How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.
If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.
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Treatment If The Blisters Come Back
Go to a GP or sexual health clinic if you have been diagnosed with genital herpes and need treatment for an outbreak.
Antiviral medicine may help shorten an outbreak by 1 or 2 days if you start taking it as soon as symptoms appear.
But outbreaks usually settle by themselves, so you may not need treatment.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes.
Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.
Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months.
If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.
Herpes Outbreaks: How Long Do They Last And How To Treat Them
Herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Many people have herpes and show no symptoms, which makes the disease very transmittable.
For many men and women, herpes outbreaks can be daunting, embarrassing, and even frustrating. These outbreaks lead to painful sores, embarrassing conversations, and trial and error treatment options.
To best understand how to manage herpes outbreaks, first, you need to be familiar with the STD itself.
What is Herpes?
Herpes is a viral infection that usually causes small, painful blisters on or around the genital or rectal areas. These sores or blisters are commonly referred to as herpes lesions. Herpes lesions can also appear on the mouth or face.
Herpes simplex virus is the most common form of the disease and is transmitted through direct contact with an infected area or through the sharing of contaminated personal items, such as razors, towels, and clothing.
What are the Symptoms of Herpes?
Not everyone with herpes has symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they usually appear within 2 to 12 days after exposure to the virus. Some people with herpes never have any symptoms.
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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.
How Do I Choose The Best Over
Herpes is a medical condition caused by a virus and can lead to the development of painful blisters. Some forms of herpes may be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner. An over-the-counter treatment is any type of medical treatment that does not require a prescription by a doctor. Over-the-counter herpes treatment options may include medications, lifestyle modifications, or herbal treatments. There is no actual cure for herpes, so any over-the-counter herpes treatment methods are aimed at reducing symptoms of the disease.
Over-the-counter herpes treatment options may include the use of pain relievers or topical preparations. Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help to ease the pain and discomfort when an outbreak occurs. Topical preparations such as creams, ointments, or gels may be useful in treating painful outbreaks as well. It is important to note that many of these products have not been FDA approved and may not be safe for all patients. It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of such treatment options with a doctor.
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Medical Conditions That Can Be Treated By Over The Counter Medications
Some diseases and annoying symptoms are easy to manage at home without necessarily seeking the help of a doctor. You, however, need to know which medical conditions are manageable using over-the-counter drugs and what treatments are effective. With such knowledge, you can prevent common problems at home.
Note that, for your safety, you need to understand the art of using medicine at home. In some instances, drugs can cause allergic reactions, have side effects or interact with your food. Further, it is advisable that you also know which drugs have been approved by relevant agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration for use over the counter and for which diseases or conditions.
This post explores the most common medical conditions you can treat at home using over-the-counter medications. Read on to learn, so you do not spend money seeking the help of a doctor when you can use over-the-counter medications.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
If you haven’t been diagnosed with genital herpes, call your doctor if you have:
- Painful blisters or sores in the genital or pelvic area.
- Burning or pain while urinating, or you can’t urinate.
- Reason to think you’ve been exposed to genital herpes.
If you have been diagnosed with genital herpes, call your doctor if you are having frequent outbreaks or if you can’t pass urine or are constipated.
If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, or if you think you have genital herpes, tell your doctor.
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What Helps Herpes Sores Heal Faster
Keeping the sores clean, cool, and dry is beneficial to the healing process. Bandaging, heating, or picking at sores will irritate them and can extend their duration. The most effective method for shortening herpes outbreaks is a prescription antiviral medication like valacyclovir, famciclovir, or acyclovir.
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Is Herpes Meningitis Contagious
Herpes meningitis by itself is not contagious, but the viruses that cause it are.
The viruses that cause herpes meningitis are transmitted through close contact with another person or their bodily fluids, such as saliva, urine, blood, genital fluids, or breast milk.
