How To Prevent Herpes
But most people have sex at some point in their lives, so knowing how to have safer sex is important. Using protection like condoms and dental dams when you have sex helps to lower your risk of getting an STD.
Herpes can live on areas of your body that arent protected by condoms , so condoms wont always protect you from herpes. But they do lower your chances of getting herpes.
Dont have sex with anyone during a herpes outbreak, because thats when it spreads most easily. But herpes can also spread when there are no sores or symptoms, so its important to use condoms and dental dams, even if everything looks and feels A-OK.
You May Like: Why Does Herpes Cause Blisters
How Do You Get Rid Of A Cold Sore
Although it may take a while to get rid of a cold sore, some medicines can shorten the healing time and make the symptoms less painful. Cold sore treatments include:
- Over-the-counter medications: You can buy without a prescription creams or ointments that you apply directly to the cold sore. If you start using these creams when you first notice tingling or itching before the cold sore forms you may be able to prevent the cold sore from appearing.
- Oral antiviral medicine: Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication that you take orally .
- Intravenous antiviral medicine: If other medications arent working, your doctor may need to prescribe an antiviral medication that will be administered through an IV. In this case, your doctor will monitor you closely throughout treatment.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Cold Sores
A pharmacist can recommend:
- creams to ease pain and irritation
- antiviral creams to speed up healing time
- cold sore patches to protect the skin while it heals
You can buy electronic devices from pharmacies that treat cold sores with light or lasers.
Some people find these helpful, but there have not been many studies to confirm if they work.
If you regularly get cold sores, use antiviral creams as soon as you recognise the early tingling feeling. They do not always work after blisters appear.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Frequent Genital Herpes Outbreaks
Early Warning Signs A Cold Sore Is Forming
The key to stopping a cold sore quickly is to treat it the moment you notice symptoms. While its rarely possible to completely avoid a cold sore, treating it before it develops into a larger sore is a good way to limit its development and deal with a smaller, less obvious sore.
In a best-case scenario, treating a cold sore early prevents it from developing into a full-on sore.
In a worst-case scenario, even if you act a little too late in treating it, youll still speed up the cold sore healing process.
Because of this, its important to be aware of the initial warning signs of a cold sore. The faster you can act once you notice these symptoms, the less time the cold sore will have to break out and affect your lips, gums and mouth.
Itching or tingling around the lips. Normally, youll start to notice your lips itching or tingling for a day or two before the cold sore starts to form a phase known as a prodrome. If youve had cold sore outbreaks before, you might find it easier to recognize this feeling than someone who has never been affected.While not a specific warning sign, cold sores tend to be triggered by things like stress, illness, sun exposure, hormone fluctuations or fatigue. Its best to be extra attentive to the potential warning signs of a cold sore if any of these issues affect you.
Supplements For Herpes Outbreaks
If you feel that your diet doesnt contain enough lysine, you can take lysine supplements. Small preliminary studies suggest that daily lysine supplements might minimize and improve healing times of herpes outbreaks. In one study, patients were given 1000mg of lysine three times per day . However, the study used a small sample size and was limited it its scope.
Lysine supplementation is safe and its considered the best cure for herpes outbreak sufferers. Lysine supplements that have minerals, such as bioflavonoids and zinc, as well as vitamins can work miracles to prevent and control herpes outbreaks. Here is a good lysine supplement that includes zinc. Each pill contains 333mg, so you can adjust to the proper dosage. Formulas often include zinc, vitamin B complex and vitamin C supplements in a herpes diet.
Another well-known supplement used in treating herpes is commonly called curcumin, or turmeric extract. Its an anti-inflammatory that makes your body cells less susceptible to viral infections. See it here. A traditional supplement such as cayenne pepper is also sometimes recommended by physicians to fight the herpes virus . You can apply either of these externally to ease pain.
Red marine algae is another great supplement as it helps your immune system fight the herpes virus and prevents its re-occurrence . Read the reviews from people who use it for HSV on the product page here!
