Home Remedies For Herpes Outbreaks
Someone you know probably has herpes. It’s a highly contagious virus with no cure. Fifty to 80 percent of Americans get cold sores, which are caused by herpes simplex type 1 1. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six people aged 14 to 49 have genital herpes, which is caused by herpes simplex type 2.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Luckily, there are home remedies to help with herpes outbreaks. Most importantly, you need to live a healthy lifestyle.
Can You Get Herpes On Your Tongue
While you may associate herpes type 1 with cold sores on your lips, it is possible to suffer from the symptoms of herpes on your tongue. This is referred to as oral herpes and usually affects more of your mouth than just your tongue. More than half of all adults in the United States are thought to have oral herpes.
Home Remedies For Herpes
In this article:
Herpes broadly refers to a collection of more than 100 different viruses, but this article will focus on herpes simplex virus types . This strain is further divided into HSV type 1 and HSV type 2, both of which are highly contagious and routinely infect humans but in different parts of the body.
Read on to learn about some useful tips and remedies that can help ease the symptomatic discomfort caused by herpes and reduce its recurrence.
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Home Remedies For Hsv
Herpes is not a curable disease, but it is treatable.
There are many ways to lessen the severity and frequency of herpes flare-ups, including home remedies that can be used alongside prescription medications.
While most people who have herpes do not experience symptoms at all, others experience one initial outbreak, and others have recurrent outbreaks with painful sores, blisters, or lesions, most often on the mouth or genitals.
For these patients, the goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort, support the healing process, hasten remission, and reduce the frequency of future outbreaks.
In this article, Ill explore how home remedies can help accomplish these treatment goals.
Ill explain the difference between oral and genital herpes, and review the most common symptoms.
Ill go over the major dos and donts for herpes outbreaks.
Then Ill review the latest recommendations around home remedies for herpes, including dietary changes, and Ill explain how these home remedies can be used alongside other treatment options.
Ill discuss steps you can take at home to prevent herpes from flaring up and spreading.
And Ill tell you when to see a doctor about herpes.
How To Get Rid Of Herpes Overnight
Unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of the symptoms of a herpes outbreak overnight. Whilst there are genital herpes treatments designed to reduce the duration and severity of recurrences, no products exist that can eliminate the outbreak entirely within one day .
Medical intervention â along with homeopathic remedies â can reduce the discomfort, pain and length of a flare-up.
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Cold Sores On Lips Vs Angular Cheilitis
These two are:
Cold sores or herpes labialis
img source: prod-carehubs.net
What causes cold sores or fever blisters? They are caused mainly by the herpes simplex virus type 1 .
Symptoms of HSV-1 on lips usually start with a burning, itchiness and tingling or tautness on lips or around the mouth. Due to irritation, the area is likely to turn red and small blister or tiny clusters of blisters that itch.
How long do cold sores last? They usually heal after a period of 2 to 3 weeks from infection time or when transmission of the HSV -1 virus occurs.
The symptoms will tend to vary with each stage of herpes simplex on lips. For instance, if individuals show the early signs of fever blisters during the first episode, they usually develop fever or illness depending on how severe the infection is.
If you have recurring fever blisters or cold sore symptoms, the following may be responsible for the activation of the virus after initial breakouts on your lips or face.
- Medical conditions like anemia, and Down syndrome
- Overactive salivary glands or if your mouth holds a lot of saliva
However, angular cheilitis is not a symptom of HIV since it is due to the compromised immune system that puts one at risk of it. Angular cheilitis can also last for days or possibly years.
Angular cheilitis symptoms
Like cold sores on lips, AC can also be symptomized by blistering, redness and swelling on the mouth corners.
How Long Do Herpes Symptoms Take To Show
On average, it takes about 4 days after exposure to start showing the symptoms of herpes. The herpes incubation period ranges between 2 and 12 days. The most common early sign of herpes is sores around the genitals or mouth.
The first time you get the herpes virus, it may cause flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, headache, and body aches. Then, subsequent outbreaks may cause sores and less severe symptoms. Generally, the frequency of outbreaks lessens over time.
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Herpes Symptoms And Signs
In order to diagnose herpes, a health care provider can swab an area of visibly active herpes infection or, if symptoms arent active, a blood test can be given that measures the number of herpes antibodies present in the body. The antibodies dont indicate herpes itself, but rather show the immune systems response to the presence of the virus in the body. Its important to note that sometimes a swab can give false negative results since herpes lesions need to be large enough to yield enough detectable virus and if the outbreak is already healing it also may not be detected in a swab.
