Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Herpes Outbreak Lasts How Long

Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine

Why Herpes Flare Up

The shingles vaccine is safe and easy, and it may keep you from getting shingles and PHN. Healthy adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Shingrix, which is given in two doses. Zostavax, a previous shingles vaccine, is no longer available in the United States.

You should try to get the second dose of Shingrix between two and six months after you get the first dose. If your doctor or pharmacist is out of Shingrix, you can use the Vaccine Finder to help find other providers who have Shingrix. You can also contact pharmacies in your area and ask to be put on a waiting list for Shingrix. If itâs been more than six months since you got the first dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible. You donât need to get a first dose again.

You should get Shingrix even if you have already had shingles, received Zostavax, or dont remember having had chickenpox. However, you should not get a vaccine if you have a fever or illness, have a weakened immune system, or have had an allergic reaction to Shingrix. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.

You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies. Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.

Reactivation And Recurrent Outbreaks

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Menstrual periods

The virus then travels to the skin and can cause another, often milder, outbreak. However, reactivation may not cause any symptoms.

Before an outbreak, some people experience prodrome. This is characterized by tingling, itching, or pain in the affected areas before the lesions appear.

Complications Of Genital Herpes

Likewise, theres no current cure for genital herpes. These infections can also be mild and harmless. Even so, theres the risk of complications.

Minor complications with genital herpes include inflammation around the bladder and rectum area. This can lead to swelling and pain. If swelling prevents emptying the bladder, you may need a catheter.

Meningitis is another possible, though unlikely, complication. It occurs when the viral infection spreads and causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Viral meningitis is typically a mild infection. It may clear on its own.

Like oral herpes, encephalitis is also a possible complication of genital herpes, but its even more rare.

Keep in mind that having genital herpes increases the risk of other STIs. Blisters can cause breaks in the skin, making it easier for certain microbes to enter the body.

Even though genital herpes doesnt have serious complications for most people, the HSV-2 virus that causes it is dangerous to babies born to a mother who has it.

Neonatal herpes is a complication of genital herpes. An infection that passes to a child during pregnancy or childbirth can cause brain damage, blindness, or even death to a newborn baby.

Treatment typically consists of antivirals to suppress the virus.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 are common types of herpes. However, other types of the virus can also have potentially serious complications.

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

If youve been diagnosed with herpes, there are some circumstances where you may benefit from medical care. These may include having:

  • An outbreak that isnt helped by treatment and self-care strategies

Self-care strategies during outbreaks can help with pain and discomfort, including:

  • Keeping the affected area clean and dry
  • Using over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Place cold compresses over affected areas

For at-home care for cold sores specifically:

  • Apply non-prescription antiviral ointment
  • Avoid eating spicy, acidic, or salty foods
  • Use petroleum jelly to keep surrounding skin moisturized

How Herpes Is Treated

how long does a herpes outbreak last without medicine

There is no cure for herpes.

  • The health care provider may prescribe antiviral medicine to help speed up the healing process. It also shortens the time when the virus can spread from the herpes sores.
  • Pain may be treated with medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin or by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area.
  • If sores are in the mouth, avoid foods high in acid, like citrus fruits and juices.
  • The infected area should be kept clean and dry.
  • Wash hands often and avoid touching the sores to prevent spreading the virus.
  • It is important to stay healthy by getting enough rest, having proper nutrition and exercise and managing stress well.

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How To Manage The First Outbreak

They can be extremely painful, and its important to see a doctor in case you need a prescription like Valocyclovir or Acyclovir. The sooner you start taking it, the more likely you are to curb the outbreak.

Unfortunately, no drug cures the condition. However, if you receive anti-viral medications promptly, you might experience the following benefits:

  • Speedy recovery
  • Fewer chances of future outbreaks
  • A decrease in the severity of symptoms

Here are a few more self-care tips on how to deal with the symptoms:

  • Consider taking an over-the-counter pain-killer like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for aches and fever.
  • Apply cold compresses on the area. This will help with the burning, inflammation, and itching.
  • Clean the sores regularly. This will speed the recovery.

