinc oxide they found does NOT work because it doesn't harm the skin or the virus. What you should be using is a aqueous solution of zinc sulfate (one used4%
, but be careful because zinc sulfate can cause burning and ulcers to occur and irritate the skin because it's so strong. What was recommended instead by the writer, and should work just as well, is zinc gluconate. I don't know yet where you can buy either of those. I just read about it online today.
One man who tried to do something similar to the studies said he mixed 1 tsp of zinc gluconate with 50mL of hot tap water and stirred it until it dissolved and applied the mixture to an open sore (he would pop open the blisters) or prodrome site for 15 min, keeping the area wet so it wouldn't burn his skin. He did this 1x/day for 3 months and 2x/day during an outbreak. It doesn't work to apply to the skin area if the skin is in the healing stage (e.g. scabbing), so try to do it within the first 48 hours of an outbreak. He said his outbreaks have decreased significantly in duration (3-5 days instead of 2 weeks, and much smaller sores). He said he suffered from constant and severe outbreaks and then after the 3 months he'd get an OB only once in 4-5 months. He said he was going to continue doing his regime, but try the zinc sulfate instead because that's what the studies all used. I think it's worth trying. After all, there aren't going to be any huge studies done using zinc because you can't put a patent on it and therefore no big advertisements or endorsements of it because drug companies can't get rich from it and the FDA doesn't endorse anything that can't be patented.
One study cited had participants put on a wet dressing of zinc sulfate for 1 hour 4x/day for 4 days. That helped heal OBs within 9.5 days compared to 16 days with other treatments. I think the best thing would be to do is use the zinc gluconate or sulfate (be careful as it can hurt the skin and cause scarring, so mix with water) everyday 1-2x/day and more during OBs and do this for at least 3 months and keep doing it if you see good results. I think I may try to do this.