How To Stop Genital Herpes Outbreaks
Individuals who have immune systems that are weak have the tendency to get more incessant herpes outbreaks. So as to disallow outbreaks that are not pleasant, it is necessary that you take care of your entire wellbeing and boost your immune system. Also take a diet filled and high with lysine , they help disallow chronic genital outbreaks of herpes as well as diminish the severity of repetitive flare-ups. Additionally, examples of foods and nourishments rich in L-lysine are peas, eggs, nuts, beans, meat, lentils, and cheddar.
Other factors responsible for triggering the outbreaks of herpes, whether genital or not, is stress. This is true and real for both mental stress and also physical stress like tiredness and illness. Anything that supports or helps in the reduction of stress will also assist you in the reduction of any future outbreak occurrence of genital herpes. Inculcate a healthy eating habit, especially lots of fruits and veggies, this will assist you in maintaining a strong immune system.
In case you will be dealing with a severe and endless condition such as herpes, its not advisable to bear the cost of having a negative outlook. The way in which you see life and react to it matters a lot. Feeling negative and angry will build up stress inside of you. Chronic stress will incur significant damage to your body and impedes the function of your immune system.
How Can I Date With Herpes
Its up to you to decide the right time to tell a date that you have genital herpes. Follow two rules: First, dont wait until after having sex. Second, dont wait until youre just about to have sex in which case the attraction may be too strong for either of you to think rationally and act responsibly.
When Do I Stop Being Infectious
You are definitely infectious until the sores are totally healed. For a few months after a first episode of genital herpes, there is often ‘asymptomatic shedding’ of the virus so you may still be infectious even when there are no sores. It is often helpful to discuss this with your partner and condom use is recommended as it reduces the risk of transmission. If your partner has previously had genital herpes it is not possible to pass the same infection to them again. Continued asymptomatic shedding is rare after two years.
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Is Valtrex Better Than Zovirax Or Famvir
For the treatment of genital herpes outbreaks, Valtrex, , and appear to be equally effective. Zovirax is only approved to treat initial and recurrent outbreaks. Compared to Famvir, Valtrex appears to be more effective at suppressing viral shedding when taken daily. Of the three medications, Valtrex is the only one approved for reducing the transmission of genital herpes.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Some people use natural therapies to treat herpes, either on their own or to support standard medical care. The research supporting their use is generally weak, with little evidence that they can reduce either the severity or duration of an outbreak. Even so, many people swear by their effectiveness and consider them a vital part of managing herpes outbreaks.
Complementary and alternative therapies sometimes used to treat herpes include:
- Propolis: This is a sticky substance produced by bees that may help speed the healing of genital herpes. A 2017 study found that people who used propolis ointment experienced better healing by the 10th day of treatment compared to those who used a sham ointment.
- Algae extract: Lab studies suggest that algae extract can inhibit the growth of HSV-2 in test tubes. Whether it can do so in humans has yet to be proven.
- Acupuncture: A 2011 study concluded that acupuncture was mildly effective in reducing pain caused by the herpes zoster virus , the type of herpes virus that causes shingles. While this suggests that acupuncture may be useful in easing genital herpes pain, this has yet to be proven.
Protecting Your Partner And Preventing Herpes Transmission
Research shows that the single greatest fear is the fear of transmission to partners, says Dr. Handsfield.
The main ways to avoid transmitting herpes are:
- Learn to recognize how you feel when an outbreak is on the way, and stop having sex immediately.
- Dont have sex during active outbreaks.
- Always use condoms but dont rely on them during outbreaks. They dont completely cover infectious areas.
- Only after all sores have scabbed over and healed should you have sex again.
- Avoid touching your herpes sores, because you can spread them to other places on your body that way. Whenever you touch a sore, wash your hands immediately.
- Dont kiss people or have sex if you have a cold sore.
- Tell potential partners about having herpes before having sex with them, even though it may be hard.
- Ask your doctor about taking antiviral drugs regularly.
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How Does Herpes Simplex Spread
Herpes spreads through close contact with a person who has the infection. The virus can be found in skin and saliva. If you have herpes simplex, you are most likely to pass the virus to another person when you have sores. But you can infect someone else even if you have no symptoms. Healthcare providers call this asymptomatic viral shedding.
