What Are The Treatment Options For Genital Herpes
Treatment with antiviral medication is a good idea the very first time people have an outbreak of genital herpes. Later outbreaks are often milder, and then medication isn’t always needed. Preventive treatment may be considered if the outbreaks are frequent.
Genital herpes may clear up on its own. But the symptoms are often more severe the first time you have an outbreak. Most people then use antiviral medication to relieve the symptoms and prevent complications. These medications include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir.
Side Effects And Follow
Side effects with these herpes drugs are considered mild, and health experts believe these drugs are safe in the long term. Acyclovir is the oldest of the three, and its safety has been documented in people taking suppressive therapy for several years.
People taking suppressive therapy should see their doctor at least once a year to decide if they should continue. You may find taking the pills every day to be inconvenient, the drugs may not work for you, or you may naturally have fewer outbreaks as time goes on. Your doctor can help you make treatment choices to suit your needs.
Related Resouruces For Herpes
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Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic
You can see a GP, but theyâll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.
Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.
Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.
Theyâll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.
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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What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic
The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:
- ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
- use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing
The test cannot:
- be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
- tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from
Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after youâre infected with the herpes virus.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated
There is no cure for genital herpes. However, it is possible to reduce the symptoms using anti-viral medicine. This is most effective when started within 72 hours of the first symptoms.
Medicines can help control outbreaks if they are frequent or severe. Anti-viral medicine can reduce the risk from passing the virus on to a sexual partner.
The symptoms can also be helped by:
- gently bathing the area with a warm salt solution
- pain medicine, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- local anaesthetic ointment or cream
- urinating while sitting in a warm bath, if urination is painful
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Can Herpes Be Cured By Antibiotics
No. However, antibiotics may be helpful if you have both an infection caused by bacteria as well an infection with the herpes virus.
In this case, an antibiotic will treat the bacterial infection and may make those symptoms go away, but the herpes virus will remain in your body. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.
Zovirax Topical Side Effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Common side effects of Zovirax Topical may include:
dry, cracked, or peeling lips
dryness or flaking of treated skin
burning, stinging, or itching when the medicine is applied.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Who Might Get Herpes Simplex
People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:
- Were assigned female at birth.
- Have had multiple sex partners.
- Started having sex at a young age.
- Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
- Have a weakened immune system.
- Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.
Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?
Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.
Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?
Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.
People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.
The Virus And Pathogenesis
HSV is a double-stranded DNA virus that may enter the host through abraded skin or intact mucous membranes.1 Epithelial cells are the initial targets. Once infected, these cells die, releasing clear fluid intradermally to form vesicles and merging with other cells to create multinucleated giant cells.
Retrograde transport through adjacent neural tissue to sensory ganglia leads to lifelong latent infection.1 Reactivation of the virus is triggered by local or systemic stimuli such as immunodeficiency, trauma, fever, menstruation, ultraviolet light and sexual intercourse.13 Although emotional stress is assumed to trigger HSV recurrence, recent research fails to show a definite causative role.4 Once reactivated, the virus is transported by the neuron back to the epithelium, where more replication occurs, and another outbreak ensues.
HSV exists as two separate types, labeled 1 and 2, which have affinities for different body sites.2 Ninety percent of infections caused by HSV-2 are genital, and 90 percent of those caused by HSV-1 are oral the reason for this division is unknown.5 In addition, oral HSV-1 infection recurs more frequently than oral HSV-2, and genital HSV-2 recurs more often than genital HSV-1.
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Washing The Genital Area Before And After Sex Can Help Prevent The Transmission Of Genital Herpes
Washing the genital area doesnât help prevent any sexually transmitted disease , including genital herpes. The best way to prevent any STD is to abstain from sex or engage in sex only with someone you know is not infected. Condoms are not guaranteed to prevent infection, but research has shown that they provide some protection.
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When To Get Tested
Consult a doctor about any of the following symptoms:
- tingling or itching around the genitals
- pain when peeing
- unusual vaginal discharge
The World Health Organization describes the risk of the herpes virus passing to a newborn during childbirth. Although this is rare, people who are pregnant and have herpes should let their doctors know.
Using a condom or another barrier method of protection during sex reduces the risk of the virus transmitting. It is also a good idea to avoid sharing sex toys with someone who has herpes.
Several online companies offer STI testing kits, including:
- EverlyWell: This company sells tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and HIV.
- LetsGetChecked: This company sells tests for several common STIs, and it provides prescriptions at no extra cost if a test result is positive.
- PriortitySTD: This company returns results within 3 days.
Anyone with a positive test result should contact a healthcare professional.
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How Should I Use Zovirax Topical
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Do not take by mouth. Topical medicine is for use only on the skin.
Start using acyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms .
Wash your hands before and after applying this medicine.
