Is Abreva Good For Genital Herpes
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Abreva Reviews From Real Life Cold Sore Sufferers
If science has found docosanol to be an effective treatment, what do real life cold sore sufferers have to say?
Just like the scientific literature, user reviews of Abreva are all over the map. Read reviews on Amazon or stories from people on Reddit and it seems Abreva is either the greatest cold sore medicine ever, or it doesnt do anything. Heck, some people claim that it even made their cold sores worse!
But given that the positive reviews of Abreva generally outweigh the negative ones, its safe to say that its effective more often than not.
As for those claiming that Abreva made their cold sores worse, well, how do they know?
When youre treating a cold sore, you dont know how big it would have gotten had you left it untreated. So even though you get big, nasty blisters with Abreva, how do you know they wouldnt have been even bigger and nastier without the Abreva?
Plus, I seriously doubt that Abreva can actively make a cold sore worse. My guess is the people who said so in their reviews either didnt use it early enough in their outbreak, or they would have gotten an outbreak twice the size had they not used it.
How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.
If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.
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What Are The Common Cold Sore Triggers
Some of the most common factors that may trigger a cold sore include fatigue, stress, fever, a cold or the flu which can all weaken your immune system making you easy prey for a cold sore outbreak.
Cold weather, dry air, winter wind and ultraviolet rays can also lead to cold sores by drying out lips and damaging your skin.
Lastly, the stress associated with hormonal changes and trauma from dental procedures can also cause cold sores.
When Should I Use It
Like most cold sore treatments, Abreva is most effective when it is applied at the first sign of a blister. If you experience tingling or itching around the mouth, apply the medication right away. The sooner youre able to use it, the more likely it is that the blister will heal quickly.
If you miss the first stages, and you already have a fully-formed blister, you can still use the cream and experience favorable results. Sometimes, the most painful stage of a blister is when it starts to ooze and crust over. Abreva can help to stop those painful symptoms quickly, and still help with healing. You can apply it up to five times each day at any point during the cold sores lifespan, or as needed for best results.
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What Causes A Rash On The Side Of Your Mouth
Common causes of a rash around the mouth include irritation such as persistent lip licking, an allergic reaction, and side effects from medications, infections, or sexually transmitted diseases. Read below for other symptoms and treatment options.
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How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy
Herpes simplex virus doesnt affect fertility or your ability to conceive. Pregnant women diagnosed with HSV-2 should start a daily antiviral at 36 weeks of pregnancy as prescribed, to prevent outbreaks during delivery. If you have an active infection at the time of childbirth, you can pass the herpes virus to your baby. Neonatal herpes puts a baby at risk for blindness, brain damage, skin infections and death. Your healthcare provider will perform a cesarean section to lower this risk.
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Will The Scab On My Cold Sore Interfere With The Absorption Of The Abreva Cream Can I Peel The Scabs On My Cold Sore
Once the scab has formed, your cold sore is nearing its stage of complete healing. Keep applying the Abreva cream for the 10 days, or until the scab has fallen off, whichever is the earliest. We do not recommend peeling the scab. You could damage the new, delicate skin underneath. Let the scab fall off naturally.
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What Can I Put On Genital Herpes Cold Sore
How is genital herpes treated?
- keeping the affected area clean using plain or salt water to prevent blisters or ulcers from becoming infected.
- applying petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, to any blisters or ulcers to reduce the pain when passing urine.
- asking a healthcare provider to recommend painkilling creams.
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Why Does Hsv Reoccur
Once you have the virus, it stays in your body permanently. While some people never get symptoms, others get them up to two or three times a year. The virus is activated by certain triggers, which vary between people. Try to spot yours, so you can avoid them.
- An injury to the affected area
- Hormonal changes, for instance around the time of your period
What Causes Cold Sores
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes simplex type 1 virus usually causes cold sores, and the herpes simplex type 2 virus usually causes genital herpes.
The actual sores are similar in appearance for both forms of the virus. Its also possible for HSV-1 to cause sores on the genitals and for HSV-2 to cause sores on the mouth.
Visible cold sores are contagious, but they may be spread even when they cant be seen. You can get the herpes simplex virus by coming in contact with people with the herpes simplex virus. This may happen through kissing, sharing cosmetics, or sharing food. Oral sex may spread both cold sores and genital herpes.
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Treatment For Oral Herpes
The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.
A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.
There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.
Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.
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Prescription Medicines For Cold Sores
If you get recurring cold sore outbreaks, or youre going through a particularly serious cold sore outbreak, its generally best to talk to your doctor about switching from an over-the-counter cold sore treatment to a prescription antiviral medicine.
Oral antiviral drugs work by inhibiting the HSV-1 virus replicating within the body. Once you start taking the medication, the virus is blocked from spreading within your cells. This speeds up recovery and makes it easier for your immune system to fight back against the virus.
There are three prescription antiviral medications used to treat herpes, all of which work using a similar mechanism of action. These drugs are valacyclovir, acyclovir and famciclovir.
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How Long With Valtrex
Valtrex is a brand that markets the antiviral agent valacyclovir which is related to the prototype acyclovir.
Unlike the docosanol cream, Valtrex, this drug is formulated in caplets of 500 mg or 1000 mg valacyclovir. It has other excipients including crospovidone and carnauba wax among others. Crospovidone and Povidone in the product could be more than just excipients owing to the fact that they are antimicrobials. Furthermore, titanium dioxide, also an excipient and regarded as inactive, could offer protective effect against sun burns.