Read Also: How To Test For Herpes Std
Submission And Collection Notes
Follow the instructions found in the Virus-Culture Kit Instruction Sheet.
HSV resistance testing is also available at NML (National Microbiology Laboratory, Winnipeg when clinically indicated. Specimens submitted for this test is initially cultured at PHO Laboratory prior to submission to NML for HSV 1 or HSV 2 resistant testing: NML guidelines-Viral Exanthemata and STDs-Viral STI, Polyoma and Herpesvirus unit.
How Do You Boost Your Immune System
- Vitamin C This nutrient prevents cold sores. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are strawberries and orange.
- Antioxidants These nutrients strengthen the immune system. Foods that are rich in antioxidants are berries, cauliflower, and kales.
- Zinc Besides helping the immune system, zinc reduces episodes of outbreaks. You can eat pork and chickpeas that are a good source of zinc.
Also Check: What Does Herpes Look Like Pictures
Don’t Miss: Is Herpes Part Of Std Testing
Should I Keep My Cold Sore Wet Or Dry
There have been no studies investigating whether keeping a cold sore wet versus dry promotes healing.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association states that people can reduce redness by applying a clean, cold, wet towel to sores for a few minutes every day. People can also prevent dry skin and cracking by applying petroleum jelly.
How To Prevent The Spread Of Oral Herpes
A cold sore is highly contagious and can spread to other parts of the body or to other people. Herpes transmission can occur through direct contact, such as kissing, or indirect contact from shared items, such as infected drinking glasses, towels, or utensils.
The herpes simplex virus type 1the virus responsible for cold sorescan be spread to the genitals of both men and women through oral sex. If this happens, it becomes a case ofgenital herpes.
Although the virus can be transmitted from person to person at any time, the most acute infection period is when the sores are visible. Once the sores have crusted over, oral herpes is no longer contagious.
Follow these tips to keep the infection from spreading:
- Wash your hands immediately after touching the sores or before touching another person.
- Abstain from intimate contact until the sores have dried and scabs have formed.
- Do not share utensils, drinking glasses, napkins or other items that may have been in contact with a cold sore.
- Do not touch, rub or scratch sores.
- Do not touch your genitals or eyes after touching a cold sore the cornea is extremely sensitive to infection from the herpes virus.
- Stay away from people for whom a herpes outbreak could have serious consequences .
Read Also: Can You Transmit Herpes When Dormant
Hsv Infection Is Very Common
Around 90 per cent of adults have herpes simplex antibodies in their bloodstream, which means that they have been infected with the virus at some time. However, the first infection does not usually cause any symptoms. One-third of infected people experience cold sores, which are a recurrence of the earlier infection and do not indicate recent infection. Most of these people would not have experienced symptoms from the first infection.
Creating A Personalized Treatment Plan
You may be wondering which option is best for you. While both a suppressive treatment plan and episodic treatment plan are effective, choosing the right plan can have a significant impact on the frequency and duration of your cold-sore/herpes outbreaks.
Taking the next step can be difficult, especially when it involves an awkward doctors visit. At wisp, you can chat discreetly with a US licensed doctor and avoid the most embarrassing step in establishing care. With your personalized treatment plan, its easy to speak with your doctor whenever you need to, as well as manage current prescriptions through your HIPAA compliant Patient Dashboard.
Effectively managing your outbreaks begins with a better self-care routine established between you and your doctorand is the first step to living a better life.
You May Like: Can You Get Rid Of Genital Herpes
How To Use Rhubarb And Sage Cream On A Cold Sore
Apply a cream combining rhubarb and sage directly to lesions three to four times a day.
Topical zinc oxide cream may shorten the duration of cold sores.
In a , cold sores treated with zinc oxide went away, on average, 1 1/2 days sooner than those treated with placebo. Zinc oxide also reduced blistering, soreness, itching, and tingling.
