How To Get Rid Of Herpes The Conventional Way
For most people with herpes, the virus typically represents nothing more than an inconvenience however, the real risk is for immuno-compromised patients who cant easily manage infections. In these patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
As of 2017, there is not currently a herpes vaccine available to prevent HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help keep the herpes virus suppressed or to speed up healing of cold sores by reducing bacteria that can cause infections. Some medications that are now used to control herpes include:
- Nucleoside analogues and antiviral medications
- Creams/ointment to help lower pain and inflammation near the site of sores
- Over-the-counter painkillers to reduce aches, tenderness or fever
However, its important to understand that even with early detection and prescription medications, either form of the herpes virus cannot be totally cured so transmission is always still possible. Medications for viruses dont always work long term and are not a cure-all.
What Treatments Are Available For Hsv Mouth Infection
Although there is no cure for an HSV infection, there are treatments that minimize the discomfort associated with a recurrence.
- Anesthetic creams like lidocaine and prilocaine
- Antiviral topical medicines like zinc oxide and glycerin
- Oral antiviral medications, including acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir
- Heat application sticks that warm the affected area to 122 degrees F within seconds, blocking the replication of the virus and the formation of a sore3
Doctors and general dentists recommend treatment options based on a patients:
- Tolerance for a specific therapy or medication
Treatment Of Primary Infection
Antiviral therapy is recommended for an initial genital herpes outbreak, especially if the patient has systemic symptoms or is immunocompromised.2 Oral acyclovir is effective in reducing symptoms1. Intravenous administration may be required in immunocompromised patients and those with severe disseminated infection.1 Topical acyclovir reduces the duration of viral shedding and the length of time before all lesions become crusted, but this treatment is much less effective than oral or intravenous acyclovir.1
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Triggers For Cold Sores
In some people the HSV infection causes cold sores, which erupt following a trigger event such as a cold. This explains the term cold sore. Other triggers that may cause an attack of cold sores include:
- feverish illnesses, like influenza, or chest infections
- hormonal changes, such as the menstrual period
- emotional or physical stress.
It is important to remember that cold sores are a symptom of ongoing infection rather than a new infection. The sores usually recur in the same place.
Natural Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast
- One of the best home remedies for cold sores is applying lysine ointment to the affected area.
- Other effective natural remedies for cold sores include using ice packs, applying lemon balm, and wearing sunscreen.
- There is no cure for cold sores, but most will go away on their own in two to three weeks.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Cold sores are a lesion that can appear on and around the mouth. While they aren’t dangerous, they can be uncomfortable, itchy, and unsightly.
Cold sores usually resolve themselves within a few weeks, but the following home remedies may help you relieve and heal them sooner.
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Know What Triggers An Outbreak
Cold sores are an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus and learning what most often triggers your outbreak can help reduce how long they last and how severe they are. Common triggers include emotional stress, exhaustion, a weakened immune system , infections, hormonal changes, and exposure to ultra-violet radiation .
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How To Treat Herpes
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,634,244 times.
Herpes is an outbreak of painful, itchy blisters caused by a viral infection. While there is no cure for herpes, antiviral medications can relieve symptoms and shorten an outbreak’s duration. There are also steps you can take on your own to ease your discomfort. To reduce the risk of subsequent outbreaks, maintain a healthy diet, get 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly, and try to keep your stress levels in check.
Read Also: What Happens If You Have Genital Herpes
How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Usually the clinical appearance of the skin affected by herpes simplex is enough to make a diagnosis. A surface swab can be taken by a nurse or doctor to confirm the diagnosis. The result usually takes a few days. If you think you may have herpes in the genital area, it will have been caught through sexual activity. It is therefore important that you attend your local Genito-Urinary Medicine or Sexual Health clinic. This is because other sexually transmitted diseases may be present and should be tested for as well.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Oral Herpes
Autoinoculation from touching a cold sore on the lip can cause herpes of the finger . Autoinoculation occurs most commonly at the time of primary infection, when viral shedding is high and the immune system is still gearing up to contain it. The antibodies that are made after primary infection are usually but not always successful in preventing autoinoculation during recurrent attacks.
