How To Get Rid Of Genital Herpes Fast At Home
If you write in any internet search engine the phrase how to get rid of genital herpes, it is most likely that thousands of results will appear that talk about the subject.
One of the reasons for this diversity is the existence of three types of treatments and a variety of procedures in each of these types.
Genital herpes treatments can be divided into three types, depending on the approach to health care that supports them. The first encompasses treatments based on conventional medicine, all based on the use of antiviral agents the second uses alternative medicine procedures and the third combines both approaches.
Below I will discuss several treatments as they relate to the answer to how to get rid of genital herpes. In the analysis of each I will consider the type to which it belongs according to the approach to health care, the remedies it uses, whether its application eliminates the virus, the harmful side effects to health and the magnitude of its cost.
What Are Cold Sores
Cold sores , sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. Often the first sign of a cold sore is a spot that tingles, burns, itches, or causes discomfort. A blister usually forms within 6 to 48 hours. The skin around the blisters is often red, swollen, and sore. The blisters may break open, leak a clear fluid, and then scab over after a few days. They usually heal in several days to 2 weeks.
What You Need To Know
- Fifty percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes.
- Oral herpes can be spread through intimate contact with someone who is infected.
- Oral herpes can be difficult to diagnose. Often confused with many other infections, it can only be confirmed with a virus culture called PCR, blood test or biopsy. PCR is the preferred test for diagnosing herpes infections.
- The best treatment for oral herpes is antiviral oral medication. Symptomatic treatment may include antiviral ointment, over-the-counter topical anesthetics or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents.
Whether you call it a cold sore or a fever blister, oral herpes is a common infection of the mouth area that is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 . Fifty percent to 80 percent of U.S. adults have oral herpes. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 90 percent of adults have been exposed to the virus by age 50.
Once infected, a person will have herpes simplex virus for the rest of his or her life. When inactive, the virus lies dormant in a group of nerve cells. While some people never develop any symptoms from the virus, others will have periodic outbreaks of infections.
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Herpes Outbreak Frequency: What You Can Expect
Medically reviewed by Michele Emery, DNP
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you or someone you care about may have herpes. Well, first, we want to remind you that HSV-1 and HSV-2 are exceptionally manageable viruses, and that the anxiety and fear you’re experiencing right now, while normal, may be unwarranted. Depending on the type of herpes virus youre infected with and your symptomatic status, your herpes outbreak frequency can become a common occurrence or be something youll rarely, if ever, have to deal with.
In this guide, well look at the statistics for herpes outbreaks. Well also look at how outbreaks can differ between HSV-1 and HSV-2, as well as whether or not people with an asymptomatic herpes infection need to worry about outbreaks at all.
Finally, well cover some of the treatments you can use to make treating and managing herpes outbreaks an easier process.
Upgrade Your Eating Habits
Are you eating a standard American diet, or SAD? That means eating lots of meat, fast foods, and processed foods and few fresh fruits and vegetables. Such habits not only work against living comfortably with herpes, they also raise your risk for many diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Consider upgrading your eating habits through a few, not-so-hard-to-make changes.
Eat more veggies. Try to prepare home-cooked food more often. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed, says LeeAnn Weintraub, RD, MPH, a registered dietitian based in Los Angeles. She considers these three tips to be the first steps anyone who wants to eat more healthfully should follow.
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How Can I Stop Cold Sores From Forming
So you nipped your last cold sore flare-up in the bud , and it lasted less than a week but here you are, just a few months later, and the cold sores are back. There’s good news, and then there’s bad news. Let’s start with the bad news.
“Once a person is infected with herpes simplex virus, he or she is infected for life,” says Dr. Brown. “After a cold sore heals, the virus isn’t actually cleared from your body. Instead, the virus travels back into your nerves, where it can lie dormant for long periods of time. When the virus reemerges, it typically does so in the same spot as before.”
So what triggers the virus to reactivate and cause a flare-up?
Dr. Brown says that a cold sore outbreak can be triggered by:
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.
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Symptoms Of A Primary Hsv Infection
For some people infected with HSV, the first infection can cause symptoms. These can include:
- pain inside the mouth and on the gums
- swollen neck glands.
