Supplements And Vitamins For Herpes Outbreaks
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Herpes, whether oral or genital, can be an annoying, frustrating virus. Whether you get frequent outbreaks or have asymptomatic herpes but worry about transmitting the virus to others, herpes can cause a variety of difficult physical and psychological symptoms. These days, the most common drugs used to treat herpes are oral antiviral medications, such as valacyclovir. Weve covered these medications beforein general, they should be your first line of treatment in the event of a herpes outbreak. However, are there alternatives? Weve all heard the stories about people using supplements and vitamins for herpes outbreaks, but is any of it true?
In this guide, well look at some of the most widely used vitamins and supplements marketed as herpes treatments. Well look at the scientific data behind each supplement and the benefits of each product to help you make informed, effective buying decisions.
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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 Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Most people who have genital herpes have no symptoms, or have very mild symptoms. You may not notice mild symptoms or you may mistake them for another skin condition, such as a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people who have herpes do not know it.
Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. These symptoms are sometimes called having an outbreak. The first time someone has an outbreak they may also have flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches, or swollen glands.
People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they are infected with HSV-2. Repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although the infection stays in the body for the rest of your life, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.
You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD. STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.
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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.
How Does Genital Herpes Affect Pregnant Women
While genital herpes rarely causes serious health problems in healthy men and women, HSV-2 can be dangerous for pregnant women and the neonate, particularly during the last trimester of pregnancy. The virus may cause premature labor and babies can contract the virus in the womb or when passing through the birth canal.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
At-home treatments for herpes are used to relieve pain. They do nothing to alter the course of the infection but can make you more comfortable as the herpes sores begin to heal.
There are several things you can do if have an outbreak of oral or genital herpes:
- Use a cold compress. Place a cloth-covered ice pack on the sores for 15 minutes several times daily to reduce pain. Keep the ice pack moving to prevent frostbite.
- Do not touch or scratch. Avoid touching and rubbing the sores. Doing so can spread the infection to other areas of the skin.
- Keep the sores clean. Herpes sores can become infected with bacteria if touched with soiled hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the bathroom or before applying medications.
- Reduce stress. Stress can increase your sensitivity to pain during a herpes outbreak. You can reduce stress by performing gentle exercises or practicing mind-body therapies like meditation, yoga, and guided imagery.
To reduce the risk of spreading herpes, avoid kissing and sharing objects that come into contact with saliva, like drinking straws and eating utensils.
It’s important to note that oral herpes can be spread to the genitals, and that genital herpes can be spread to the mouth. To reduce the risk of infection, use condoms and dental dams during oral sex. Better yet, avoid sex altogether if you are having an active 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.
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How Is Herpes Simplex Treated
Although there is no cure for herpes, treatments can relieve the symptoms. Medication can decrease the pain related to an outbreak and can shorten healing time. They can also decrease the total number of outbreaks. Drugs including Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex are among the drugs used to treat the symptoms of herpes. Warm baths may relieve the pain associated with genital sores.
How To Get Rid Of Herpes On Lips With Home Remedies
Herpes on lips, also known as herpes labialis or cold sores, is a type of herpes simplex infection occurring on the lips. The causative agent of this infection is herpes simplex virus type 1 . Herpes on lips results from oral herpes. An outbreak causes tiny, red blisters on or around the mouth. The infection spreads through direct contact with the lesions of infected person. After healing primary infection, the virus remains in dormant form and causes recurrent infection.
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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.
Let Go Of The Emotional Baggage
This is one of the most important and overlooked areas of treating herpes.
Part of the recovery means letting go of any negativity that feeds this condition, loving yourself truly and whole heartedly and moving positively towards the future. For practical advice on how you can do this please read through the Positive Thinking section.
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Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Genital Herpes
There is no cure for genital herpes. However, daily use of antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks. Antiviral medicines also can reduce the chance of spreading it to others.
Though several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes, there is no vaccine currently available to prevent infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners had HSV-2, but only among women not infected with HSV-1. Efficacy was not observed among men whose partners had HSV-2. Another trial testing the same vaccine showed some protection from genital HSV-1 infection, but none from HSV-2.
