Can You Get Herpes On Your Tongue
While you may associate herpes type 1 with cold sores on your lips, it is possible to suffer from the symptoms of herpes on your tongue. This is referred to as oral herpes and usually affects more of your mouth than just your tongue. More than half of all adults in the United States are thought to have oral herpes.
Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home
Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?
- Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
- Applying ice to blisters or sores.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?
- Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
- Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- Topical 1% or 2% lidocaine may be used as a topical analgesic.
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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How Is Herpes Diagnosed
The herpes virus is almost always spread through sexual intercourse, oral sex, or kissing. Although sometimes HSV-1 can spread via shared lip balm, utensils, or other items that come in contact with saliva.
In most cases, healthcare providers can diagnose herpes with a visual examination and by discussing various symptoms. If there’s any doubt, they can take a viral culture to confirm, which involves lab analysis of a swab or scraping.
“If the patient has no history of herpes simplex and is a new patient, I always do a viral culture,” says , MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics. “Also, if I am suspicious of HSV-2 or if it is an immunocompromised patient, I will order a viral culture. I start treatment right away before results come back. These results can take one week and it is best to start treatment early.”
But again, symptoms aren’t always present. Fortunately, it’s also possible to diagnose HSV with a blood test. Your body produces antibodies to combat viruses, and doctors can use a blood sample to detect the specific antibodies that fight the herpes simplex virus.
A primary care physician can perform the examinations and tests necessary for an accurate diagnosis. However, sexual health clinics offer similar, reliable services.
How Do You Treat Herpes
Theres no cure for herpes, but prescription medications can ease symptoms, end outbreaks sooner, and lower the chances of passing the virus to other people.
You can also help ease the pain caused by herpes outbreaks by taking a warm bath, wearing loose clothing and putting an ice pack on the sores.
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Boosting Your Immune System
Another way to potentially speed up healing for herpes outbreaks and reduce the frequency of future outbreaks is to strengthen your bodys natural immunity. When your immune system is strong, it will be more capable of suppressing the virus.
Some of the recommended ways to boost your immunity include:
- Minimize stress.
- Eat a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep every night.
- Drink in moderation and avoid smoking.
Can Herpes Go Away Forever
While the signs and symptoms associated with both types of herpes can come and go, the virus stays in the body and there is no cure.
With that said, the treatments available can help herpes outbreaks become shorter and less frequent. There are also medications available that can lower the risk of spreading the infection to others.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of contracting an STD is with regular screening. This can be done by taking a trip to your doctors office or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds at-home Herpes Test can detect herpes simplex antibodies for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. Online results will be available within 5 days and our dedicated medical team will be there to offer a helping hand should you have any questions.
You should consider taking the test if:
- You become sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
- You are entering into a new sexual relationship
- You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected
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What To Look Out For
Genital herpes outbreaks can differ in severity. While some people encounter multiple painful blisters, some only have one single sore.Dr Zenon Andreou
Genital herpes outbreaks can differ in severity. While some people encounter multiple painful blisters, some only have one single sore.
Acyclovir For Recurrent Herpes Outbreaks
There is no cure for herpes and therefore treatment with acyclovir does not mean that you will be protected from future outbreaks.
Recurrence of blisters varies from person to person. Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 usually returns multiple times a year. A study of 457 patients conducted by the University of Washington found that more than 35% of patients had at least 6 outbreaks of genital blisters in a single year whilst 20% had 10+ outbreaks in a year. Men were more prone to recurring outbreaks than women.
Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 has a much lower recurrence rate of around once per year.
Cold sores appear on average once a year, but you could get them more frequently if your immune system is weak.
Acyclovir for recurrent genital herpes usually provides faster relief. But lesions may still take some time to heal completely.
One study found that a higher dose of 800 mg taken orally 3 times per day for 2 days provided quick relief and lower viral shedding for recurrent genital herpes. This may be a more convenient option for patients than taking the standard dose 5 times a day.
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Home Care Measures For Genital Herpes
First, simple self-care may be enough to relieve most discomfort caused by genital herpes. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, can help ease the pain of herpes symptoms. Doctors sometimes recommend soaking the affected area in warm water. But the area should be kept dry most of the time. If toweling off after bathing is uncomfortable, try using a hair dryer. Then put on cotton underwear. Cotton absorbs moisture better than synthetic fabric does.
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 .
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Herbs Vitamins And Other Supplements
It isnt always possible to eat foods containing the high levels of nutrients your body needs to fight genital herpes, but herbs, vitamins, and supplements can help. The following choices are known to boost immune system function and help the body combat herpes outbreaks.
Zinc. Chickpeas, pork, lamb, and wheat germ all contain high levels of zinc. Research shows that zinc ions are active against the herpes simplex virus and may even extend the time between outbreaks.
Lysine. Research is still ongoing, but recent reports suggest that daily lysine supplementation may reduce the recurrences of herpes outbreaks. Though lower doses of lysine show little effect, high doses of up to 3,000 mg a day may be beneficial.
Probiotics. Probiotics are well known for their immune-boosting abilities. Now research also shows that certain probiotic strains can limit herpes infections as well.
Vitamin B Complex. The full range of B vitamins serves many critical roles in your body, including healthy cell growth, metabolism, and energy. You need all of these functions in full force to respond to an active outbreak of herpes.
Aloe vera. Aloe vera isnt just for sunburn! Pure aloe vera offers antimicrobial, antifungal, and wound healing properties that soothe herpes symptoms and encourage rapid healing.