People may get HSV-1 through
- Touching a persons skin near the mouth.
- Sharing food utensils, lip balm or razors.
- If you receive oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, it may spread a herpes infection to your genitals.
People may get HSV-2 through
- Oral sex with someone whos infected.
- Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
- Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
- Childbirth by a mother or gestational parent who has an active infection.
You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.
When To See A Doctor
Because a person might not have symptoms even if they have herpes, it can be difficult to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Planned Parenthood recommends that a person see a healthcare professional as soon as they notice sores on or around their genitals. Other STIs, such as syphilis, can have similar symptoms but require different treatment. The American Sexual Health Association also recommends seeing a doctor to get a culture of any lesion or cold sore a person notices.
People may wish to take an at-home STI test before seeing a doctor. However, at-home tests should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment.
- applying aloe vera gel to sores
- applying petroleum jelly to the affected areas
- wearing loose clothing to avoid irritation
- refraining from sexual activity, even with protection, until symptoms have gone
- applying a cream or lotion to the urethra before urinating, such as one that contains lidocaine
Some people find that using ice packs help. However, never apply ice directly to the skin wrap it in a cloth first.
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Valtrex For Genital Herpes
Even if youre taking Valtrex, its still possible to have an outbreak. If youre taking Valtrex for recurrent genital herpes and have an outbreak, its important to avoid sexual contact with your partner to keep the virus from spreading to them. Even if youre not experiencing an outbreak, using condoms is a good idea to prevent transmission.
Also, if youre wondering if your uninfected partner can take Valtrex to avoid becoming affected, the answer is no. Someone without herpes simplex virus shouldnt take medication for something they dont have. This could cause serious side effects or health problems.
Cautions With Other Medicines
Some medicines can affect the way aciclovir tablets or liquid work. They can also make you more likely to get side effects.
If youre using aciclovir cream on your skin, this is less likely to react with other medicines.
Its important to tell your doctor if you take any of the following medicines before taking aciclovir:
- cimetidine, a medicine for stomach ulcers
- mycophenolate mofetil, a medicine given after organ transplants
- probenecid, a medicine for gout
- aminophylline or theophylline, medicines for asthma
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Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home
Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?
- Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
- Applying ice to blisters or sores.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?
- Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
- Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- Topical 1% or 2% lidocaine may be used as a topical analgesic.
Education Is An Integral Part Of Herpes Treatment
If you have genital herpes, its important for you to get educated about herpes and have the opportunity to ask questions in a supportive environment.
Becoming informed will help you learn to cope with the illness. It will also help you prevent sexual transmission of the illness, or transmission to an infant during a pregnancy.
Herpes has a tremendous psychosocial overlay. But knowledge about it and understanding about how well it can be managed can reduce that, says Handsfield.
Your doctor may be able to provide you with all the information you need, or you may choose to seek counseling from a mental health professional or at a clinic that specializes in sexual health, such as Planned Parenthood.
If you have a regular sexual partner, that person should also have the chance to learn about herpes and ask any questions they may have about it.
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Serious Side Effects Of Valtrex
Although its rare, Valtrex can cause more serious side effects that may require medical attention, including:
- Low blood cell counts
- Painful periods for women
If youre taking Valtrex and have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor for medical advice as soon as possible.
If you have any signs of an allergic reaction like difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling of the face, mouth, or throat, you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment.
Other serious side effects that could potentially occur when taking Valtrex include:
- Inflammation of the liver
- A serious blood disorder called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome
Some patients are more susceptible to these serious side effects than others. Consult your healthcare provider to find out if youre at risk.
These side effects are very rare. Antiviral medicines are effective at treating viral infections, but after long-term use, they can eventually weaken the immune system by affecting immune cells. This is typically only an issue for seniors and people with weakened immune systems. Even though its not typically taken for long periods of time, if your doctor does want you to take it long term, then thats okay. Some studies have even shown that the long-term use of Valtrex is well-tolerated for healthy individuals.
