What Is The Treatment For Herpes Simplex
Mild, uncomplicated eruptions of herpes simplex require no treatment. Blisters may be covered if desired, for example with a hydrocolloid patch. Severe infection may require treatment with an antiviral agent.
Antiviral drugs used for herpes simplex and their usual doses are:
- Aciclovir 200 mg 5 times daily for five days
- Valaciclovir 1 g 3 times daily for seven days
- Famciclovir as a single dose of 3 x 500 mg
In New Zealand, famciclovir is not currently funded by PHARMAC .
Higher doses of antiviral drugs are used for eczema herpeticum or for disseminated herpes simplex.
Topical aciclovir or penciclovir may shorten attacks of recurrent herpes simplex, provided the cream is started early enough.
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How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who does not have herpes.
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that a condom can cover. Also, the skin can release the virus from areas that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If your sex partner has/have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting it if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medicine every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her healthcare provider.
When Are Cold Sores Contagious
A cold sore is contagious as soon as symptoms begin, even if blisters havent appeared. They can also be passed to others even when there are no symptoms. To avoid transmitting the cold sore virus:
- Avoid intimate contact including kissing and other skin-to-skin contact until the lesion is healed.
- Dont share personal care items such as utensils, towels, or toothbrushes.
- Dont share cosmetics such as lipstick, lip gloss, or foundation.
- Replace your toothbrush when you get a cold sore to prevent reinfection, and replace it again after the sore has healed.
- Dont pick at a cold sore, and wash your hands each time you apply ointment or touch the sore.
- If sunlight triggers cold sores, apply sunscreen daily to the area where cold sores develop.
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Final Notes On Diet For Herpes Sufferers
Diet is one of the factors that people infected with the herpes simplex virus must control to prevent herpes outbreaks.
I hope that the information provided in this article will help you in the selection of foods and beverages to make up your diet. I can only ask you to share it with your friends on social networks.
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When Should You Disclose Your Hsv Status
You dont have to bring up herpes the very first time you talk to someone new, but you should at some point before you have sex or exchange body fluids. You are more likely to have a positive reception to that news if you have built some sort of relationship. If you tell too early and theres no reason for this person to be invested in you, then you may get a negative response very quickly, Warren said.
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What Happens If I Dont Receive Treatment
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.
If you touch your sores or fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another body part like your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, quickly wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading the infection.
If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your unborn fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? for information about this.
Early Stage Cold Sore Treatments
Though it is not always possible to avoid cold sores, people should aim to begin cold sore treatment as soon as symptoms develop. Treating a cold sore in its earliest stage can result in a smaller sore that heals quickly. In some cases, it may stop the cold sore from developing at all.
Below are some methods to help prevent a cold sore or minimize the outbreak.
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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.
Can Genital Herpes Cause Other Problems
For most women, genital herpes does not usually cause serious health problems.
Women with HIV can have severe herpes outbreaks that are long-lasting. Herpes also may play a role in the spread of HIV. Herpes sores can make it easier for HIV to get into your body. Also, herpes can make people who are HIV-positive more likely to spread the infection to someone else.
Recurrent Episodes Of Genital Herpes
Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.
Recurrences may be triggered by:
- no apparent reason noted.
What Is Herpes Simplex
Herpes simplex is a virus that causes skin infections. The infection lasts your lifetime, and it causes painful or itchy sores and blisters that come and go. Herpes simplex virus typically doesnt cause severe problems. But it can be dangerous in infants and people with weakened immune systems. There are two types of herpes simplex:
- Herpes simplex 1 tends to affect your mouth or face. It causes cold sores. HSV-1 spreads through contact with saliva .
- Herpes simplex 2 is a sexually transmitted disease . It causes sores on skin that comes in contact with the genitals of an infected person.
Sometimes a herpes infection can affect other parts of your body, such as your eyes or other parts of your skin.
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Limit The Number Of Partners
For now, there is no HSV vaccination available, but there are different vaccines that are in clinical trials or pre-development phase, so till then, lets just focus on the silver lining for now, i.e. reducing the chances of transmission by taking necessary aforementioned precautions.
