Personal appearance and self-confidence are vital parts of our everyday lives, but there are some things that have a surefire way of chipping away at both. Enter cold sores and the herpes simplex virus. According to the WHO, an estimated 67 percent of the world’s population is infected and 90 percent of people everywhere will get at least one cold sore over the course of their lives. That means it’s not only a common occurrence, but it’s an inescapable reality for tons of normal people around the world.
If those numbers don’t make you run and check, it’s also estimated that 48 percent of adults in the U.S. are living with oral herpes. With such a huge market, new telemedicine startups like Roman are revolutionizing the way cold sores are treated.
Specifically, they have made it easier than ever to consult a doctor and purchase powerful prescription medication over the web, without ever stepping into a physical office. Although there are other competitors taking a similar approach, Roman is a clear stand out because of their amazingly convenient online platform, personalized approach to treatment, competitive pricing, and discreet shipment packaging.
In this article, we review Roman’s cold sore and herpes treatment offerings, comparing them to alternatives on the market both in terms of price and efficacy. Before we dive in, here’s a quick primer on cold sores and oral herpes.
What causes cold sores to form?
Most of us have heard of cold sores at some point, or perhaps even had them, but their causes may not always have been as obvious. Most cold sores that appear around the mouth are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
What exactly is herpes and why does it cause cold sores?
The HSV virus takes two main forms; oral and genital herpes. These are known as HSV-1 and HSV-2 respectively. As you may have guessed, oral herpes is marked by the outbreak of sores or blisters around the mouth. Each strain of the herpes simplex virus has its own distinct DNA traits, which give them their unique identities and why they focus on specific parts of the body.
These DNA differences in the virus are the main reason HSV-1 is responsible for more cold sore outbreaks than the other strain of the virus – although both can have similar effects on the health and appearance of the person affected. Having a “face-loving” virus is makes oral herpes a real source of discomfort for anyone dealing with an outbreak.
How do you get herpes, anyway?
Both strains of the virus are most effectively treated and suppressed in similar ways, although in moderate to severe cases, the cold sores resulting from oral herpes can develop on the gums, tongue, inner cheeks, and nose of an infected person.
Oral herpes is most often spread through saliva or open sores on the skin. The relative ease of transmission and high level of infectiousness account for why oral herpes is so common. The same can be said or the other form of herpes, HSV-2, which is spread through sexual contact.
Although cold sores usually aren’t life threatening, anyone who may already be coping with a compromised immune system due to AIDS or similar conditions should pay extra attention to the virus and its symptoms to avoid potentially fatal complications.
Do cold sores go away on their own?
Yes. Most sores from herpes will indeed disappear on their own, usually in 2 to 4 weeks – but that can feel like an eternity when you have something painful on your face. And although your cold sores may eventually fade away without treatment, the virus doesn’t, so you might as well prepare to experience symptoms in the future. In some cases, outbreaks can even worsen if left untreated.
The culprit responsible for most cold sore outbreaks, HSV-1, often goes dormant after the first outbreak and remains present in nerve cells before reemerging under trigger conditions – conditions as common as high levels of stress, excessive heat, and even ultraviolet light.
Dealing with HSV and resulting cold sore outbreaks effectively is a matter of staying one step ahead of the virus. It’s not a health concern to be taken lightly. Timely diagnosis and treatment usually mean the difference between severe, highly visible outbreaks with complications, and the ability to largely suppress the virus and its symptoms.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the right treatment can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak – so you’ll want to get a diagnosis if you think you have Herpes and set up a treatment plan so you can help yourself get better faster.
How do I diagnose cold sores and herpes?
Being a high-visibility, low-comfort health concern means that people seeking relief from cold sores are usually looking for something to speed up the healing process and shorten the duration of outbreaks. Reducing the pain (and duration) of an outbreak is a great reason to get treatment. The first step in this process should always be an accurate diagnosis by someone who knows exactly what they’re looking at or can easily find out with a few tests.
Doctors and physicians are almost always able to correctly diagnose cold sores and their underlying cause just by seeing them. Along with a few details about the general health of the person affected, diagnosing cold sores and the virus that causes them is normally a matter of one visit to a qualified medical specialist.
In the instance the doctor would need to be extra sure about what she or he is seeing, samples are taken from the sores and examined in depth. Even in this instance, the wait time for results and conclusions is low. By now you’re probably beginning to see that cold sores and the herpes virus don’t really come with any perks or benefits, but fortunately, it’s easy for trained professionals to diagnose them quickly.