The symptoms can last up to 14 days and may cause dehydration, especially in young children, because it is painful to swallow. Primary infections are more likely to be severe in newborn babies, people with atopic dermatitis and in people whose immune system is suppressed.
How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnancy
Genital herpes doesnt affect fertility or your ability to conceive. Pregnant women diagnosed with herpes genitalis should start a daily antiviral at 36 weeks of pregnancy to prevent outbreaks during delivery. If you have an active infection at the time of childbirth, you can pass the herpes virus to your baby. Neonatal herpes puts a baby at risk for blindness, brain damage, skin infections and death. Your healthcare provider will perform a cesarean section to lower this risk.
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Can I Be Treated To Prevent Genital Herpes Transmission To My Partner
Yes. A large study showed that if one partner has herpes and the other partner is uninfected, treating the infected partner with suppressive therapy can prevent transmission of symptomatic herpes in over 90% of cases. This is an option for couples who are interested in having unprotected sex or who are planning to become pregnant.
If you are entering into a new relationship and are aware that you have herpes simplex infection, you owe it to your partner to notify them before having sex.
Genital Sore Treatment Device
The Luminance RED Genital Treatment Device is a breakthrough, over-the-counter class II medical device meant to help manage sores on the genitals and groin areas. Shine concentrated wavelengths of pain-free, medically-optimized light directly onto sores or on the area where sores often develop.The Luminance RED delivers similar light wavelengths that have been shown in scientific research to reduce pain and help manage outbreaks. Learn more here.
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So What Causes These Reactivations
Its common knowledge that herpes and cold sores are passed on through direct contact with an open sore, and that these blisters may remain infectious for a few days afterwards. Upon contracting herpes, its likely that a person will go on to develop symptoms quite soon afterwards. But once someone has the condition, what factors can trigger a reactivation?Perhaps the most common offender is a weakened immune system. With the virus essentially lying in wait, it stands to reason that the less able your body is to keep the infection in check, the more likely the virus is to develop and cause a manifestation of blisters and sores. As a result, Sue explains, a reactivation will often be accompanied by tingling and flu-like symptoms.But, in addition to a compromised immune defence, there are several other triggers, and these arent always the same for everyone. Natika illustrates that different people may find different triggers bring on an outbreak, and cites the following as potential triggers:
- being ill, run down, tired or stressed
- friction from sex or masturbation
- ultraviolet light on the affected skin area
- tight clothing such as spandex and nylon or lycra underwear
- drinking alcohol
Natika adds that women may be more susceptible to a reactivation at certain points throughout their menstrual cycle.
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Genital Herpes Hiv And Sexual Health
Genital herpes is one of the most common co-infections for people living with HIV and can be a more serious condition if youre HIV positive meaning that outbreaks may last longer and blisters can be more severe. If youre having recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, you should have an HIV test, as this may be a sign of a weakened immune system caused by HIV.
Having an STI such as genital herpes can increase your risk of getting and passing on HIV, as the blisters and sores provide an easy way for HIV to get into your body and cause an infection. People living with HIV who arent on treatment or who have a lower CD4 count are especially vulnerable to other infections, like herpes.
If youre taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV, its important to discuss with your doctor how treatment for herpes may interact with your HIV drugs.
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Complications Of Cold Sores
For most people, cold sores get better in time with over-the-counter treatments and self-care. However, for people with weakened immune systems, cold sores can be more severe and spread more widely.
Uncommon complications of cold sores include:
- bacterial infections where the cold sore is crusty and has pus
- cold sores that spread to the eyes see your doctor immediately since this can lead to eye damage
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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Topical Treatments For Early Cold Sores
There are several ways to treat cold sores while theyre still in the itching/tingling stage. If you rarely get cold sores, over-the-counter topical treatments like docosanol can provide a modest amount of relief and potentially shorten the amount of time needed for the cold sore to heal.
Topical medications are only effective on the area to which theyre applied, meaning youll need to use the medication over the area surrounding the cold sore as it begins to form.