To sum up, the first herpes outbreak can be challenging to deal with, especially if you are experimenting with your sexuality. However, proper self-care and promptly seeking expert help can ensure speedy recovery.

Symptoms Of Oral Herpes

Oral herpes is most often caused by HSV-1, but can also be caused by HSV-2. It usually affects the lips and, in some primary attacks, the mucous membranes in the mouth. A herpes infection may occur on the cheeks or in the nose, but facial herpes is very uncommon.

Primary Oral Herpes Infection

If the primary oral infection causes symptoms, they can be very painful, particularly in children. Symptoms include:

  • Tingling, burning, or itching around the mouth are the first signs.
  • Red, fluid-filled blisters that may form on the lips, gums, mouth, and throat.
  • Blisters that break open and leak. As they heal, they turn yellow and crusty, eventually turning into pink skin. The sores last 10 to 14 days and can be very uncomfortable.
  • Blisters that may be preceded or accompanied by sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and painful swallowing.

Recurrent Oral Herpes Infection

A recurrent oral herpes infection is much milder than the primary outbreak. It usually manifests as a single sore, commonly called a cold sore or fever blister . The sore usually shows up on the outer edge of the lips and rarely affects the gums or throat.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

Since the herpes virus can remain undetected while dormant in your nervous system, you wont experience any symptoms until you have an outbreak. When that happens, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Painful blisters and sores on the genitals, mouth, and buttocks
  • Difficulty with or a burning sensation when peeing
  • Itching sensation around genitals

These symptoms are universal for genital herpes caused by both HSV-1 and HSV-2. But if youve been infected with the latter, you may experience additional flu-like symptoms:

  • Swollen glands in the throat, arms, and pelvic area

Is Genital Herpes Worse In A Person With Hiv Infection Or Aids

Promising New Herpes Zoster Vaccine

Genital herpes, like other genital diseases that produce lesions, increases a persons risk of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Also, prior to better treatments for AIDS, persons infected with HIV had severe herpes outbreaks, which may have helped them pass both genital herpes and HIV infection to others.

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What Are The Signs Of Herpes In Pregnant Women

If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, there may be a risk of your baby being infected with the virus during delivery. This condition is called neonatal herpes and can be serious or fatal.

Neonatal herpes can result in damage to the central nervous system and can cause mental retardation. Only about 0.1% of babies born in the United States are infected with neonatal herpes even though about 25% to 30% of pregnant women have genital herpes.

Generally, if you are infected with herpes, your doctor will deliver your baby by cesarean section to avoid any risk to your newborn infant.

Women who have herpes before becoming pregnant are at very low risk of transmitting the herpes virus to their babies. If a woman is infected with the herpes virus after becoming pregnant, her baby faces a higher risk of contracting neonatal herpes. Women who are newly infected havent had time to develop the antibodies against the virus and cannot pass them on to the baby for protection.

Talk with your OB/GYN and let them know if you have genital herpes. At the time of your delivery, ask your doctor to examine you early in labor to make sure you dont have any sores or signs of infection like pain, tingling, or itching.

Can Genital Herpes Cause Any Other Problems

Usually, genital herpes infections do not cause major problems in healthy adults. In some people whose immune systems do not work properly, genital herpes episodes can last a long time and be unusually severe.

If a woman has her first episode of genital herpes while she is pregnant, she can pass the virus to her unborn child and may deliver a premature baby. Half of the babies infected with herpes either die or suffer from damage to their nerves. A baby born with herpes can develop serious problems that may affect the brain, the skin, or the eyes. If babies born with herpes are treated immediately with acyclovir, their chances of being healthy are increased.

If a pregnant woman has an outbreak, which is not the first episode, her babys risk of being infected during delivery is very low. In either case, if you are pregnant and infected with genital herpes, you should stay in close touch with your doctor before, during, and after your baby is born.

If a woman is having an outbreak during labor and delivery and there are herpes lesions in or near the birth canal, the doctor will do a cesarean section to protect the baby. Most women with genital herpes, however, do not have signs of active infection with the virus during this time, and can have a normal delivery.

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Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.

What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?

For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.