Cold sore treatment 101: Getting the upper hand
An important thing to keep in mind while searching online for prescription-strength treatments is that you want to make sure you get FDA approved medicines from legitimate providers. It’s best to avoid shopping sites and sketchy pages with invisible credentials that omit information about the people behind their sales.
Sticking with platforms that maintain a high level of transparency while providing federal-approved prescriptions prescribed by licensed physicians (the way Roman does) is a smart move that will help ensure you get the actual treatment that you need.
Thanks to recent technology advances, a handful of companies like Roman are able to offer “telemedicine” visits. These are basically online doctors visits, where you can actually get diagnosed by licensed physicians, who will prescribe treatment if it makes sense – all without having to leave your couch, and in most states, all online without actually having to talk to anyone on the phone.
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Here is more on how you get treatment with Roman’s doctors online:
Ordering cold sore meds from a doctor via Roman
Getting a visit with a licensed physician through Roman for your oral or genital herpes is fast and easy. And the whole process can usually be managed online, from the visit to the treatment plan to getting the medicines delivered to your door.
What does Roman charge for a oral herpes doctor’s visit? The first visit is free!
The visit itself is mainly conducted through a series of online questions. Make sure you answer the questions as openly and honestly as you can, since you want to help the doctor understand if there are any conditions that might make Roman’s herpes treatment not a good fit for you.
During this visit you’ll have to have your ID available, as most states regulations require a photo of your ID so that they can know or ”prove” who they are treating. In some states you may need to do an online video chat or phone call with a doctor.
After going through the online visit through Roman’s telemedicine technology, the doctor will go over the information provided and work out a plan of action. From there, cold sore treatment or genital herpes treatment can start as low as $14.00 a month and is delivered discreetly and consistently to your door.
For anyone seeking much-needed help for an outbreak, an online visit with Roman’s doctors can be a ray of hope, especially since the first doctor’s visit is free (that beats the cost of most doctors’ visits by a long shot!) This is probably less expensive than most insurance co-pays, and if you don’t have insurance it’s a great deal. Additionally, since you don’t have to take time off work to drag yourself out to the doctor’s office, it saves you time.
Going through Roman to receive HSV treatment has a few other advantages that aren’t found in other places. One of them being the caliber of medical expertise they bring. Roman’s physician in residence, Dr. Michael Reitano, not only treated thousands of patients suffering from the HSV-1 virus, but he also wrote Roman’s primary treatment plan and lead a landmark study on Valtrex, a leading treatment option for people with the virus.
Another advantage of getting herpes treatment through Roman is that treating herpes quickly can help improve the recovery time, according to JAMA’s Internal Medicine publication. Research also suggests that you can reduce the spread of herpes if you suppress it as soon as you think it is happening.
Roman makes swift treatment a priority by offering visitors free two-day shipping on all their FDA approved medications. Plus, with no need to wait for an appointment for the doctor’s visit, you can get seen and get your treatment fast!
What treatments does Roman offer for cold sores and herpes?
With a few exceptions, over-the-counter creams and ointments tend to provide relief from the pain or may work to dry lesions around the mouth, but they generally don’t target the root of the problem.
More on Valacyclovir, Roman's HSV treatment
Valacyclovir, the cold sore and genital herpes treatment that Roman offers, is a well-understood medicine for this condition. It’s FDA-approved for this condition, and is a good choice for a wide range of patients because it does not have many negative interactions with other drugs, and its side effects are well-understood and well-tolerated.
Because it’s highly effective in combatting HSV and related viruses, it’s not necessary to take it as often as some of the other treatments or Valacyclovir alternatives.
Purchasing Valacyclovir does require a doctor’s prescription and Roman needs you to have one ready before you get this treatment from them online. Most Valacyclovir users speak highly of its effectiveness and the time it takes to work on cold sores.
This is largely due to the fact that when taken orally and as prescribed, Valacyclovir works quickly to slow the replication of the herpes virus. In other words, this keeps it from spreading and flaring up to the point of a serious and highly visible outbreak.
This herpes treatment is a drug, and it does have side effects. One of the most important items to be aware of is the fact that Valacyclovir can harm your kidneys, so if you have kidney problems let the doctor know. Also let the doctor know if you are or will be pregnant or breast feeding, have HIV or are older than 65.
