What Are The Long
Genital herpes is a chronic long term condition. Unfortunately, there is no cure, but it is possible to manage the symptoms using antiviral medicines. If the herpes blisters get infected, they can result in a skin infection elsewhere in your body. If you are suffering recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, it is wise to get tested for HIV. Severe and frequent outbreaks of genital herpes can be a sign of a weak immune system.
If you have HIV or AIDS, or if you are undergoing chemotherapy, or if you have a weakened immune system, you should be referred to a specialist for treatment. Herpes can last longer and be more severe in people with weak immune systems.
Herpes can cause problems in pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, make sure you get referred to a specialist. The infection could pass to your unborn baby and it can be serious.
Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.
If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.
Are Antiviral Medications Safe
Antiviral medications are considered to be very safe. They are nearly always well tolerated because the active ingredients only have an effect in cells that have been infected by the virus.
People who have kidney failure may need to take a lower dose because the medication is removed from the body through the kidneys.
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Key Points About Cold Sores In Children
Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus.
The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears.
Symptoms include a small blister or group of blisters on the lips and mouth that enlarge, leak fluid, then crust over.
In most children, cold sores do not cause serious illness. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can cause inflammation of the brain . This is a serious illness and needs to be treated right away.
If your child has a cold sore, make sure he or she does not kiss, share cups or utensils, share washcloths or towels, or touch the cold sore.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Cold Sores
A pharmacist can recommend:
- creams to ease pain and irritation
- antiviral creams to speed up healing time
- cold sore patches to protect the skin while it heals
You can buy electronic devices from pharmacies that treat cold sores with light or lasers.
Some people find these helpful, but there have not been many studies to confirm if they work.
If you regularly get cold sores, use antiviral creams as soon as you recognise the early tingling feeling. They do not always work after blisters appear.
How Is Herpes Simplex Treated
Some people have few to no herpes outbreaks and choose not to have treatment. But many people prefer to use medications that shorten outbreaks and reduce symptoms.
During an outbreak, you may use an antiviral ointment or cream to help lessen your symptoms and help them go away faster, but it only works if you start it soon after you start an outbreak. Many people with HSV-2 take daily oral medications to keep outbreaks at bay.
Your provider may prescribe a topical medication or oral medication such as:
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What Can We Do To Reduce My Chances Of Getting The Herpes Infection
If you take the necessary precautions, the chances of getting the herpes virus from your partner are reduced. Genital herpes does not mean abstinence from sex or a reduced enjoyment of sex.
The risk of transmitting the herpes virus can be reduced by about 50% if you use condoms. The continued use of condoms in a long-term relationship is a personal decision that only the couple can make. Most find that as the importance of the HSV infection in their relationship is seen in perspective, that condom use becomes less relevant if this is the only reason condoms are being used.
However, most couples choose to avoid genital skin-to-skin contact during an active episode of herpes because this is when the herpes virus is most readily transmitted. This period includes the time from when your partner first has warning signs of an outbreak, such as a tingling or burning in the genitals, until the last of the sores has healed. Also, sexual activity prolongs the healing of the episode.
Herpes transmission risk is increased if there are any breaks in the skin. For example, if you have thrush or small abrasions from sexual intercourse, often due to insufficient lubrication. It can be helpful to use a lubricant specifically for sexual intercourse and avoid sex if you have thrush. A sexual lubricant is helpful right at the start of sexual activity.
If you or your partner has a cold sore, it is advisable to avoid oral sex as this can spread the herpes virus to the genitals.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I lookout for signs of complications?
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How Does Suppressive Treatment Work
Some people may have regular, more serious outbreaks of genital herpes, more than six times a year. In this case, you could get a low-dose antiviral treatment, which you would take daily for about 6 or 12 months. This is known as suppressive therapy and it helps to either stop the outbreaks completely or make symptoms less serious.
If you use this treatment, you would be asked to stop afterwards to see if your outbreaks happen less often and are less serious. If the outbreaks have not improved, you may be offered another long-term, daily dose of antiviral medication.
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How To Tell If You Have Genital Herpes
Genital herpes can be asymptomatic, which means you wont notice any symptoms. The signs and symptoms of a herpes breakout include:
- Painful blisters on and/or surrounding the genital area
- Discomfort such as tingling or burning in the genital area
If you experience symptoms of genital herpes, visit a doctor.
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How Can I Avoid Getting Herpes
The best way to prevent the transmission of herpes is by using a condom or other barrier method of protection. Using protection is especially important if you know that your partner has herpes. You can typically prevent the transmission of oral herpes by avoiding skin-to-skin contact with an infected person during an outbreak. If someone has a fever blister or cold sore, do not kiss them or receive oral sex from them until the sores are fully healed.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is not infected with an STD
- Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that are covered by a latex condom. Also, herpes virus can be released from areas of the skin that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If you are in a relationship with a person known to have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting genital herpes if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medication every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her doctor.
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Herpes Is A Common Infection
Herpes is a super-common infection that stays in your body for life. More than half of Americans have oral herpes, and about 1 out of 6 Americans has genital herpes. So chances are a few people you know are living with herpes.