Apply only enough cream to cover the cold sore or tingly area.
Apply only enough ointment to cover the genital lesion completely. Wear a glove or a finger cot or use a cotton swab when applying the ointment to avoid spreading the virus to other body parts and to other people.
Zovirax Topical cream is usually applied 5 times daily for 4 days. This medicine ointment is usually applied 6 times daily for 7 days. Follow your doctor’s dosing instructions very carefully.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What Triggers Herpes Outbreaks
If youve had herpes for a while, you might have identified things that cause your herpes to crop up. Some of the most well-known triggers for herpes are things that stress your body, like lack of sleep or even a common cold. While your body is off dealing with some other stress, your immune system is essentially distracted, allowing your herpes to wake up. Thats why theyre called cold sores or fever blistersbecause they often appear when you have a cold or fever.
Other common triggers include:
- Hormonal changes
- Reduced immune function
And while herpes viruses might be best known for causing cold sores and genital herpes, theres a whole range of herpes viruses. Different ones are responsible for causing various diseases. These include chickenpox and shingles, eye infections, mono , and more. Classic cold sores and genital herpes are typically caused by herpes simplex virus 1 or herpes simplex virus 2 .
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Support And Advice For Genital Herpes
If you have just found out you have genital herpes, you may feel shocked and may have a lot of questions. It may help you to gather as much information as you can about herpes. This can help you to make fully informed decisions about your treatment, safe sex and preventing further recurrences. Talking to a counsellor about your concerns may also help.
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Comparison Of Topical Genital Herpes Treatments
The four topical genital herpes treatments exposed in this article are effective against genital herpes, but we recommend you the HBO Ointment in zones near to the genitals because it is the most effective and it doesnt have harmful effects. All these treatments, except Acyclovir ointment, are over the counter topical genital herpes treatments. None of them eliminates the virus. If you want a treatment that eliminates the virus, you should use The Ultimate Herpes Protocol.
|Table 1: Topical genital herpes treatment using ointments and balms|
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How Long To Take Them
For the treatment of herpes infections, the usual course of treatment is five days. However in some instances your doctor may want you to take your tablets for ten days.
For prevention of herpes infections, you should continue to take this medicine every day as prescribed by your doctor.
Do not stop taking Valtrex tablets just because you feel better. The herpes outbreak may not be completely over.
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Genital Herpes Is Spread By Skin
The virus can be spread when someone with HSV has an episode or an outbreak characterised by having a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split . It can also be spread between episodes, when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present called asymptomatic viral shedding.
During viral shedding the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact, or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.
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Over The Counter Cream For Herpes Is Effective
The most common OTC for herpes is a cream. An over the counter cream for herpes is quite effective remedy which is not very costly. Creams and topical ointments can reduce the intensity of the sores and accelerate the healing process. There are anesthetic cold sore ointment such as Dynamiclear and Herpecil-L which protect his lip area, and reduce the chance of possible outbreak. To relieve pain Neosporin and Polysporin are used. An antiviral medication, Docosonal, is even available without prescription it helps greatly to those suffer from oral herpes to recover.
If you need more choice for the herpes cream over counter, there are some other names:
Penciclovir heals HSV-1 sores, and it take like a half a day faster than if they are healed without treatment. It stops viral shedding and reduces the duration of pain. It is good to apply the cream during the first hour since the symptoms appeared. The treatment usually takes four days, and should be reapplied every 2 hours while awake.
The only FDA-approved non-prescription ointment for oral herpes is Docosanol cream . It is used 5 times a day from the first sign of symptoms.
Acyclovir cream is very well know remedy for herpes if is applied early, the best results can be achieved.
The anti viral pills like Acyclovir , valacyclovir and famciclovir are used to cure genital herpes, but can also treat cold sores.
herpes cream over counter
Treatment Options For Genital Herpes
Acyclovir was the first antiviral agent to be used in the treatment of genital herpes, and as such, is the most extensively studied of the antiviral agents currently available. This drug is available in topical, oral, and intravenous forms . In the distant past, topical acyclovir was used to treat recurrent genital herpes, but its ineffectiveness has been known for quite some time. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that after application of topical acyclovir 6 times daily for 5 days, only the duration of virus shedding from lesions was reduced compared to placebo. Differences between time to lesion crusting, lesion healing, new lesion formation, and cessation of pain were non-significant .
Intravenous acyclovir remains the most effective form of treatment for a primary genital herpes infection, leading to significant reduction in time to cessation of viral shedding and pain. Time to lesion healing is also 6 days faster than with placebo alone . However, as IV administration of acyclovir requires hospitalization, this route is reserved for patients with life-threatening disease or systemic complications .
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, with the cap on and tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture . Never leave this medication in your car in cold or hot weather.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.