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.
How Can I Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
If you have lots of herpes outbreaks, your doctor may tell you to take medicine every day this is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future herpes outbreaks, and lower your chances of giving herpes to your partners.
Whether or not you take medicine to treat herpes, taking care of yourself by eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress might help keep future outbreaks from popping up.
No one knows for sure what triggers genital herpes outbreaks. Other infections, surgery, sex, your period, skin irritations, and stress may cause outbreaks. Sunburns, injuries to your lips, or other infections can cause oral herpes flare-ups. Try to avoid getting sunburned if you have oral herpes.
Genital herpes outbreaks usually happen less often and become shorter and weaker after a few years whether or not you get treated.
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.
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When Is Preventive Treatment Considered
Some people have outbreaks of genital herpes very often or experience especially severe symptoms. Then it may be a good idea to take antiviral medication for a longer time including during symptom-free phases. The goal is to prevent further outbreaks and to keep the symptoms from becoming so severe. Also, the antiviral medication reduces the likelihood of infecting others. As preventive treatment, the WHO recommends the following:
- aciclovir: 400 mg two times per day,
- famciclovir: 250 mg two times per day or
- valaciclovir: 500 mg once per day.
Research shows that preventive treatment can considerably lower the risk of further outbreaks. The people participating had four or more herpes outbreaks per year before the start of the studies, and then took an antiviral medication or a fake treatment for up to one year. A comprehensive analysis of the study results shows that
- 96 out of 100 people who took a placebo had at least one further outbreak of genital herpes.
- 46 out of 100 people who were given antiviral medication had at least one further outbreak of genital herpes.
In other words, the medication prevented further outbreaks in 50 out of 100 people within one year.
People with very frequent herpes outbreaks also benefited from preventive treatment: In one study involving people with very frequent outbreaks, the medication lowered the number of episodes in one year from 11 to 2.
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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.
How To Cope After Diagnosis
Many posters were occupied with the issue of passing on the infection. Yolandayw points out that you can minimise the risk of transmission by postponing sex until all the sores have healed. She also mentioned that condoms should be used. They won’t completely prevent transmission but they will help.
Ending on a positive note, many posters emphasised that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Learning of the diagnosis may feel stressful at first, but it’s a manageable condition and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Lucy03934 has had genital herpes for 25 years. She’s been married for 18 years and has two sons – living proof that there is life after herpes.
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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.
Counselling For Genital Herpes
If you have just found out that you have genital herpes, it is likely you will have a lot of questions. A diagnosis of genital herpes often comes as a shock.
For many people who have genital herpes, the physical symptoms are outweighed by the emotional stress relating to the diagnosis. There are many misconceptions about genital herpes, including the belief that it is associated with promiscuity.
Seeing a counsellor may be a good idea to discuss any concerns you may have. Counselling offers a way of dealing with your concerns.For more information see the NZ Herpes Foundation or talk with one of their trained counsellors on 0508 11 12 13 free call 0508 11 12 13 or 09 433 6526 .
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Keep The Area Clean And Dry
Its important to keep dry any areas affected by genital herpes sores. Moisture triggers irritation and can make outbreaks even worse. Try drying outbreaks with a hairdryer on low heat settings instead of a towel. It also helps to wear cotton underwear, since cotton is gentle and absorbs moisture much better than synthetic fabrics.
How Has My Partner Caught Genital Herpes
If your partner has only just been diagnosed with genital herpes, this does not necessarily mean that they have been unfaithful to you or sexually promiscuous in the past.
- Your partner may have caught genital herpes from you. You can carry the virus without knowing you have it as some people have no symptoms.
- It is also possible that your partner caught the virus from a cold sore on your mouth or face during oral sex. You can pass the virus on even if you dont have a cold sore at the time of contact.
- Your partner may have contracted the virus from a previous sexual partner, even several years ago. The virus can remain inactive in your body for long periods.
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Are Antiviral Medications Safe
Antiviral medications are considered to be very safe. They are nearly always well tolerated because the active ingredients only have an effect in cells that have been infected by the virus.