The most common herpes symptoms include:
- Developing either a single cold sore or cluster of multiple cold sores that form on the lips, inside the mouth, or on the genitals, buttocks and upper thighs.
- Sores can sometimes be severe, painful and rupture and cause fluid to be secreted out.
- Some herpes canker sores develop a thin, white coating and burn when touched while they healing.
- Around herpes cold sores, its common to feel pain, tenderness and other symptoms of a rash, such as redness or signs of swelling.
- Some people are able to tell before an outbreak if one is going to occur because they feel tingling, itchy sensations near the affected area.
- Some people develop other symptoms during herpes outbreaks that are similar to those caused by a cold or the flu. This may include fatigue, irritability, aches or a slight fever.
How To Get Rid Of Herpes Naturally
Not every person with a herpes infection actually experiences breakouts of cold sores throughout his or her lifetime or even after initially becoming infected. How often someone has a herpes cold sore outbreak, how severe the outbreaks are, how contagious someone is after infection and how long the sores take to heal all depend on someones individual immune response.
1. Boost Nutrient Intake
If youre going to keep the herpes virus from frequently causing outbreaks, the first step in how to get rid of herpes is to improve immune function by boosting nutrient intake. Include these healing foods in your diet to keep the virus dormant as much as possible:
2. Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Certain foods can raise inflammation, weaken immune defenses and make skin irritation even worse. Avoid the following foods as much as possible to limit outbreak severity and duration.
3. Consider Supplements
- Antiviral herbs: These include elderberry, calendula, echinacea, garlic, astragalus and licorice root.
- L-lysine : Can help treat and prevent outbreaks.
- Lemon balm extract: Apply as a topical cream for healing.
- Vitamin C : Vitamin C boosts immune function improving herpes.
- Zinc : Zinc benefits include supporting immune function, keeping viruses dormant and rebuilding skin tissue to speed up healing.
- B-complex : B vitamins help your body deal with stress and can prevent outbreaks.
4. Try Essential Oils
5. Ease Cold Sore Pain Naturally
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How Is Genital Herpes Treated During Pregnancy
- Oral antiviral medications may be used during pregnancy.
- One serious concern with genital herpes in pregnancy is the transmission of the infection to the baby during delivery. In an infant, a genital herpes infection can spread through the bloodstream and have serious consequences.
- Cesarean delivery is performed for women who go into labor while there is an active outbreak of genital herpes in order to prevent infection of the baby during birth.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women with recurrent genital herpes be offered oral antiviral medication at or beyond 36 weeks until delivery in order to increase the chances of being able to deliver vaginally.
The Course Of The Infection
The beginning of the disease reminds of a common flu. The infection does not always develop into a blister on the lips. Sometimes you fight flu-like symptoms for a few days, but no blister appears. The virus never leaves the body, it stays there and usually becomes active when the organism has been weakened by another illness or stress. Then a typical cold sore forms. The first type of herpes often occurs in babies and later in adult and old people. The second type occurs at the beginning of sexual maturity, between 14 and 29 years.
Wikimedia Commons, author: BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0
A worldwide infection
The infectious herpes disease with typical blisters is the most common infection in the world. The most common types of herpes are called HSV1 and HSV2.
The first type is responsible for the onset of herpes in the facial area, especially on the lips. It is often transferred while kissing. The second type is transmitted during sexual intercourse and results in blisters in the genital area. In certain cases, HSV1 may also cause a blister in the genital area and HSV2 may cause a blister on the lips.
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How Do Doctors Manage Genital Herpes During Pregnancy
Oral antiviral medications as described above may be used during pregnancy. One serious concern with genital herpes in pregnancy is transmission of the infection to the baby during delivery. In an infant, genital herpes infection can spread through the bloodstream and have serious consequences. Cesarean delivery is performed for women who go into labor while there is an active outbreak of genital herpes in order to prevent infection of the baby during birth.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women with recurrent genital herpes be offered oral antiviral medication at or beyond 36 weeks until delivery in order to increase the chances of being able to deliver vaginally.
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How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.
Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.
No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.
Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.
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Orange And Red Vegetables
Orange and red vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that can strengthen the immune system and promote overall health. Theyre also rich in antioxidants, which are often touted as playing a key role in wound healing.
For this reason, youll often find orange and red vegetables like carrots, pumpkins and red bell peppers featured on lists of the best foods for treating herpes outbreaks.
The reality is that while orange and red vegetables often are rich in nutrients, theres no proof that they play any role in treating herpes. Theres also little substantial proof that antioxidants play a key role in wound healingright now, studies claim that the science is in its infancy.