Most topical medications will speed up the healing process, but theyre rarely the best option for preventing cold sores. If you get frequent outbreaks, the best option is usually to treat your cold sores using oral antiviral medication
What Can I Do To Prevent Genital Herpes Infection
To try to reduce the chance of getting genital herpes, its important that you use condoms for any sexual contact including oral sex. You should also avoid any contact with infected blisters or ulcers that contain the virus. This should include not touching infected genitals with your hand.
You should avoid sharing sex-toys too, and wash your hands thoroughly if youve touched any blisters. The virus is most contagious when an outbreak is visible.
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How Much Valacyclovir Should You Take For A Recurrent Genital Herpes Outbreak
After the primary outbreak, genital herpes enters a latent stage. During this period, the virus lays dormant in the body , with no clear symptoms or signs of an infection.
Over time, many people with genital herpes will experience recurrent outbreaks of the virus that cause herpes sores to develop. Outbreaks affect people with HSV-1 and HSV-2, although they tend to be more common in people with the HSV-2 type of the herpes virus.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually less intense than the initial outbreak. Most people only notice the development of herpes sores on the genitals, with few or none of the flu-like symptoms that can make a primary outbreak so unpleasant.
During a recurring outbreak, you normally wont need to take as much as you did for the primary outbreak. A standard valacyclovir dosage for recurrent genital herpes outbreaks is 500 mg twice per day for three days.
If you have particularly severe genital herpes outbreaks or the herpes sores you develop during an outbreak take longer than normal to recover, your doctor may adjust your dosage to provide extra relief from symptoms and faster healing. In any case, follow your doctors instructions.
What Is The Usual Treatment For Genital Herpes
The doctor may prescribe antiviral tablets to speed up healing and reduce the severity of a first episode. Aciclovir is the most commonly used antiviral drug for treating genital herpes. You dont need the tablets if the first episode is mild, or if you have almost recovered before you see the doctor.If you get more episodes later on, you will be less likely to be offered with antiviral tablets as outbreaks clear up without treatment.To prevent a recurrent outbreak with antiviral tablets, you need to start taking them within 24 hours of noticing the beginning of the outbreak. When you start after 24 hours, it is unlikely that the tablets will have much effect. This is why you should have a prescription or tablets ready, so that you can start to take them as soon as possible see dosing information below. Members can ask for our antiviral drug fact sheet see subscription form. And we offer self-help suggestions too.
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Check If It’s A Cold Sore
A cold sore usually starts with a tingling, itching or burning feeling.
Over the next 48 hours:
Cold sores should start to heal within 10 days, but are contagious and may be irritating or painful while they heal.
Some people find that certain things trigger a cold sore, such as another illness, sunshine or menstrual periods.
Prevention And/or Blocking Of Cold Sores
Increases in the proportion of subjects in whom cold sore lesion development was prevented and/or blocked were observed with both treatment regimens when compared to placebo .4). In study 1, a greater proportion of subjects experienced prevention and/or blockage of cold sore lesions than those in the placebo group, but the treatment differences were not statistically significant at the two-sided 5% level. In study 2, a greater proportion of subjects in both treatment groups experienced prevention and/or blockage of cold sore lesions than those in the placebo group . However, after adjustment for multiple comparisons, neither treatment difference was statistically significant at the 5% level. Figure Figure22 shows the difference in proportion of subjects in whom cold sore lesion development was prevented and/or blocked for the 1- and 2-day valacyclovir treatment regimens in each study.
Plot of the difference in proportion of subjects in whom cold sore lesion development was prevented and/or blocked with 1-day treatment and 2-day treatment from placebo within each study. 95% CI, 95% confidence interval.
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Tips To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore Faster*
Patience may be a virtue but thats little comfort when you want to get rid of a cold sore overnight. Unfortunately, you cant get rid of a cold sore in 24 hours, but you can shorten cold sore healing time and cut down the duration of painful cold sore symptoms.
Just because there isnt a cure for cold sores, doesnt mean you have to suffer patiently until it clears up on its own. Here are 5 tips to get rid of a cold sore faster*.