For example, a person who is infected with a virus that causes herpes meningitis can transfer it to another person by:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Sharing personal products, like a razor or toothbrush
- Contact with contaminated surfaces
Keep in mind that just because youve contracted one of the common herpes viruses doesnt automatically mean you will develop herpes meningitis as a complication. Older research found that 36% of women and 13% of men with HSV-2 reported developing herpes meningitis.
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Foods To Avoid During Herpes
Here are some foods that you might not eat if you have herpes:
Arginine and Acidity
Arginine is an amino acid that is plentiful in specific foods and can increase the potential that you will experience a herpes blister, either genital or oral. L-lysine is another amino acid that has anti-viral properties and can help reduce the effect of arginine and your potential for an outbreak. However, lysine has acidic properties, and when taken with acid-rich foods like dairy products or sweets, it can lead to hyperacidity in the body. This imbalance can also trigger an outbreak.
Foods that are sweet or have sugar are high in the amino acid arginine. This includes chocolate and raisins. Other foods that are high in sugar include soft drinks and foods made with high fructose corn syrup, such as popsicles, fruit juices, some breakfast cereals, candy bars, cough syrups, drink mixes, ketchup and jams and jellies. Each of these products contains sugars and syrups that will increase your risk of developing new herpes lesions.
Nuts are high in arginine and low in lysine, increasing your potential for an outbreak so avoid peanuts and peanut butter because of the high amount of arginine in the products. Other nuts are also high in arginine, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, pecans and walnuts.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Genital Herpes Outbreaks
Vitamins to Prevent Genital Herpes Outbreaks
What Is Zovirax Topical
Zovirax Topical is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat skin symptoms caused by the herpes virus.
Zovirax Topical cream is used to treat cold sores on the lips and face.
Zovirax Topical ointment is used to treat genital herpes lesions.
There is no cure for herpes and acyclovir will not prevent you from developing symptoms in the future.
Zovirax Topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I lookout for signs of complications?
Treatment Genital Herpes Over The Counter
Treatment of genital herpes over the counter is available in the form of over-the-counter medications, supplements, topical remedies, and at-home DIY measures. While these methods are generally not as effective as prescription medications, they can often be more comfortable and less expensive than traditional methods. Some of the most common over-the-counter drugs for genital herpes treatment are the following. Read on to learn about each one and which is right for you.
Antiviral medications can be used as needed. In most cases, you can take an antiviral drug for genital herpes over the counter at the onset of an outbreak. You can also take one of these drugs during the prodrome, the period before an outbreak. Antiviral drugs are an excellent choice for treating outbreaks of genital herpes. If you notice an outbreak early enough, these medications can shorten the duration of the outbreak by two to four days. Antiviral medications can also help prevent or treat complications.
The best genital herpes over-the-counter treatments are topical treatments containing antiviral drugs. Topical applications can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with genital herpes. In addition to topical treatments, you can also seek medical advice. Doctors prescribe oral antivirals as well as topical creams and gels for herpes. They also advise patients to seek medical advice to determine if they should take oral or topical antivirals for genital herpes.
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How Much To Take
Your doctor will decide what dose you should take, how often you should take it and what strength Valtrex tablets you should use. The dosage may vary depending on your medical history.
Acute treatment of genital herpes:If you have had a herpes infection before, you should start to take Valtrex tablets as early as possible if you think you are about to have another recurrence . Dosing should ideally start just before, or straight after the first signs of HSV infection appear.
If you have been prescribed Valtrex 500 mg tablets for the treatment of HSV infection, the usual dose to take is one tablet with water twice daily.
Suppressive treatment of genital herpes:If you have been prescribed Valtrex 500 mg tablets to prevent the herpes infection appearing again, the usual dose to take is 500 mg once daily. Your doctor may recommend that you take this as a divided dose .
If you previously have had more than 10 recurrences in one year, your doctor may recommend that you take 1000 mg of Valtrex once daily to prevent recurrences.