Like most home remedies and alternative treatments, this tactic isnt completely devoid of any merit. Nutrient-rich vegetables are good for your immune system, making a diet rich in healthy foods a good lifestyle choice if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2.
However, you shouldnt rely on carrots or pumpkin puree to speed up the healing process for herpes sores. Instead, make a healthy, balanced diet a normal part of your lifestyle, but make sure youâre treating your herpes with stuff prescribed to you by your doctor.
How Does Genital Herpes Occur
Genital herpes virus spreads through sexual contact. This occurs even if the person carrying the virus does not have symptoms or show signs of infection.
Once the virus enters through the skin, it travels along nerve paths. The first outbreak of genital herpes may appear as early as two days after you have contracted the virus, or even after 30 days.
The virus may also become dormant in the nerves and remain inactive there indefinitely.
In some patients, the virus may become active from time to time. Active viruses travel back along the nerve path to the surface of the skin, where some viruses are shed. When viruses are shed, in some cases there usually is an outbreak of symptoms such as the appearance of sores and blisters, while in others the condition may remain undetected.In either case, since the virus is active it easily passes from one partner to another during sexual contact. A condom may also not be able to protect the uninfected partner, since the virus may be on a part of the skin which is uncovered.
The herpes simplex virus cannot survive outside the body, therefore, it’s nearly impossible to contract the infection through contact with toilets, towels or other objects used by an infected person.
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What Is The Treatment Of Genital Herpes
To treat genital herpes your doctor may prescribe some anti-viral drugs. These drugs can reduce the duration and frequency of herpes outbreaks. They can also help reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to a susceptible partner. The treatment plan will depend on your general health condition. If other health complications such as, encephalitis or AIDS develop due to the genital herpes infection, the doctor will prepare a treatment plan for you accordingly.
It is necessary to describe your medical history and symptoms in detail to your doctor, so that he can perform the appropriate tests for the diagnosis.
Do Natural Remedies Help
There are several options that can be tried to ease the pain. A73612 and Donnor52059 suggest dabbing cornstarch directly on the sores. I can’t find any scientific studies that have researched this, but I can’t see that it would do any harm.
A73612 also recommends squirting water from a bottle over the sores when you pee. This is a time-honoured method that will help to ease the pain.
Yolandayw mentioned taking a simple painkiller such as paracetamol during an outbreak. Feelbroken advised putting Vaseline on the sores. Lidocaine 5%, a local anaesthetic gel that numbs the area, is another option. Some people find it helpful to put on five minutes before passing urine. You need to get it on prescription and it doesn’t suit everyone. Some people develop sensitivity to it which makes the symptoms worse.
Yolandayw also advised using ice as a home remedy. Simply wrap the ice in a tea towel and apply for 5-10 minutes. Never put ice directly on the skin as this can cause ‘ice burn’. Drinking plenty of water can also be helpful as it reduces the concentration of urine, making it less painful when you have to pee.
D91907 mentioned putting aloe vera gel on the sores. There is some scientific evidence that aloe vera is useful for both genital and oral herpes.
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Treatment If The Blisters Come Back
Go to a GP or sexual health clinic if you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and need treatment for an outbreak.
Antiviral medicine may help shorten an outbreak by 1 or 2 days if you start taking it as soon as symptoms appear.
But outbreaks usually settle by themselves, so you may not need treatment.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes.
Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.
Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months.
If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.
Facts And Statistics About Herpes
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two-thirds of the global population under 50 years old are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 .
- Estimates for HSV-1 prevalence in the U.S. among people aged 049 years are 178 million women and 142 million men .
- In total, about 75 percent or more of the American adult population has the HSV-1 virus that usually causes oral herpes , and about 20 percent to 30 percent have HSV-2 that usually causes genital herpes.
- Men and women are affected by HSV-1 about equally. Roughly 6 million women in the U.S. become infected with HSV-1 each year, along with 5 million men.
- Slightly more women than men are affected by genital herpes, whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2. Middle-aged women are most likely to acquire genital herpes.
- Transmission of HSV most often occurs without symptoms, so its estimated that 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont know it. Many dont have any symptoms at all after the initial infection, and only about 15 percent ever receive a HSV-2 infection diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- Most primary oral/facial HSV infections are caused by HSV-1 however, facial infection by HSV-2 is increasingly becoming common.
- Less children are becoming infected with HSV-1 than in the past in high-income countries, mostly due to better hygiene and living conditions.
- After someone comes into contact with an active herpes outbreak on another person, the incubation period takes about one week.
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