How Can You Stop Cold Sores From Spreading
Follow a few simple steps to help stop cold sores from spreading.
1. Dont Touch
Touching is how cold sores are spread. The only time you should touch a cold sore is when youre applying cream. The less you touch it, the less likely it is that youll spread it elsewhere around your body or to someone else. This applies from the first tingle to when its totally disappeared. If youre applying make-up around the area, use a disposable applicator such as a cotton swab rather than your fingers.
2. Wash Your Hands
You should do this after touching your cold sore and before touching your eyes, contact lenses, genitals or any area of broken skin.
3. Dont Kiss
This means any sort of kiss, even on the cheek. Its important to be extra careful around babies, children, pregnant women or people with lowered immunity. Most people get HSV-1 as a child through an affectionate kiss from an infected adult.
4. Avoid Oral Sex
Abstain from engaging in oral sex when you have symptoms of a cold sore, as you can pass on the HSV-1 virus, giving your partner an infection in their genital area.
5. Dont Share Personal Items
This covers food, eating utensils, straws, cups, glasses, lipsticks, lip balm, cold sore cream and anything else that has come into contact with your saliva or cold sore.
6. Change Your Toothbrush
The virus can lurk in the bristles of your toothbrush so treat yourself to a new one after the blister has formed and again after the attack has cleared up.
7. Avoid Your Triggers
You May Like: Where Can You Go To Get Tested For Herpes
How Is It Diagnosed
Diagnosis usually involves observation of your oral condition or laboratory tests. Your doctor may look around the mouth or inside to look for typical signs. If he or she is not satisfied, you may be asked to get to the lab for tests which may include viral culture, DNA test or Tzanck test.
Patients who suspect have the cold sore on their lips should see a doctor.
How To Use Lemon Balm On A Cold Sore
Apply topical lemon balm cream directly to a cold sore to reduce irritation and improve its appearance. Or, soak 2 to 4 teaspoons of a crushed lemon balm leaf in a cup of boiling water. Allow the lemon balm water to cool. Using a cotton swab, apply a small amount directly to lesions several times a day.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Genital Herpes Naturally
How To Use Prescription Antivirals For Cold Sores
Prescription antivirals are most effective when taken within 24 to 48 hours of an outbreak. If you have frequent cold sores, ask your doctor about a daily antiviral. This helps reduce the frequency and severity of future outbreaks. Youll likely take an antiviral by mouth twice a day for 7 to 10 days
Who Is At Greatest Risk For Developing Cold Sores
Anyone who is exposed to the herpes simplex virus is at risk for developing cold sores. But many people have the virus and may never develop cold sores.
People who have weakened immune systems are at an increased risk for having more severe and longer-lasting outbreaks of cold sores.
One form of HSV infection, called primary herpes stomatitis, is seen most often in children 1 to 3 years old. It can cause a high fever and blisters throughout the mouth, which can interfere with the ability to eat. It can be serious in childrenthey can get quite sick from this illness, although they usually recover without any long-term problems.
Recommended Reading: How Do They Test For Herpes 2
What Is Episodic Treatment
While suppressive treatment focuses on lowering the frequency of outbreaks, an episodic herpes regimen aims to reduce the symptoms and duration of a recurrent outbreak.
With episodic treatment, an individual takes antiviral medication at the onset of an outbreak, ideally at the first indications of prodrome. Prodrome refers to the tingling, itching, or burning sensation which occurs right before any lesions appear. Once the lesions appear, the episodic treatment becomes less effective. The antiviral medication is continued for a few days to shorten or even prevent a full-blown outbreak.
Dosage and length of the antiviral medication varies, with anywhere from one to five pills daily for three to five days.
Is It Possible To Examine The Herpes Infection At Home
You can buy home examination kits to examine the presence HSV virus. This test can detect the production of antibodies in your body. If you observe antibodies, then it means that the immune system is working hard to fight against any virus. But you need to visit a doctor for additional follow-up and tests. You need to confirm whether you are suffering from an infection or not. You can buy home kits from a local pharmacy.