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How Should I Take Acyclovir
Take acyclovir exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Start taking acyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms . Start taking Sitavig within 1 hour after you first notice sold core symptoms, before the cold sore appears.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Do not crush, chew, suck on, or swallow a buccal tablet. Place the flat side of the tablet against your upper gum, on the same side of the mouth as your cold sore. Allow the tablet to dissolve in your mouth throughout the day. You may eat and drink normally while the buccal tablet is in place.
Do not give an acyclovir buccal tablet to a young child or choking could occur.
Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Acyclovir doses are based on weight . Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.
Drink plenty of water while you are taking this medicine to keep your kidneys working properly.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses may increase the risk of your virus becoming resistant to medication.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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So How Should I Treat Oral Herpes
Antiviral pills are your best choice for treating oral herpes. They are more reasonably priced and are effective. Antiviral therapy can quickly heal lesions if the medications are used in the first 72 hours after a lesion appears.
If you have persistent oral herpes infections, taking 1 of these 3 antiviral medications at the very start of a herpes outbreak is your best chance to relieve pain and shorten the outbreak:
2000 mg twice in 24 hours shortens healing time and duration of pain.
1500 mg , taken at once, also shortens healing time and pain duration.
400 mg 5 times a day for 5 days reduces pain duration but doesnt shorten healing time.
Can Herpes Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent getting herpes is to not have sex with anyone who has the virus. It can be spread even when the person who has it isnt showing any symptoms. If your partner has herpes, there is no way of knowing for sure that you wont get it.
There is no time that is completely safe to have sex and not spread herpes. If you have herpes, you must tell your sex partner. You should avoid having sex if you have any sores. Herpes can spread from one person to another very easily when sores are present.
You should use condoms every time you have sex. They can help reduce the risk of spreading herpes. But its still possible to spread or get herpes if youre using a condom.
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What Is Episodic Treatment Of Genital Herpes
Episodic treatment of genital herpes involves starting a course of antiviral tablets as soon as you notice symptoms of an outbreak, such as tingling or redness on an area of genital skin.
Taking medication at the first signs of an episode will help to reduce the length and severity of symptoms. It may also ward off an outbreak if you start taking the medicine as soon as you notice warning signs of a recurrence.
This type of treatment is often the preferred treatment for people who dont have genital herpes outbreaks very often.
What’s Involved In Herpes Testing
If there are blisters or sores, a healthcare provider may gently swab the area to take a fluid sample and test it. If there are no sores, but you are concerned you may have been exposed, a blood test may done. Herpes tests are not normally recommended unless you have symptoms.
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Suppressive Therapy For Herpes
If you have frequent recurrences of genital herpes
Taking medication every day for many months will stop recurrences completely, or their frequency and severity are greatly reduced. This is called suppressive or prophylactic treatment. Generally, after a year, it is recommended you stop the medication for a few months to see if recurrences have become less frequent. This type of continuous treatment can be repeated if necessary. This type of daily treatment tends to be prescribed if you have frequent or severe recurrences of genital herpes more than six times per year.
Suppressive treatment is valaciclovir 500mg taken daily. This may be increased to 500mg taken twice daily on individual basis of clinical presentation and/or if you are having breakthrough recurrences on 500mg daily. The alternative is oral aciclovir 400mg taken twice daily .
A Doctor can give you a prescription every 3 months for up to 12 months and ongoing if your recurrences are still frequent.
Effectiveness is optimised if taken regularly as prescribed.
For special events
A course of medication may help to prevent a recurrence during special times. This may be an option even if you do not have frequent recurrences, but want to have the least risk of a recurrence – for example, during a honeymoon, holiday or during exams.
Valacyclovir For First Herpes Outbreaks
For first-time herpes outbreaks, valacyclovir is most effective when its used within 48 hours of symptoms appearing.
The standard dosage of valacyclovir for first-time herpes outbreaks is 1,000 mg two times per day over a period of 10 days. Valacyclovir usually starts treating herpes symptoms as soon as its in your system, but can take several days to produce a noticeable improvement.
It can take up to 10 days for herpes blisters to heal even with valacyclovir treatment. This makes it important to start treatment as soon as you notice herpes symptoms.
In some cases, your doctor might prescribe valacyclovir for a longer period than 10 days or at a different dosage. In this case, follow your doctors instructions and make sure you complete the full course of the medication, even if the herpes blisters heal before the end of the period.
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