Theres no cure for herpes, but medication can ease your symptoms and lower your chances of giving the virus to other people. And the good news is, outbreaks usually become less frequent over time, and even though herpes can sometimes be uncomfortable and painful, its not dangerous. People with herpes have relationships, have sex, and live perfectly healthy lives.
When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given
- Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when youâre first diagnosed with genital herpes, your doctor will usually give you a brief course of antiviral therapy to relieve them or prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor may keep you on the drugs longer if the sores donât heal in that time.
After the first treatment, work with your doctor to come up with the best way to take antiviral therapies. There are two options:
- Intermittent treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for you to keep on hand in case you have another flare-up this is called intermittent therapy. You can take the pills for two to five days as soon as you notice sores or when you feel an outbreak coming on. Sores will heal and disappear on their own, but taking the drugs can make the symptoms less severe and make them go away faster.
- Suppressive treatment. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.
There is no set number of outbreaks per year that doctors use to decide when someone should start suppressive therapy. Rather, more important factors are how often the outbreaks happen and if they are severe enough to interfere with your life.
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What Can You Catch From A Dirty Towel
While herpes cant be transmitted from using a dirty towel, there are germs that may be passed from one person to another in this way. Most commonly, these are the bacteria Staphylococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
These germs and others live for a longer period of time on hard, porous surfaces than on nonporous ones, such as fabric. Even so, you may be exposed to viruses, fungi, and bacteria from a dirty towel if its newly soiled.
Caregivers to sick individuals must be especially careful not to come into contact with towels soiled from:
Washing your hands thoroughly and immediately after touching a dirty towel should be enough to protect you from contagions.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be transmitted from skin-to-skin contact as well as from contact with bodily fluids, such as:
How Is It Diagnosed
You should see a doctor or other healthcare provider if you suspect youve contracted herpes.
A healthcare provider can usually diagnose herpes with a physical exam and one or more of the following tests:
- a viral culture, which involves scraping off a sample of the sore for examination in a lab
- a polymerase chain reaction test, which compares a sample of your blood and from a sore to determine which type of HSV you have
- a blood test to check for HSV antibodies from a past herpes infection
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What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex
Many people with the infection never experience any herpes symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, youll experience them differently depending on whether youre having your first herpes outbreak or a repeat outbreak. Recurring symptoms are usually milder than the first outbreak. Symptoms dont last as long with later outbreaks. Some people may only have one or two outbreaks during their lifetime. Others may have as many as four or five outbreaks a year.
People who do have herpes symptoms may experience:
- Cold sores around their lips, mouth or tongue. They may look crusty or like fluid-filled blisters.
- Tingling, itching or burning.
- Pain while urinating.
What Should I Do If I Have Herpes
If youre diagnosed with herpes, speak with your medical provider about the best course of action. There is no cure for herpes, but it is manageable with medication, and many people dont experience symptoms. During the initial outbreak, your doctor may prescribe 7 to 10 days of antiviral therapy. This typically helps the sores heal faster. Antiviral drugs, like valacyclovir, can help during subsequent outbreaks as well. If youve been previously diagnosed with herpes, Nurx can prescribe oral or genital herpes treatment online and deliver the medication to your door with free shipping. To request herpes treatment from Nurx, get started here.
Patients who have frequent outbreaks can take an antiviral drug daily as suppressive therapy. Doing so can decrease the number of outbreaks youll get. It also shortens the duration of outbreaks and minimizes some symptoms.
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Yes You Can Get Herpes From Kissing
Unfortunately, it’s not a myth. HSV-1, or oral herpes, is spread through direct contact, which means it is possible to become infected if you kiss a person that has the virus.
In fact, even if that person isnt experiencing an outbreak or showing any symptoms of the virus, they can still spread it to you via a process called asymptomatic viral shedding.
Even if its just a peck on the lips, its still enough contact to spread the virus under the right circumstances.
Prevention Of Infection While Kissing
There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of passing on, or catching, an infection while kissing. You should try to:
- Avoid kissing when you or the other person is sick.
- Avoid kissing anyone on the lips when you, or they, have an active cold sore, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene.
- Cough and sneeze into a hanky if you have a cold.
- See your doctor about immunisations. Vaccines are available to prevent some infectious diseases, such as chickenpox, hepatitis B and group C meningococcal infection.
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How Long Are Cold Sores Contagious After Healing
Every once in a while, people can pass the cold sore virus on to other people even when there isnt a cold sore present. However, this very rarely happens. vii The highest likelihood of transmitting the virus, as we noted earlier, is when the cold sore blisters burst. Because HSV is so easily spread via skin-to-skin contact, its best to maintain the necessary precautions until your cold sore is completely healed.
Can You Get Herpes From Sharing A Drink
Okay, so we cleared up all that herpes from kissing business. But you cant get it out of your head, that one time that Chad from homeroom told you that it was disgusting when you took a drink from your BFF Cynthias milk carton. BECAUSE HERPES.
Bad news guys, Chad was onto something. You can indeed catch herpes by sipping from the same straw.
If it involves virus-infected saliva, you best believe that you are susceptible.
Apply everything you learned above to this. Oral Herpes symptoms will vary from person to person, but they will sometimes show no symptoms at all. Herpes is a lifelong disease, but its important to still get tested to prevent spreading the disease.
We know youre probably on the edge of your seat for this one :
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