People who have kidney failure may need to take a lower dose because the medication is removed from the body through the kidneys.
How Long Does It Take For A Pus
That can cause the pimple to become more red, inflamed, swollen and infected, and may even lead to permanent scarring. Its best to let a pimple run through its life span, Rice says. Left alone, a blemish will heal itself in 3 to 7 days. Popped improperly, it can linger for weeks or lead to scarring.
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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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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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About Genital Herpes Treatment
Taking genital herpes treatment
Start taking Aciclovir as soon as you feel an outbreak starting.
Take 1 tablet 3 times a day for 5 days. Complete the course of treatment.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with herpes previously but think you may have herpes, use our .
Side effects of Aciclovir tablets
A small number of people will experience some side effects when taking Aciclovir, however these are generally mild and should pass quickly. These may include headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea or tiredness.
For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet. If any side effects concern you, contact us via your Patient Record.
Effectiveness of Aciclovir tablets
This treatment is for acute outbreaks of genital herpes only.
If taken within 5 days of the start of an outbreak, Aciclovir should shorten your outbreak by 1-2 days and make the symptoms less severe. It might even prevent the outbreak if taken early enough.
There is no cure for herpes, so it may return. This treatment does not affect how often you get future outbreaks, or how severe they will be. However, you can minimise the inconvenience and discomfort of the outbreaks by considering herpes suppression treatment.
How genital warts treatment works
Aciclovir is an antiviral that works to prevent the herpes virus from multiplying. This reduces the severity of the infection.
What Are The Treatments For Cold Sores
You cant cure HSV or a cold sore, but you can alleviate the pain it causes by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice, and using over-the-counter remedies. Look for medicines that contain numbing agents such as phenol and menthol to reduce cracking and soften scabs. Abreva is an over-the-counter topical remedy used to help speed healing and minimize pain from a cold sore. It must be used many times a day to speed the healing.
If your cold sore is especially painful or irritating, your doctor may prescribe an anesthetic gel to alleviate pain or an antiviral oral medication to speed healing or prevent recurrence. The antiviral medicines available for treatment include acyclovir , famciclovir , and valacyclovir . These oral medications are more effective when started within the first 48 hours of the outbreak. Valacyclovir is more expensive, but is better absorbed in the digestive tract and therefore more reliable. Acyclovir and another antiviral medication called penciclovir also come in a topical form.
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Herbs Supplements And More For Genital Herpes
Scientists have studied herbal extracts and nutritional supplements based on some herpes patients claims that they help relieve symptoms. Some study results have been promising, others discouraging.
Many people say that an extract of the echinacea plant helps boost the immune systems ability to fight infection. Some say it decreases the frequency and severity of genital herpes outbreaks. Researchers in the U.K. compared the effect of echinacea with that of a placebo. They gave echinacea to 50 people with genital herpes for six months and a placebo for another six months. There was no significant difference in the number of herpes outbreaks during the two periods.
Another study showed that an ointment containing propolis, a waxy substance that honeybees make, may help herpes sores heal. Sores healed faster for people using the propolis ointment than in those using ointments containing the antiviral drug acyclovir or a placebo. The ointment was applied to herpes sores four times a day. After 10 days, 24 of the 30 people using propolis ointment said their sores healed, compared with 14 of the 30 people using acyclovir ointment and 12 of the 30 using a placebo.
Researchers have also found that the herb Prunella vulgaris, and an edible mushroom, Rozites caperata , contain chemicals that fight both HSV-1 and HSV-2.
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Is There A Link Between Herpes And Hiv
Genital herpes is one of the most common co-infections for people with HIV. It can be a more serious condition if youâre HIV positive outbreaks may last longer and blisters can be more severe. If youâre 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. The blisters and sores provide an easy way for HIV to get into your body and cause an infection.
People with HIV who arenât on treatment or who have a lower CD4 count are more likely to get other infections, like herpes.
If youâre taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV, itâs important to discuss this with your doctor. They can advise how treatment for herpes may interact with your HIV drugs.
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