Other side effects to look out for (and tell your doctor about) are if you feel dizzy, get shaky, have confusion, unsteady movement, etc. Common side effects of valacyclovir tablets in adults include headache, stomach issues like nausea and vomiting. Some women may experience painful periods.
Thankfully, this drug is widely used and well understood – in fact, it’s one of the top 200 prescribed drugs in the United States according to Pharmacy Times!
Other herpes / cold sore products available
Even though Valacyclovir is at the top of the list when it comes to cold sore and herpes treatment, it’s far from the only treatment available. One of the most common topical treatments for cold sores is known as Penciclovir, sometimes called Denavir in its over-the-counter cream form.
Denavir cream (which contains Penciclovir) is applied to the skin to treat frequent outbreaks. Unlike some other topical treatments, Denavir actually packs a punch when it comes to fighting oral herpes as opposed to just providing temporary external relief.
This is an antiviral cream that works to ease the discomfort while helping to keep oral herpes in check. It’s similar to other treatments that work against oral herpes in that it slows the growth of the virus and prevents it from spreading out of control in a short amount of time.
People who use Denavir generally describe it as highly effective and fast-acting when it comes to relieving pain associated with cold sores and for shortening the duration of outbreaks. Finding Denavir is mostly a matter of getting diagnosed by a doctor and getting a prescription because it’s not available over the counter in the U.S.
The cost of Denavir usually ranges from $812.00 to $856.00 for a single 1.5g tube. FDA package insert information for Denavir states that although it’s pretty well tolerated by most users, some unusual side effects like headaches, and rashes aren’t unheard of.
Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
This medication against cold sores is only effective at the beginning of a cold sore outbreak. Acyclovir is similar to some of the other treatments in that it helps reduce the length of cold sore rashes and also cuts back on the frequency of outbreaks by suppressing the oral herpes virus.
You’ll need to cough up something like $1,225.00 for one 5g tube of Xerese, so be sure to do your homework before buying the first one you see online. And by all means, please make sure it’s not a counterfeit product.
There are generic versions of this and other treatments available, so it may be a good idea to look into those as well. Burning or tingling in the area Acyclovir is applied is a possible side effect of this particular treatment, but this doesn’t seem to be very common among users.
Famciclovir (also known as Famvir) is often prescribed as a cold sore treatment for people who are living with HIV. This is mainly because it has very low rates of interaction with other medications yet it’s relatively effective at treating cold sores and HSV-1.
Famciclovir acts in much the same ways the other treatments do to treat cold sores and to keep oral herpes in check. Taking Famciclovir during the first 60 minutes of an outbreak can speedily shorten the duration of the outbreak by about two days. This medication is taken orally in pill form and on average costs anywhere from around 16 to 25 dollars.
Roman’s cold sore treatments vs Hims & Lemonaid
The following table is to help give a better idea of how Roman’s prices for cold sore and herpes treatments stack up against some of their main competitors. Namely, Him’s and Lemonaid.
Roman vs Hims vs Lemonaid: The Best Cold Sore & Herpes Treatment
|Medications Offered||Valacyclovir||Valacyclovir||Valacyclovir, Acyclovir, Famciclovir|
|HSV Conditions Treated||Cold Sores, Genital Herpes||Cold Sores||Cold Sores, Genital Herpes|
|Online Doctor Consultation Fee||Free||$5||$25|
|1 Month’s Cost of Medications||$14 for outbreak treatments||Not Available – 3 Month Plan Only||$32.00, $12.00, $29.00|
|3 Month’s Cost of Medication||$42 for quarterly outbreak treatments;|
$87 for quarterly suppressive treatments
|$45||$50 / $50 / NA|
|Shipping / Processing||Free||$5||Free|
|Cost to Get Started||$42||$50||$37 to $75|
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The Verdict: What's the best online cold sore and herpes treatment?
Today, there are a few cold sore and herpes treatment options that offer online doctor visits, diagnosis, prescription and fast delivery of FDA approved medicine. Roman, Hims, and Lemonaid each let patients visit with licensed doctors and can get low-cost, generic drugs to consumers quickly and discretely.
It’s exciting that consumers now have affordable, legitimate options available online. But which do we recommend? The good news is that cold sore suffers, and folks with genital herpes, won’t go wrong with any of these providers.
While Lemonaid is best for patients who may want a drug other than Generic Valtrex (Valacyclovir), Roman is the best overall value given the free doctor’s visit, free shipping and low priced generic Valacyclovir. Click below to try Roman today!