You can also follow the discussions on the latest trials that are being conducted to keep yourself posted about when the treatment will finally be available.
Genital Herpes Outbreak Duration
The first genital herpes outbreak in people with normal immune systems can last up to four weeks if the patient is not treated.
This duration refers to cases where the outbreak is very intense, but in other cases the duration is less than four weeks. There are cases where the signs and symptoms are almost unnoticeable.
Genital herpes outbreak duration.
In recurrences, the sores can heal in 5-6 days without treatment because the immune system has produced antibodies to protect against the virus.
Outbreaks in immunosuppressed patients usually last longer than in individuals with normal immune systems and ulcers can take months to heal.
This condition makes them susceptible to infection with other sexually transmitted diseases as well as potential transmitters of the herpes virus.
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Vitamin Deficiencies Might Affect Herpes
Scientific data shows that certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can have a negative effect on your immune system. For example, deficiencies of micronutrients like zinc and selenium show a correlation with a weakened immune system in some studies.
This means that if youre deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral, theres a risk that your immune system could be weakened.
The herpes virus usually begins as an initial outbreak, which can last for several weeks. As your body launches its immune response, the virus retreats into the nerve ganglia, where it remains in a dormant state between outbreaks.
A weakened immune system makes the risk of the virus resurfacing greater, increasing your risk of experiencing an oral or genital herpes outbreak.
This makes it important to focus on maintaining a healthy immune system if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2, especially if you experience symptoms of the virus.
How High Is The Risk Of Spreading Herpes
The risk of spreading herpes depends on a number of factors, some of which are within your control:
- Length of time you have been infected with the herpes virus
- Whether your partner is a man or a woman
- How frequently you use condoms during sex
- Whether you take antiviral medication
Research shows that in couples where one partner had genital herpes and condoms were only used during outbreaks, the other partner became infected within one year in up to 10% of couples.
The risk drops significantly with additional precautions like consistent condom and antiviral medical use. One large study reported that only 1.9% of susceptible partners became infected with clinically symptomatic HSV-2 when given the antiviral valacyclovir as a precautionary treatment.
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Is There Or Will There Ever Be A Drug To Stop The Virus From Being Transmitted
Some experts believe that developing an effective HSV vaccine is the only practical way to control the disease and the spread of infection, and if such a vaccine becomes available then universal immunization may be the best approach.
Various vaccines are in clinical trials or pre-clinical development, including mutated strains of herpes virus that cannot replicate, inactivated herpes virus, and DNA vaccines that use genetic fragments of the virus to trigger an immune response. Creating such a vaccine, however, is complex and difficult.
There are often new trials commencing in all areas of treatment and participants are always in high demand. The websites below should be able to point you in the right direction if you are interested in following the progress of these:
There are treatments which have been proven to reduce viral shedding and the growth rate of the virus, which can in turn help to reduce the risk of transmission. If you are interested in learning more about these you can read through the Herpes Supplements and Herpes Medications sections for details.
I Had Lesions When I Was Evaluated But My Culture Was Negative Does This Mean That I Dont Have Herpes
Not necessarily. Although lesions can be caused by something other than herpes, false negative herpes tests can occur if the samples are not taken appropriately, if there is a long transport time between the clinic and the laboratory, or if cultures were taken late in the course of the lesions. Lesions that occur early in the course of a herpes outbreak are much more likely to have positive cultures than cultures taken after the lesions crust over.
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Talk To Your Doctor Before Using Herbal Methods Or Supplements
There are a few herbal methods and supplements that have shown some success in treating herpes outbreaks. For example, some studies have shown the amino acid lysine is helpful for some people with herpes, according to ASHA, but other studies have not been able to produce the same results. Also, some herbal treatments and supplements can have side effects or interfere with other medications. Talk with your doctor about whether these methods might work for you.
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If you have genital herpes, you will probably be somewhat less likely to infect your partner if you use antiviral medication for prevention. The medications used for this purpose include acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. They must be taken every day over a long period of time, though. Using them as a creme or ointment is not suitable.