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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Over The Counter Medications For Cold Sores And Fever Blisters
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
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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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Patients With Renal Impairment
Dosage recommendations for adult patients with reduced renal function are provided in Table 1. Data are not available for the use of VALTREX in pediatric patients with a creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min/1.73 m2.
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How To Get Rid Of Herpes The Conventional Way
For most people with herpes, the virus typically represents nothing more than an inconvenience however, the real risk is for immuno-compromised patients who cant easily manage infections. In these patients, such as those with HIV/AIDS, herpes simplex infection is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
As of 2017, there is not currently a herpes vaccine available to prevent HSV-1 or HSV-2.
Doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help keep the herpes virus suppressed or to speed up healing of cold sores by reducing bacteria that can cause infections. Some medications that are now used to control herpes include:
- Nucleoside analogues and antiviral medications
- Creams/ointment to help lower pain and inflammation near the site of sores
- Over-the-counter painkillers to reduce aches, tenderness or fever
However, its important to understand that even with early detection and prescription medications, either form of the herpes virus cannot be totally cured so transmission is always still possible. Medications for viruses dont always work long term and are not a cure-all.
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How To Prevent Herpes
This article was medically reviewed by Lacy Windham, MD. Dr. Windham is a board certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Tennessee. She attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and completed her residency at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2010, where she was awarded the Most Outstanding Resident in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Most Outstanding Resident in Oncology, and Most Outstanding Resident Overall. This article has been viewed 259,261 times.
Herpes is an infection caused by two virus types, and it appears in two forms, as either oral or genital herpes. Many prevention tips are valuable for both oral and genital herpes, but the latter will be the primary focus of this article. By recognizing and treating symptoms, protecting yourself properly during sexual activity, and being honest and open with your partner, you can do a great deal towards preventing the spread of herpes either to or from yourself.
We Wanted To Do This 5 Even 10 Years Ago
Before the Luminance RED Lip Sore Treatment Device was released in 2018, the only options were creams, ointments, prescriptions, and laser treatments at the dentist. None of these options were preventive, 100% private, or cheap in the long run.
We were aware of this more than five years ago, and we had an idea: what if we could scale down the laser treatment devices that dentist offices had and allow people to use them within the comfort of their own homes?
As we explored this concept, we realized our idea was ahead of where technology was at the time. LED output wasnt strong enough and the cost to manufacture them was astronomically high. This is why those devices in the dentist offices were $10,000$25,000.
We had to put our idea on pause and hope technology would catch up.
Fortunately, something remarkable happened by 2018. LED output had increased exponentially while the cost to manufacture LEDs decreased at almost the same rate. This meant we could bring our idea to life and, instead of $10,000$25,000, take it to the market for $349. Plus, since the Luminance RED Lip Sore Treatment Device is a lifetime solution, its significantly cheaper than creams, ointments, and medications in the long run.
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What Can I Do If I Have Herpes
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they will always have the virus and can give it to others. But you are not alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the US and worldwide. Exact numbers of people affected are not known. This is because many people dont realize they have it, especially if symptoms are minor and are not bothersome. 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 , 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 talk to your doctor if this is a right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. Women with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your health care provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
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Can Cold Sores Be Prevented
There are steps you can take to prevent spreading cold sores to others if you have them:
- Avoid any direct physical contact with other people, particularly kissing or intimate sexual activities such as oral sex.
- Always wash your hands if you touch the affected area.
- Try not to share things like cups, cutlery, towels, toothbrushes, razors, flannels and cold sore creams with anyone else.
- Try not to pick at a cold sore as this can lead to further infection and/or scarring.
There are also ways to prevent spreading cold sores from erupting again:
- Try to avoid your triggers. Triggers are different for different people but can include things like a cold , sunlight, very windy conditions, emotional or physical stress and hormonal changes.
- Take care of your general health avoid getting run down and overly stressed.
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Treatment For Cold Sores
You can treat cold sores on lips at home or get medicines over the counter or prescription medicines from a qualified physician. Keep in mind that most treatments help relieve symptoms.
Non-prescription treatments include Anbesol and Zilactin ointments. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen may be prescribed in case you experience fever.
Vaccines are given important so as to prevent or reduce future recurrence.
IMPORTANT: For underage children always consult your healthcare provider before using any medicines or products.
Read on for remedies for cold cores.
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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.
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