Monday, February 19, 2024

How Do They Treat Herpes

The Virus And Pathogenesis

An All Natural OTC Topical Product for Genital Herpes Outbreak Symptoms

HSV is a double-stranded DNA virus that may enter the host through abraded skin or intact mucous membranes.1 Epithelial cells are the initial targets. Once infected, these cells die, releasing clear fluid intradermally to form vesicles and merging with other cells to create multinucleated giant cells.

Retrograde transport through adjacent neural tissue to sensory ganglia leads to lifelong latent infection.1 Reactivation of the virus is triggered by local or systemic stimuli such as immunodeficiency, trauma, fever, menstruation, ultraviolet light and sexual intercourse.13 Although emotional stress is assumed to trigger HSV recurrence, recent research fails to show a definite causative role.4 Once reactivated, the virus is transported by the neuron back to the epithelium, where more replication occurs, and another outbreak ensues.

HSV exists as two separate types, labeled 1 and 2, which have affinities for different body sites.2 Ninety percent of infections caused by HSV-2 are genital, and 90 percent of those caused by HSV-1 are oral the reason for this division is unknown.5 In addition, oral HSV-1 infection recurs more frequently than oral HSV-2, and genital HSV-2 recurs more often than genital HSV-1.

Read Also: How To Treat Genital Herpes

Do Condoms Help Prevent The Spread Of Genital Herpes

Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they dont have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.

Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.

What Prescription Drugs Treat Cold Sores

Prescription-strength topical medications: Treatment with topical acyclovir or penciclovir will reduce healing time by approximately half a day and decrease pain associated with the lesion. Topical treatment is limited in its effectiveness because it has poor penetration to the site of replication of the virus and therefore is restricted in its healing ability. Acyclovir cream should be applied five times per day for 4 days, and penciclovir cream should be applied every two hours while awake for 4 days. A cream containing 5% acyclovir and a topical steroid called Xerese is also available.

Treatment for the first outbreak of oral herpes in an otherwise healthy person may include:

  • Acyclovir, 400 mg orally three times a day for 10 days or until the lesions have crusted
  • Valacyclovir, 2,000 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 day
  • Famciclovir, 250 mg orally three times a day for 7-10 days
  • Treatment doses for recurrent oral herpes are as follows:
  • Acyclovir, 400 mg orally three times a day for 5 days: It may also be given as 800 mg orally twice a day for 5 days or 800 mg three times a day for 2 days.
  • Valacyclovir, 2,000 mg orally every 12 hours for 1 day
  • Famciclovir, 1,500 mg orally once
  • Suppressive treatment for those with frequent outbreaks may be given for 12 months, but it may be extended if needed:
  • Acyclovir, 400 mg orally twice a day
  • Valacyclovir, 500 mg orally once a day
  • Famciclovir, 250 mg orally twice a day

Read Also: Supplements To Avoid With Herpes

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes

Many people with genital herpes wonât get any symptoms, or may get symptoms for the first time months or even years after they were infected.

For most people, the first blisters go away within a month. Although the outbreaks clear-up by themselves, the virus stays in the body. This means that people usually get blisters again â which is called having a ârecurrent outbreakâ. Outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.

Other symptoms can include:

  • tingling or burning around the genitals

  • feeling unwell, with aches, pains and flu-like symptoms

  • unusual vaginal discharge in women.

Treatment For Eye Herpes Suppresses The Virus

3 Ways to Treat Throat Shingles

Getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan is important because severe forms of eye herpes can move into the stroma, a deeper layer of the cornea, and lead to stromal keratitis, which is harder to treat and can cause blindness. You may also develop iridocyclitis, when herpes infects the iris.

An optometrist or ophthalmologist will look at your eyes while your symptoms are active to make a diagnosis. Typically, lab testing is not necessary, but it can be performed in cases when the virus is less active, or symptoms are less clear.

If a lab test is needed, this will be a fluorescein eye stain. Your doctor will use an orange dye that fluoresces under certain light, and apply this stain to the surface of your eye, where the epithelial layer of your cornea is. This helps your doctor see any layers of scarring that may be from past herpes outbreaks.

Treatment for eye herpes is simple. Your doctor will prescribe eye drops or oral antiviral medications, which may be taken during outbreaks to suppress the virus and promote faster healing, or consistently for several years, depending on how severe and frequent outbreaks are when you are diagnosed. It is rare that eye herpes requires further treatment like surgery, but if outbreaks lead to scarring on your cornea or inside your eye, your eye doctor may recommend a laser procedure to remove scar tissue.

Don’t Miss: Does Stress Cause Herpes Outbreaks

When To See A Doctor

Because a person might not have symptoms even if they have herpes, it can be difficult to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Planned Parenthood recommends that a person see a healthcare professional as soon as they notice sores on or around their genitals. Other STIs, such as syphilis, can have similar symptoms but require different treatment. The American Sexual Health Association also recommends seeing a doctor to get a culture of any lesion or cold sore a person notices.

People may wish to take an at-home STI test before seeing a doctor. However, at-home tests should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment.

  • applying aloe vera gel to sores
  • applying petroleum jelly to the affected areas
  • wearing loose clothing to avoid irritation
  • refraining from sexual activity, even with protection, until symptoms have gone
  • applying a cream or lotion to the urethra before urinating, such as one that contains lidocaine

Some people find that using ice packs help. However, never apply ice directly to the skin wrap it in a cloth first.

What Are The Treatment Options For Genital Herpes

Treatment with antiviral medication is a good idea the very first time people have an outbreak of genital herpes. Later outbreaks are often milder, and then medication isn’t always needed. Preventive treatment may be considered if the outbreaks are frequent.