One study showed that over a period of eight months,
- 4 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took a placebo, and
- 2 out of 100 people became infected when the partner with the virus took antiviral medication every day.
These couples were also advised to use condoms as well but many didn’t use them consistently. So its not clear whether taking antiviral medication can lower the risk of infection even further if you always use condoms anyway, or whether using condoms is just as effective on its own.
Whether or not you would like to use preventive medication is ultimately an individual decision. Many factors can play a role, such as how long you or your partner have had the infection, how frequent and severe the outbreaks are, whether you are male or female, the frequency of sexual contact and whether you use condoms.
Workowski KA, Bolan GA. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. MMWR Recomm Rep 2015 64: 1-137.
IQWiG health information is written with the aim of helping people understand the advantages and disadvantages of the main treatment options and health care services.
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What Happens During An Outbreak
During a herpes outbreak you may feel the following symptoms:
- flu-like symptoms like fatigue, fever, headache
- difficulty in peeing or finding it painful to pee
- vaginal discharge
Your first outbreak of herpes will last around 2 to 4 weeks. Recurrent outbreaks after this are usually much shorter with less severe symptoms.
The blisters that form may break and cause ulcers. These ulcers can be painful and will take a few weeks to heal completely.
If you are pregnant and have herpes, you should speak to your doctor or midwife immediately. The infection can potentially spread to your newborn baby during childbirth. Babies do not have a well developed immune system like adults, so neonatal herpes can be very serious for a baby. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, your doctor might consider starting you on antiviral medication.
If youre pregnant, avoid having sexual contact with partners you know to have genital herpes or any other STI.
What Should I Do If I Have Genital Herpes
If you have genital herpes:
- See a doctor or nurse as soon as possible for testing and treatment.
- Take all of the medicine. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antiviral medicine.
- Tell your sex partner so they can be tested and treated if necessary.
- Avoid any sexual contact while you are being treated for genital herpes or while you have an outbreak.
- Remember that genital herpes is a lifelong disease. Even though you may not have a genital herpes outbreak for long periods of time, you can still pass the virus to another person at any time. Talk with your doctor or nurse about how to prevent passing the virus to another person.
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Try Taking The Supplement Lysine
In terms of taking supplements to prevent breakouts, I especially recommend L-lysine. This is the primary supplement for herpes, Gade says. L-lysine is an amino acid, a building block of protein. When you have an outbreak, it can be taken orally to shorten the outbreak in conjunction with an antiviral medication.
Lysine appears to be useful in reducing the number and the severity of outbreaks. The usual daily dose is between 1 and 3 milligrams.
Some studies suggest that taking lysine regularly may help prevent outbreaks of both cold sores and herpes sores. In Gades experience, patients have had no side effects using lysine. In some people, though, there have been reports of the supplement causing abdominal pain and diarrhea.
How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed
Often, your doctor can diagnose genital herpes by looking at visible sores. Your doctor or nurse may also use a cotton swab to take a fluid sample from a sore to test in a lab.
Genital herpes can be hard to diagnose, especially between outbreaks. Blood tests that look for antibodies to the herpes virus can help diagnose herpes in women without symptoms or between outbreaks.
A Pap test is not used to detect genital herpes.
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The Differing Risks For Men And Women
When someone wonders, My partner has herpes, how do I protect myself? the answer may be different for men than women.
Data show that genital herpes is more common among women than men. In 2015-2016, 15.9% of adult women were infected with HSV-2 compared to 8.2% of men. This trend may occur because its easier for a man to accidentally transmit the herpes virus to a woman during sex.
Pregnant women with genital herpes must also consider the potential risk of passing the infection along to their babies. Fortunately, there are many preventative measures women can take to protect their newborns from neonatal herpes, including having a C-section and taking antiviral medication.
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Adopting An Alkaline Diet
Watermelon: this is the easiest method because they are easy to eat with great taste and can improve the effectiveness of your alkaline diet. Fruits and vegetables in general are perfect for an alkaline diet.
Adding lemon to your water: a quick method to enhance your alkaline balance. Stay away from soda, or caffeinated drinks because they increase your arginine amount which will lead to outbreaks.
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