Recommended Reading: Does Herpes Itch And Burn
What Is Being Tested
Herpes is a common viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus . The virus exists as two main types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV testing identifies the presence of the virus in a sample from a blister, sore or fluid to diagnose an active herpes infection or testing detects antibodies in the blood to determine previous exposure to herpes.
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are contagious and periodically cause small fever blisters that break to form open lesions.
However, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can affect either the oral or genital areas.
The herpes simplex virus can be passed from person-to-person through skin contact while the sores are open and healing and sometimes when there are no visible sores. HSV-2 is the type most often spread during sex, but HSV-1 may also infect the genital area during oral sex.
Most people who have HSV-2 are unaware they are infected because signs and symptoms may be mild and go unnoticed.
Once you are infected and the initial infection resolves, the virus remains in your body in a latent form for the rest of your life. During periods of stress or illness, the virus may reactivate and you may have periodic outbreaks. People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or those who have had an organ transplant, may have more frequent and serious outbreaks of HSV.
Herpes may be tested a few different ways:
Commontriggers For A Herpes Outbreak
There are afew common triggers of a Herpes Simplex Virus outbreak that people shouldavoid. Some of these include:
Stress: Stress is one of themost common triggers of a Herpes Simplex Virus outbreak. When someone isstressed, it can cause this virus to return.
WeakenedImmune State: Theimmune virus is responsible for fighting off invaders. These invaders includebacteria and viruses. Sometimes, these invaders can actually weaken the immunesystem by reducing the white blood cell count. This can cause the virus toreactivate.
HormoneDisruptions: Hormonalchanges also have the potential to cause a Herpes Simplex Virus outbreak.These hormonal changes can vary from person to person, just as the triggers themselves.
Also Check: How To Reduce Herpes Swelling
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Herpes Genital
What Causes Cold Sores
Cold sores are sometimes called oral herpes because they are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 . This virus is very common and highly contagious. It spreads through saliva or close contact often through kissing or by sharing utensils, straws, towels or lip balm with someone who has a cold sore.
You may not know if you have been infected with HSV-1 because symptoms of exposure to HSV-1 are generally mild. Children sometimes develop a fever and small blisters inside and around their mouths when they are first exposed to HSV-1.
Treatment For Genital Herpes
There is no medication to cure your body of the herpes virus. Treatment is aimed at easing symptoms, reducing the frequency of recurrences and reducing transmission.
Symptoms can be improved by:
- ice packs to the affected area
- pain-relieving medication such as paracetamol
- antiviral medication such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. These can reduce the severity of an episode if taken early enough . Topical antivirals usually used for cold sores on the lips or face are not suitable for use on the genitals.
You May Like: How To Get Genital Herpes To Heal Faster
Outbreaks For Asymptomatic Hsv
The majority of herpes infections, of both HSV-1 and HSV-2, are asymptomatic. This means that you can be infected with the herpes virus and have viral DNA in your body without any visible symptoms.
People with asymptomatic herpes can still spread the virus to others while not having any cold sores or genital herpes lesions.
Sometimes, people with asymptomatic herpes might experience an initial outbreak of cold sores or genital herpes, only to have the virus disappear after the first outbreak. In this case, herpes is still present in the body, but simply remains inactive and doesnt produce further outbreaks.
It can be difficult to know whether or not you have asymptomatic HSV-1 or HSV-2, or simply have infrequent herpes outbreaks. However, if youre confident you have herpes but havent had an outbreak for several years, its likely that you have an asymptomatic infection.
Even if youre asymptomatic, its still important to take precautions against spreading herpes to other people. Herpes remains in the body even if you dont have any symptoms, and there is a risk that you could spread the virus through kissing, oral sex or other sexual activity.
If you have asymptomatic herpes, the best approach is to speak to your doctor about treatment options and the use of suppressive therapy to reduce your risk of infecting others.