Genital herpes may clear up on its own. But the symptoms are often more severe the first time you have an outbreak. Most people then use antiviral medication to relieve the symptoms and prevent complications. These medications include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir.

You May Like: Can You Have Genital Herpes And Never Know It

If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs

No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.

How To Treat A Cold Sore

Herpes (oral & genital) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Chilly sores are small, blister-like, fluid-filled lesions that often seem across the border of the lips. In addition they could seem on different areas of your face, corresponding to your chin or nostril. Chilly sores are brought on by a virus known as herpes simplex . Theyre quite common and in addition very contagious.

Although theyre known as chilly sores, they dont have anything to do with having a chilly. You catch a chilly sore by coming into shut contact with somebody who has a chilly sore, corresponding to by kissing. Additionally, not everybody who comes into contact with the virus will get a chilly sore. For these individuals, the virus simply by no means turns into energetic. However the majority of people who find themselves uncovered to a chilly sore may have some type of response. It might be that they get one chilly sore and by no means have one other. Or they might have chilly sore outbreaks a number of instances a yr.

As a result of chilly sores are brought on by a virus, you can not remedy them. Fortunately, there are therapies and medicines that may assist handle outbreaks once you get them.

Donât Miss: How To Cope With Herpes

Don’t Miss: How To Hide Herpes Outbreak

Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.

Can Genital Herpes Come Back

Yes. Genital herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays inside your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. The virus becomes “active” from time to time, leading to an outbreak. Some people have outbreaks only once or twice. Other people may have four or five outbreaks within a year. Over time, the outbreaks usually happen less often and are less severe.

Experts do not know what causes the virus to become active. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period.

Recommended Reading: Can You Masturbate With Herpes

Who Might Get Herpes Simplex

People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:

  • Were assigned female at birth.
  • Have had multiple sex partners.
  • Started having sex at a young age.
  • Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
  • Have a weakened immune system.
  • Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.

Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?

Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.

Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?

Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.

People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.

What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2

Herpes gladiatorum: Symptoms, causes, and treatment

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 .

Recommended Reading: How Does Herpes Affect Your Health

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.

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.

You May Like: Is Herpes Transmitted Through Blood

Complementary And Alternative Medicine

Some people use natural therapies to treat herpes, either on their own or to support standard medical care. The research supporting their use is generally weak, with little evidence that they can reduce either the severity or duration of an outbreak. Even so, many people swear by their effectiveness and consider them a vital part of managing herpes outbreaks.

Complementary and alternative therapies sometimes used to treat herpes include:

  • Propolis: This is a sticky substance produced by bees that may help speed the healing of genital herpes. A 2017 study found that people who used propolis ointment experienced better healing by the 10th day of treatment compared to those who used a sham ointment.
  • Algae extract: Lab studies suggest that algae extract can inhibit the growth of HSV-2 in test tubes. Whether it can do so in humans has yet to be proven.
  • Acupuncture: A 2011 study concluded that acupuncture was mildly effective in reducing pain caused by the herpes zoster virus , the type of herpes virus that causes shingles. While this suggests that acupuncture may be useful in easing genital herpes pain, this has yet to be proven.

Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes

What You Need to Know About Genital Herpes

Theres no cure for the herpes virus yet. A herpes vaccine doesnt currently exist, as the herpes virus has more complicated DNA than most infections, creating challenges for researchers.

However, medication can help with symptoms, like sores, and outbreaks. Medication also lowers the risk of transmission to others. You can take most medications for herpes orally, though you may also apply some as a cream or receive them by injection.

Recommended Reading: Lidocaine Gel For Genital Herpes

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.

Is There A Link Between Genital Herpes And Hiv

It is easier for a person with genital herpes to get or transmit HIV infection.

If a person with a herpes infection is genitally exposed to HIV, their risk of acquiring HIV is than someone without genital herpes. This is because genital herpes can cause breaks in the skin and make a person more vulnerable to HIV infection.

A person with HIV and genital herpes is more likely to transmit HIV to sex partners.

Recommended Reading: What Helps Herpes Heal Faster

What Can I Do To Stop Discomfort And Speed Up Healing Self

People with genital herpes have reported to us that these ideas have helped them to treat their genital herpes. They have not been through a medical trial:

  • If required, take a painkiller, e.g. co-codamol, ibuprofen, paracetamol or soluble aspirin they reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Wash your hands before touching blisters or sores, e.g. when applying medication, as this can introduce bacteria and delay healing.
  • Apply a local anaesthetic ointment, e.g. lidocaine 5% ointment. It can be used on genital or facial sores. Some people prefer a stronger anaesthetic such as Xylocaine 10% spray. Dab on as required to relieve pain, especially before urinating see below. There is a low risk of a negative reaction from these topical anaesthetics. If you find that soreness increases, stop using them.
  • Keep the sores moist, you can apply Vaseline .
  • Keep the area clean: washing gently once a day is sufficient. Many people have found a warm salt water solution very soothing. Gently bathe the area using cotton wool.
  • Avoid scented soap and deodorants. It is best not to use wipes, gel or soap in this area, but if you do, use an unscented brand.
  • Avoid over-washing as this can increase irritation and delay healing.
  • Dab dry carefully with a tissue after washing or use a hair dryer set at cold.
  • To reduce itching, keep the area as cool as is practical: apply a well wrapped ice pack for up to 90 minutes. DO NOT put ice directly on the skin.
  • Popular Articles
    Related news