Herpes infection doesnt usually pose a serious health risk. The risk of a health complication due to herpes is higher in infants and if you have HIV/AIDS, cancer or an organ transplant.

What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

How long does a herpes outbreak last without treatment

Most individuals infected with HSV are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or are mistaken for another skin condition. 9 When symptoms do occur, herpes lesions typically appear as one or more vesicles, or small blisters, on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The average incubation period for an initial herpes infection is 4 days after exposure. 10 The vesicles break and leave painful ulcers that may take two to four weeks to heal after the initial herpes infection. 5,10 Experiencing these symptoms is referred to as having a first herpes outbreak or episode.

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Herpes Simplex Virus: The Basics First

Before jumping into the details, lets first discuss some basics.

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Herpes infection is due to a virus called the Herpes Simplex Virus . Its two types are HSV1 and HSV2. While HSV2 is more notorious for genital herpes outbreaks, and HSV1 is commonly known for cold sores of the mouth, both can cause the sexually transmitted infection.

HSV2 is also known for more severe symptoms and outbreaks, as well as a greater number of them. Where a person might get four to five outbreaks of genital herpes with HSV2, that number could be one to two outbreaks per year with genital herpes from HSV1.

Not to worry many people have fewer outbreaks as time goes on, or even stop having them entirely.

Keep in mind, however, that this is highly personal. Different people can expect different outcomes, but everyone can take steps to manage them.

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Herpes Signs And Symptoms

While some people realize that they have genital herpes, many do not. It is estimated that one in eight persons in the United States has genital herpes however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus. This is because many people have very mild symptoms that go unrecognized or are mistaken for another condition or no symptoms at all.

Because signs can vary a great deal, we recommend that an individual see a healthcare provider to be tested if they have a lesion of any kind. This can be swabbed for testing.

A person may show symptoms within days after contracting genital herpes, or it may take weeks, months, or even years. Some people may have a severe outbreak within days after contracting the virus while others may have a first outbreak so mild that they do not notice it. Because of these possibilities, it can be difficult for people to know when and from whom they may have contracted the virus.

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Subsequent Genital Herpes Outbreaks

Subsequent HSV-2 outbreaks typically last about a week from onset of symptoms to complete healing of sores. People sometimes experience symptoms that warn of an impending outbreak. These include an itching, burning or tingling sensation in the genital area where the sores form.

Over time, many people say they experience fewer and less severe genital herpes outbreaks than they did after first contracting the virus, though they are still infected.

What Are Symptoms Of Herpes

How Contagious is Herpes?

Some people with herpes may never have any symptoms, or may only have mild symptoms. Other people may develop symptoms within a few weeks of being infected with the herpes virus.

Symptoms of genital herpes include:

  • Blisters in the genital area
  • Blisters may become painful open sores, which crust over as they heal
  • Blisters on the mouth or lips
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    How Do You Get Herpes

    There are two different herpes viruses: Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 .

    While rare, a mother can pass genital herpes to the baby during vaginal childbirth.

    Herpes is most easily transmitted when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and be passed to others when there are no sores and the skin looks totally normal. Most people get herpes from someone who does not have any sores. When used consistently and correctly, condoms help protect against herpes and many other STDs.

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    At What Stage Is Herpes Contagious

    Its important to note that herpes is contagious in every stage but is most contagious during the ulcer stage when the blisters have burst open, and fluid is present. Since herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact with infected areas, it is crucial to take preventative measures to stop the spread, including using condoms and dental dams. However, its always advisable to refrain from sexual activity, touching, and kissing when experiencing a herpes outbreak. Wait until you have fully healed before having sexual intercourse, and refrain from touching your sores, since this is an easy way to spread the virus.

    An effective way to prevent a herpes outbreak and the spread of herpes is by taking prescription medication from a doctor. Some common medications prescribed for herpes treatment include:

    These are all taken in pill form, while severe cases may need to be treated with an acyclovir IV.

    Whether oral or genital, you can start treatment during any of the various herpes outbreak stages from onset to healing to prevent another flare-up.

    Are you experiencing any signs or symptoms of a herpes outbreak? Book an appointment through the Air Dr app with one of our qualified physicians to get the medical care you need today.

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