If you think you have been advised to take a different dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
What If I Forget A Dose Of Aciclovir
If you forget a dose of aciclovir, take it as soon as you remember, unless itâs nearly time for your next dose. In this case, just skip the missed dose and continue with your next one as normal.
Never have 2 doses at the same time. Never have an extra dose to make up for a forgotten one.
If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.
You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicines.
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When Is Treatment Necessary
Herpes can cause blisters to form on or around the mouth or genitals. These blisters then break, forming open, painful sores that may take at least 1 week to heal.
The symptoms may clear up on their own, and they may reappear later, in what some people call outbreaks or flare ups.
Once the virus enters the body, it never completely goes away. Some triggers that can cause herpes symptoms to reappear include:
- friction in the genital area
- a weakened immune system
Doctors may prescribe one of the following antiviral medications to help manage herpes symptoms. A person can also take some steps at home to ease the symptoms, and we describe these later in the article.
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
Facts And Statistics About Herpes
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two-thirds of the global population under 50 years old are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 .
- Estimates for HSV-1 prevalence in the U.S. among people aged 049 years are 178 million women and 142 million men .
- In total, about 75 percent or more of the American adult population has the HSV-1 virus that usually causes oral herpes , and about 20 percent to 30 percent have HSV-2 that usually causes genital herpes.
- Men and women are affected by HSV-1 about equally. Roughly 6 million women in the U.S. become infected with HSV-1 each year, along with 5 million men.
- Slightly more women than men are affected by genital herpes, whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2. Middle-aged women are most likely to acquire genital herpes.
- Transmission of HSV most often occurs without symptoms, so its estimated that 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont know it. Many dont have any symptoms at all after the initial infection, and only about 15 percent ever receive a HSV-2 infection diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- Most primary oral/facial HSV infections are caused by HSV-1 however, facial infection by HSV-2 is increasingly becoming common.
- Less children are becoming infected with HSV-1 than in the past in high-income countries, mostly due to better hygiene and living conditions.
- After someone comes into contact with an active herpes outbreak on another person, the incubation period takes about one week.
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What Are The Treatments For Genital Herpes
If you have been diagnosed with Genital Herpes, the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service could supply the treatment you need following a simple online consultation with our UK registered GP.
Aciclovir can be provided to treat an outbreak of herpes to shorten the duration and severity. The normal treatment provided is aciclovir 200mg tablets, take one tablet five times a day for five days. In addition a local anaesthetic ointment, lidocaine 5% ointment, can be prescribed to ease the pain and irritation of an outbreak. Lidocaine will not shorten the outbreak or affect its severity.
Aciclovir can also be provided on a longer term basis to suppress herpes outbreaks. The normal treatment provided is aciclovir 400mg tablets, take one tablet twice a day for three months.
To have a convenient and confidential genital herpes consultation with our UK registered GP that could lead to prescription treatments, please click the Start questionnaire button below
How To Prevent The Spread Of Herpes
Although herpes is a lifelong virus that cant be cured, it goes through periods of dormancy between outbreaks. This means that while the virus is still present, its not actively replicating.
During this time, you may not experience any signs or symptoms of having the disease even if youve had a previous outbreak before.
However, you can still spread the herpes virus to your sexual partners at any time, even if no sores are present. In addition, although rare, its possible to spread oral herpes to the genital region and vice versa.
For this reason, its extremely important to be mindful of the following preventive measures:
- Tell your partners that you have genital or oral herpes. This allows them to make informed decisions about their own sexual health, and its the responsible thing to do.
- If youre experiencing the signs and symptoms of an upcoming outbreak, avoid all sexual contact. Youre most likely to spread the virus to others during an outbreak.
- Its possible to spread the herpes virus even without an outbreak. If youre worried about spreading the disease to a partner, research shows that antivirals are effective at reducing this possibility.
Having oral or genital herpes doesnt mean that you can no longer have sex. However, its your responsibility to prevent the spread of herpes to your sexual partner.
If you have herpes, you can still take care of your sexual health through open communication and safer sex.
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