Valtrex is taken on the earliest sign of a cold sore and this is known to reduce the healing time. It is taken as 2 grams 12 hours apart or twice daily for a day. The duration it takes to work also depends on other factors. As mentioned earlier, taking this drug early would reduce the time and the vice versa is true.
You may end up taking it for a period of 7 to 10 days. Notice that this is the same times it takes for a cold sore to go through the development stages. There are cases in which it is prescribed for longer while the cold sores took a much shorter time to heal. Do not stop when you notice changes earlier than the end of the course.
However, when all factors are kept constant, it should start reducing the symptoms associated with cold sores within a period of 2 to 3 days. It therefore will take about 7 days to completely heal but the sooner you start, the shorter.
To Use Acyclovir Cream Follow These Steps:
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What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:
- Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
- Talk about your illness with your doctor.
If you have herpes, you can still:
- Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
Episodic Topical Treatment For Recurrent Herpes Labialis
Topical treatment for herpes labialis is less effective than oral treatment. An RCT of treatment with topical penciclovir 1% cream showed healing was marginally faster in the penciclovir group compared with placebo .16 The participants were adults in otherwise good health who had at least three episodes of herpes labialis per year. They applied penciclovir cream or placebo within one hour of the first sign or symptom of a recurrence, and then every two hours while awake for four days. Resolution of symptoms occurred more rapidly in the penciclovir group regardless of whether the medication was applied in the early or late stage. Penciclovir cream applied every two hours while awake reduced median duration of pain from 4.1 to 3.5 days, sped up the healing of classic lesions from 5.5 to 4.8 days, and did not change median time of viral shedding .16
Docosanol cream is a saturated, 22-carbon, aliphatic alcohol with antiviral activity. It is available without prescription. One RCT of 743 patients with herpes labialis showed a faster healing time in patients treated with docosanol 10% cream compared with placebo cream , as well as reduced duration of pain symptoms .17 More than 90 percent of patients in both groups healed completely within 10 days.17 Treatment with docosanol cream, when applied five times per day and within 12 hours of episode onset, is safe and somewhat effective.
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Canker Sores Versus Cold Sores
Canker sores and cold sores both cause pain and discomfort, but thats where their similarities end. Canker sores are ulcers that occur on the inside of the mouth, tongue, throat, and cheeks. Theyre usually flat lesions. Theyre not contagious and are not caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Cold sores are usually found on the lips and outside the mouth. Theyre highly contagious. Cold sores are raised and have a bubbly appearance.
Why Is Abreva Cold Sore Cream Different
Abreva® Cream is a non-prescription cold sore cream with FDA approved results. Clinical results show that using Abreva® Cream at the first sign of a cold sore outbreak shortens healing time and symptom duration. It helps protect healthy skin cells from the cold sore virus and starts working immediately on contact.*
*Based on laboratory data.
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What Is Neonatal Herpes
Neonatal herpes can be a very serious infection. Babies generally contract the virus from their birthing parent during childbirth even if the parent doesnt have active lesions. They may also get HSV-1 if an adult with an active cold sore kisses them. Breastfeeding babies can also get HSV-1 from the breast if there are lesions present. But babies cant get herpes from breast milk, so its safe to pump and feed.
Herpes simplex can be more dangerous for young babies because they dont have a fully developed immune system. But most babies with neonatal herpes can recover fully with treatment.
The dangers of neonatal herpes are much higher if the infection spreads to the babys organs. If youre pregnant and have herpes, speak with your healthcare provider about how to lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.
What Is The Dosage Of Valtrex Vs Abreva
- Valtrex may be taken with or without food.
- In people with kidney disease, doses need to be reduced.
- For the treatment of herpes zoster , the usual dose is 1 gram 3 times a day for 7 days. Treatment should begin at the first symptom and is most effective if started within 48 hours of the onset of rash.
- The dose for chickenpox is 20 mg/kg 3 times daily for 5 days and treatment should start at the earliest sign or symptom.
- For the treatment of an initial episode of genital herpes, the usual dose is 1 gram twice daily for 10 days. For the treatment of recurrent genital herpes, the usual dose is 500 mg twice daily for 3 days. For best results, treatment should be initiated within 12 hours of the start of symptoms.
- The dose for cold sores is 2000 mg every 12 hours for 1 day.
Adults and children 12 years or over:
- Wash hands before and after applying cream.
- Apply to affected area on face or lips at the first sign of cold sore/feverblister .
- Early treatment ensures the best results.
- Rub in gently but completely.
- Use 5 times a day until healed.
Children under 12 years:
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Treatment Options For Genital Herpes
Acyclovir was the first antiviral agent to be used in the treatment of genital herpes, and as such, is the most extensively studied of the antiviral agents currently available. This drug is available in topical, oral, and intravenous forms . In the distant past, topical acyclovir was used to treat recurrent genital herpes, but its ineffectiveness has been known for quite some time. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that after application of topical acyclovir 6 times daily for 5 days, only the duration of virus shedding from lesions was reduced compared to placebo. Differences between time to lesion crusting, lesion healing, new lesion formation, and cessation of pain were non-significant .
Intravenous acyclovir remains the most effective form of treatment for a primary genital herpes infection, leading to significant reduction in time to cessation of viral shedding and pain. Time to lesion healing is also 6 days faster than with placebo alone . However, as IV administration of acyclovir requires hospitalization, this route is reserved for patients with life-threatening disease or systemic complications .