How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore
Doctors use oral and topical cold sore treatments to ease your pain, slow the growth and spread of the virus, and speed up healing.
There are three ways to use antivirals to fight cold sores, Dr. Brodell explains. One is to treat the virus at the first sign of recurrence using a course of oral or topical medication.
The second is suppressive therapy, meaning you take oral antiviral medicine every day to prevent outbreaks. Lets say youre having outbreaks once a month, every time you get a menstrual cycle or every time you feel stress, Dr. Brodell says. You can give that person a vacation from having their outbreaks with suppressive therapy. This daily oral antiviral therapy is the most effective treatment to prevent outbreaks, Dr. Barankin adds.
A third option is intermittent suppressive therapy for people who can predict their outbreaks. You might get a lip full of blisters every time you go on vacation to sunny Florida, for example. You know youre headed for trouble next time you visit, but you dont want it to ruin your getaway. The solution: Have your doctor prescribe an antiviral medicine that you can take for the week that youre away. Few doctors educate their patients about using suppressive therapy intermittently, says Dr. Brodell, despite the fact that it absolutely works, he insists.
Your doctor might also prescribe Xerese, the first medicine to combine acyclovir and hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory medication.
Alcohol For Herpes Outbreak
The areas affected by cold sores can also be treated very well with alcohol: However, this does not mean oral consumption. You can benefit from the disinfecting and cooling effect of the high-percentage alcohol when you apply it with a cotton swab or a swab to the desired location.
This, however, mainly the symptoms are combated and achieved no healing effect. Nevertheless, the disinfecting effect can protect the site from new bacterial infections. Pure medical alcohol is available in virtually every pharmacy for little money.
What Increases Your Risk
Things that increase your risk of getting genital herpes include:
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners .
- Having unprotected sexual contact .
- Starting sexual activity at a young age. The younger people are when they start having sex, the greater their risk is of getting genital herpes.
- Having a weakened immune system.
- Being a woman. Women are more likely than men to become infected when exposed to genital herpes. And their symptoms tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. Women also are at a greater risk of having complications from a genital herpes infection.
Having herpes, especially if you have open sores, also increases your risk for becoming infected with HIV if you are exposed to HIV.
Any child with genital herpes needs to be evaluated by a doctor to see if it is the result of sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
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Onset Of First Outbreak
The first outbreak of oral herpes usually develops within about one to three weeks after infection. This initial outbreak may last for up to three weeks.
With genital herpes, the first outbreak usually occurs within about two to 20 days. Similar to oral herpes, the initial outbreak may last as long as three weeks.
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.
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How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11
Home Remedies For Herpes: Reducing Outbreaks
A number of at home remedies exist to prevent the likelihood of a herpes outbreak. Outbreaks can be caused by a number of environmental and physiological factors such as:
- Physical or emotional stress
To help reduce the transfer of HSV: minimize the chance of an outbreak by getting good rest, reducing stress, eating healthy foods to help your immune system, and protect yourself from harsh weather .
Take any medicines as directed.
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
Take warm or cool baths to relieve itching of sores. And dont share towels when you have a sore.
Urinate in a tub of warm water to prevent burning. This works for women with genital herpes.
Dont wear tight clothes or nylon underwear. They can trap moisture, cause chafing, and prevent sores from healing.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Cold Sores Quickly
Theyre painful. Theyre unsightly. Theyre annoying. Cold sores are just plain unwelcome. When one pops up on your lip or mouth, you probably immediately think: Whats the fastest way to get rid of this thing?
Herpes simplex virus the virus that causes cold sores is incredibly contagious, and infection with the virus is really common, says Dr. Donald Brown, primary care practitioner at Houston Methodist. In fact, more than 50% of adults in the U.S. are infected with the type of herpes virus that most commonly causes cold sores. Interestingly, however, most people who contract the virus never actually develop symptoms.
If the virus does cause cold sores, it can spread from person-to-person through close contact, like kissing. But, while you may not know it, the virus can also spread by sharing:
- Utensils and drinking glasses
The virus is most contagious when a cold sore is present, particularly when the blister begins to ooze, Dr. Brown adds. However, its important to know that you can still spread the virus long after a cold sore heals as well as when a blister isnt even present.
For those who are no stranger to those painful, fluid-filled blisters, when you get a cold sore, you probably want it gone fast.
What Do Genital Herpes Symptoms Look Like
Other symptoms can include:
- tingling or burning around the genitals
- feeling unwell, with aches, pains and flu-like symptoms
- unusual vaginal discharge in women.
Many people with genital herpes wont get any symptoms, or may get symptoms for the first time months or even years after they were infected.
For most people, the blisters go away within one to two weeks. Although the outbreaks clear-up by themselves, the virus stays in the body. This means that people usually get blisters again which is called having a recurrent outbreak. Outbreaks usually become shorter and less severe over time.
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My Partner Doesnt Have Genital Herpes So How Can I Have Caught It
Your partner could be one of the two out of three people with herpes simplex who have it so mildly they do not realise. So they could have sex when the virus is active. Mild symptoms can appear as a pimple, a little cut or an itchy bit of skin and yet these are very infectious. When people with these mild symptoms learn to recognise them, then they can avoid sex at these times. Another possibility is that your partner does not have herpes simplex and you caught it from a previous partner. It is possible to have a first outbreak many years after first catchin it.
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What Are The Causes Of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the HSV virus, usually during genital or oral sex. It can also be spread through kissing, foreplay or non-penetrative sex.
- HSV1 commonly causes cold sores on the lips or face.
- HSV2 causes most genital herpes.
The HSV virus is most easily spread when there are blisters or sores, but it can still be passed even if a person has no current blisters or sores or other symptoms.
You cannot get genital herpes from things like hugging, swimming pools or toilet seats.