A more serious complication is infection of the eye, or ocular herpes . It may be a mild surface ulceration with little discomfort, or it may cause deeper, painful ulcers that threaten vision. Ocular herpes is also caused by autoinoculation. If not treated, ocular herpes may lead to serious damage or even blindness.
Rarely, herpes simplex may infect the brain, causing encephalitis. This infection requires hospitalization and intravenous antiviral medications. HSV-1 is among the commonest causes of fatal viral encephalitis worldwide.
In immunocompromised people, such as those with HIV infection or those receiving chemotherapy, severe outbreaks of herpes may occur. Colds sores may spread to large parts of the lower face or invade organs. Antiviral drugs are used to prevent or lessen such attacks.
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What Causes Herpes On The Tongue
The primary cause of oral herpes is herpes simplex virus-1 , commonly appearing in the form of blisters on the tongue, lips, inner lining of cheeks, gums, and the roof of the mouth. The infection can also spread to your throat, nose, and chin.
In the video below, a doctor provides information on what cold sores are, what they look like, what causes them, and more.
Although there can be multiple ways to come into contact with the HSV-1 virus, it is commonly spread through skin or oral contact. Many children are carriers of the virus. They are most likely to get infected by adults through direct contact and affectionate gestures like kissing and hugging.
The virus is highly contagious, but the infection can be asymptomatic, meaning you may never know that you have the virus. A study from Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates that 50 to 80 percent in adults in the United States have no symptoms whatsoever.
Although the infection usually spreads through direct contact, other behaviors can cause the virus to spread:
- Eating and drinking from the same utensils
- Sharing lip balms, Vaseline, and other cosmetic items
What Happens During An Outbreak
Genital herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. You catch it by having intimate contact with someone who has the virus.
In between episodes, most people dont know they have been infected by it. The virus remains in your nervous system and can be reactivated from time to time to give you symptoms. Outbreaks can occur in the genital area if the first infection was in the genitals. They cause crops of small painful blisters in the genital area and back passage . Herpes can also cause recurrent cold sores if the primary infection was around the mouth.
No one knows why outbreaks occur, although sunlight, physical illness, excess alcohol, and stress are all thought to be trigger factors. They often do become less frequent over time.
Recurrent episodes of genital herpes generally dont last as long as the first outbreak. They are sometimes preceded by itching or tingling in the genital area. Recurrent outbreaks usually last about 7-10 days, shorter than the primary infection which can last up to two weeks. They are also often milder than a primary infection but as R35506 found, the shallow ulcers left when the blisters break can still be quite painful.
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How Far Away Is A Cure For Herpes
To date, doctors and medical experts have been unable to find a cure for the herpes simplex virus. Researchers are actively searching for new treatments in order to combat herpes.
While the virus has successfully evaded efforts to isolate and destroy it, there are signs of hope on the horizon. A recent Financial Market Brief press release indicates that a potential vaccine is being actively tested, with two treatments promising up to 93.67% efficacy in stopping HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection.
The proposed vaccine candidates â HerpaGreens and Herpesyl â contain mutations of the herpes virus that could safely replicate and infect new cells at the site of injection. The study, entitled Assessment of Two Novel Live-Attenuated Vaccine Candidates for Herpes Simplex Virus 2 in Guinea Pigs, can be viewed on the MDPI website here.
While both vaccine candidates have been deemed safe, they are still a long way from availability to the public. The stringent testing and clinical trial phases can take up to 12 years, meaning that â while hope for a cure is on the horizon â treatment and prevention efforts are the best course of action to stop herpes from spreading.
What Are Genital Herpes Symptoms
Outbreaks got you feeling like you won the STI lottery? Cheer up, herpes is as common in dating as the awkward first kiss. Unfortunately, many people dont know they have it. 1 in 6 humans has genital herpes or HSV-2. Individuals with HSV-2 will experience genital outbreaks for the rest of their lives, although many individuals mistake them simply as genital pimples or fever blisters but painful genital ulcers, call em what you want, are usually a sign you have genital herpes.