How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last
If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.
If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.
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How Long Do Herpes Outbreaks Last With Medication
Depending on the health of the patient and the type of outbreaks , untreated outbreaks can last from 1 to 6 weeks. While the symptoms will heal by itself, however with the use of antiviral medications, they can significantly decrease the recovery time for a herpes outbreak in addition to decreasing the occurrence of future outbreaks.
With medication, outbreaks typically last less than a week. Daily consumption of antiviral herpes medication as a form of suppressive therapy can also aid to reduce recurring outbreaks by at least 70% to 80% per year.
Management Of Sex Partners
The sex partners of persons who have symptomatic genital herpes can benefit from evaluation and counseling. Symptomatic sex partners should be evaluated and treated in the same manner as patients who have symptomatic genital herpes. Asymptomatic sex partners of patients who have symptomatic genital herpes should be asked about a history of genital symptoms and offered type-specific serologic testing for HSV-2. For partners without genital herpes, no data are available on which to base a recommendation for PEP or PrEP with antiviral medications or that they would prevent acquisition, and this should not be offered to patients as a prevention strategy.
How Long Do Herpes Outbreaks Last
While oral herpes is most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus 1 , genital herpes is more frequently cause by herpes simplex virus 2 .
Much like oral herpes, an initial genital herpes infection can last a lot longer than subsequent outbreaks and may be accompanied by fever and other whole-body symptoms and some symptoms may persist for weeks. Recurrent genital herpes outbreaks cause symptoms like itching, redness, and irritation in the genital area, but like oral herpes, genital herpes can also be asymptomatic. A genital herpes outbreak may begin with pain in the genitals and shooting pains or tingling in your legs, hips, or butt. These symptoms usually occur before you can see any blisters or lesions .
Unlike the first infection, later outbreaks tend to cause less discomfort and heal much faster. Sores from a recurrent genital herpes outbreak can heal in 37 days . The number of outbreaks people experience with symptoms also .
How To Heal Herpes Sores Faster And Live A Normal Life
You can lead a rich, normal life while living with the herpes simplex virus. Whilst it is quite difficult to get rid of sores quickly, the prevalence of medications, treatments and remedies available today, ensure flare-ups and outbreak effects are reduced. Remember to manage stress levels, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise, in order to slow the progression of herpes. You should always inform sexual partners to help avoid complications further into a relationship.
Living with HSV-1 or HSV-2 should have little bearing on your ability to lead a healthy, productive and enriching existence, thanks to the various treatment options on the market today.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
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Antiviral Medicine Can Be Taken Daily
For some people, taking an antiviral medicine every day works best because they have:
A partner who doesnt have the virus
Even if you treat an outbreak, you can have new outbreaks. Some people have several outbreaks a year. If you have six or more outbreaks a year, your dermatologist may recommend taking an antiviral medicine every day.
Taken daily, this medicine can reduce how often you have an outbreak. Studies show its safe to take daily and can reduce outbreaks by 70% to 80%.
A partner who doesnt have the virus
If your partner doesnt have the virus that causes genital herpes, taking an antiviral medicine every day can decrease the risk of passing the virus to your sexual partner.
Even when taking medicine, you can still give your partner the virus. You can reduce this risk by skipping sex when you have sores and wearing a condom when you dont.
If you decide to take medicine daily, youll likely take it every day for at least one year. At the end of one year, your dermatologist should re-evaluate you to see if you still need to take an antiviral every day.
Are There Any Home Remedies For Genital Herpes
Home remedies are often natural and quick ways to deal with ailments. Are there any home remedies for genital herpes, or is medication the only option? Find out here.
Contracting an STI like genital herpes can be embarrassing. You may feel uncomfortable going to your doctor or a sexual health clinic, but also need to know for sure that you have the virus, as well as what to do next. As Herpes is a virus, there is no known cure, but thankfully it can be treated. There are a number of home remedies that can reduce discomfort, but these are no substitute for a course of antiviral medicine that will stop the virus from multiplying. Here we are going to detail both so you can get the best possible treatment
A Little About the Condition
Physical symptoms include blisters and other marks which can appear around your genitals as well as around the mouth, as cold sores and herpes are actually caused by the same virus. Given the nature of this particular virus, anyone who engages in sexual activity with someone they know to have herpes should get tested immediately even if they show no signs or symptoms.
While the following can only be considered as complimentary treatments, these home remedies will certainly help reduce inflammation, swelling and itching, while a proper course of antivirals are getting to work.
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How Is Herpes Simplex Treated
Some people have few to no herpes outbreaks and choose not to have treatment. But many people prefer to use medications that shorten outbreaks and reduce symptoms.
During an outbreak, you may use an antiviral ointment or cream to help lessen your symptoms and help them go away faster, but it only works if you start it soon after you start an outbreak. Many people with HSV-2 take daily oral medications to keep outbreaks at bay.
Your provider may prescribe a topical medication or oral medication such as:
When To Call The Doctor
Even though HSV sores can hurt and be unsightly, most cases of herpes do not cause serious illness. The sores go away in a few days. Contact the health provider if:
- Sores are present and you think it might be a first herpes infection. The diagnosis is usually made by examining the sores. If the sores have not healed, sometimes a laboratory test is done.
- Sores do not heal by themselves or show signs of infection such as pus, spreading redness or fever.
- Sores are near the eyes.
- You have another health condition with a weakened immune system.
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