Also Check: How Do Herpes Look Like On Lips
What Effects Does Herpes Have During Pregnancy
Itâs really important to speak to a healthcare worker if you have herpes during pregnancy, especially if it’s your first outbreak. If you have herpes there’s a risk that your baby can develop âneonatal herpesâ. This can be very dangerous or even fatal for your baby. Your healthcare provider will be able to prescribe antiviral treatment to keep your baby safe and help you have a healthy pregnancy.
Speak to a healthcare worker for more information or if you have any concerns.
How Do The Tests Work
HSV tests detect IgG and immunoglobulin M antibodies. IgG antibodies are present soon after infection with HSV and remain in the blood for life. A test result showing IGg antibodies will tell a person that they have experienced an infection in the past and that they have antibodies against the virus.
IgM antibodies appear before IgG antibodies but may disappear when the infection is inactive. Testing for IgM antibodies is not a useful way to distinguish between primary and recurrent episodes of HSV infection. Therefore, doctors do not recommend IgM testing.
A positive herpes antibody test cannot tell people where they have HSV infection or when they contracted the infection. It cannot tell if a person was capable of passing on the infection at the time of the test, nor can it tell if specific symptoms are due to herpes.
Once a sample comes back from laboratory analysis, a person will receive one of the following results:
Also Check: How To Cure Herpes Blisters
Final Thoughts On The Home Remedies For Herpes Sores
Herpes sores can be quite difficult to get rid of on the body. Luckily, there are some useful home remedies and healing processes which you can use as herpes treatment if you want to try a natural approach. From oregano oil to the simple warm water, you can choose between a lot of solutions. However, it is a good idea to prevent such problems from appearing. Taking care of your diet, sleep schedule, and hygiene can help you avoid herpes in the future. Similarly, dont have unprotected sex and try to keep an eye on the herpes symptoms before they evolve.
Grapefruit Extract For Herpes
The grapefruit extract has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic properties. It is used to reduce the severity of the herpes sores and minimize the irritability. This is the most effective treatment for herpes which can give you relief from pain and itching right after the application. To apply this you just have to dip a cotton ball into the grape seed extract and apply directly on the affected side.
Follow this procedure three times in a day or until you see improvement. After few days you can see that sores are healing. This is the ultimate cure for herpes sores. Apart from herpes, this can cure lots of health complications from stomach ulcer to skin infection and cold sores. One bottle of this seed extract will stay for one year. It is said the taste of this extract is thick and little bit sour. The grapefruit seed extract is in a yellowish color.
This is one of the best ingredients which has so many health benefits. One of the best parts of this ingredient is you can buy this from any medical store very easily. As you know that this is a natural ingredient so the chances of getting side effects by this are low comparatively. See, you can get so many reasons to use natural treatment but for that, you have to wake up. By waking you up, I mean to say you have to understand that using medicine will not going to give you effective results.
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How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed
Doctors can diagnose genital herpes by examining visible sores or by submitting a sample of the lesions to laboratory tests. Herpes can be difficult to identify between one manifestation and another. Blood tests that indicate the presence of antibodies to HSV viruses of both types can be useful for diagnosis in people who do not exhibit symptoms or in the time interval between manifestations.
Other Infections And Complications
). Transmission usually occurs at birth, when the baby comes into contact with infected secretions in the birth canal. Rarely, HSV is transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy. Transmission during birth is more likely when
The mother has recently acquired the herpes infection
The mother has visible herpes sores in the vaginal area, although babies may become infected from mothers who have no apparent sores
When acquired at birth, the infection appears between the 1st and 4th week of life. Newborns with HSV infection become very ill. They may have widespread disease, brain infection, or skin infection. Without treatment, about 85% of those with widespread disease and about half of those with a brain infection die. Even with treatment, many have brain damage.
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What Are The Signs Of Herpes In Women
Like men, women who have HSV-1 or HSV-2 may have no symptoms or signs of the infection. Some women may only have an initial outbreak and no other recurring symptoms. Others may have chronic recurring outbreaks of the herpes virus, and some women may not have an outbreak for months or even years after they have first been infected.
In the first herpes outbreak, symptoms usually start within 2 weeks of contracting the virus. The initial symptoms may include:
-Around the buttocks or thighs
-Inside the cervix or urinary tract
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
Related: How to Use Witch Hazel to Clear Up Your Skin Fast
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Use Green Tea To Get Rid Of Herpes Rash
Green tea has an excellent amount of health benefits and is a superb herpes treatment remedy.
How to use?
- Brew the green tea bag in a cup of hot water
- You can add honey or lemon to enhance the taste of the tea
- Drink around four cups each day
Benefits of using green tea
It is rich in antioxidants and helps in the prevention of outbreaks due to herpes. Green tea also has antiviral properties which help in overcoming the condition of herpes in the sufferers.
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What Is Life Like For Someone Who Has Genital Herpes
The virus that causes genital herpes stays inside your body forever. While many people carry this virus, some dont know that they have it because they never have an outbreak.
If you have an outbreak, taking an antiviral medicine can shorten the outbreak and relieve symptoms. Some people have several outbreaks. For most people, the outbreaks become less severe and occur less often with time.
Anyone who has been infected with the virus, however, can spread the virus to others during sex. Even if you never have an outbreak, you can still spread the virus.
Related AAD resources
Centers for Disease Control. Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet . Last accessed December 19, 2016.
Fatahzadeh M and Schwartz RA. Human herpes simplex virus infections: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management. J Am Acad Dermatol 2007 57:737-63.
Madkan V Sra K, et al. Human herpesviruses. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:1075-6.
Marques AR, Straus SE, Herpes simplex. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 1199-1204.
US Preventive Task Force. Serologic screening for genital herpes infection: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016 316:2525-30.
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