Swollen or tender lymphs in the legs & groin
Headache & pain in your joints
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How Do You Treat Thrush In The Mouth Area
Are there home cures for thrush?Brush the teeth with a soft toothbrush.Rinse the mouth with a diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.Rinse the mouth with warm saltwater.Avoid mouthwash as it could alter the standard flora of the mouth.Keep dentures clean and see a dentist if they do unfit correctly.More items
How Do I Treat Genital Herpes
For most people antiviral medicine is not necessary either because their body prevents recurrent symptoms or because they find that adopting a healthier life style makes a difference. See What can I do to prevent frequent recurrences?For people who are unlucky and get frequent recurrences, there are two ways that antiviral tablets can be used.
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Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md
Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.
Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.
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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Is Oral Herpes Permanent
Yes. Once a person contracts the herpes virus, they will always have it.
However, this doesnt mean theyll have active recurrences throughout their lives. There are things you can do to reduce the risk of recurrence. For example:
- Mitigate fevers
- Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight
If unavoidable circumstances such as menstruation, surgery, or physical injuries trigger an outbreak, the treatments listed above can reduce your risk of an outbreak and/or lessen the severity of an outbreak.
When To See A Doctor
Most of the time, cold sores go away on their own within a couple of weeks. If your cold sore lingers beyond 2 weeks, it might be time to check with your healthcare professional.
If you feel like youre constantly dealing with cold sores several times a year or more thats another good reason to check with your doctor. You may benefit from a prescription-strength antiviral medication.
Other reasons to see your doctor:
- sores near your eyes
- sores that have spread to other parts of your body
If you have eczema, which is also called atopic dermatitis, you may have some cracked or bleeding areas on your skin. If HSV-1 spreads into those openings, it can cause complications, according to the National Eczema Association.
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Oral Herpes & Other Health Problems
HSV I rarely has any serious impact on a persons health. Although the sores can be painful and are very infectious, they do not cause other harm to your health like chronic pain or cancer.
If you have underlying health conditions, you may struggle with more frequent outbreaks, which might make some chronic health problems worse. For example, if you struggle with eczema, HSV I can make this skin condition worse, and the outbreak might last longer.
If oral herpes sores appear inside the mouth like on the gums or the tongue, it is possible that you can get a secondary infection that could cause gum disease. Even if the outbreak hurts, it is important not to neglect your oral health. Gently brush around the area if it is inside your mouth, and consider adding a rinse of warm saltwater to reduce the risk of infection. This rinse can also reduce inflammation and pain from the outbreak.
You can also ask your dentist for help keeping oral care devices clean, especially items like dentures or clear aligners that you will need to reuse.
What Are The Best Ways To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for cold sores, and it can take between two to four weeks for a cold sore to heal on its own. But, there are things you can do to make them go away faster.
Here are three things that can help soothe a cold sore or make it clear up faster:
1. Try home remedies. When used early, there are several remedies that can help ease the pain and reduce swelling and may even shorten the duration of a cold sore:
- Cold, damp washcloth
- Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
2. Apply topical creams and ointments. There are a few over-the-counter anesthetic ointments and creams that can help control pain, such as lidocaine or benzocaine. Some products, such as those containing docosanol or benzyl alcohol, may even promote faster healing when used early and in plentiful amounts.
3. Take prescription medications. There are antiviral drugs that can help cold sores heal faster, including acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir and penciclovir. If you’re having frequent outbreaks or experiencing some of the serious side effects of having a cold sore, your doctor may consider prescribing antiviral medication.
“To get rid of a cold sore quickly, the best thing you can do is start treating it as soon as possible,” says Dr. Brown. “A burning or tingling sensation on your lips or face can be an early warning sign that a cold sore is developing, and the earlier you start reducing swelling and treating the cold sore, the faster it will heal.”
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What Are Prescription Remedies For A Cold Sore
Some cold sores are stubborn and dont respond to over-the-counter ointments.
Additionally, some people deal with frequent cold sores and need a better way to control outbreaks.
In either scenario, you might be the right candidate for a prescription antiviral.
These drugs help your body fight the virus. They can reduce symptoms and help a cold sore disappear sooner. Prescription antiviral medication includes:
For a serious outbreak, you might need to receive an antiviral intravenously.
Some people only need an antiviral when a cold sore appears. But if you have frequent cold sores you may need to take a daily antiviral, which can diminish recurrence rates, explains Amesh A. Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.