Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md
Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.
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Herpes Symptoms And Signs
In order to diagnose herpes, a health care provider can swab an area of visibly active herpes infection or, if symptoms arent active, a blood test can be given that measures the number of herpes antibodies present in the body. The antibodies dont indicate herpes itself, but rather show the immune systems response to the presence of the virus in the body. Its important to note that sometimes a swab can give false negative results since herpes lesions need to be large enough to yield enough detectable virus and if the outbreak is already healing it also may not be detected in a swab.
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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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Treatment For Oral Herpes
The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.
A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.
There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.
Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated
Genital herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus . The virus causes an outbreak of blisters which are common herpes symptoms. Treatment is with antiviral medication to help prevent and control outbreaks.
If youre unsure if you have herpes, you can take a genital herpes test at home.
There are 3 main types of treatment for genital herpes:
Aciclovir tablets are used for outbreaks of genital herpes or cold sores to treat the symptoms. They can also be used to prevent outbreaks from happening if you get them often. How much you take and how long you take them for can vary depending on what youre using it for whether youre using it to treat an outbreak or to prevent future outbreaks.
Valaciclovir tablets are known as a pro-drug, which means your body converts it into aciclovir after you take them. Like aciclovir tablets, they can be used to treat symptoms or to prevent outbreaks.
A doctor may prescribe famciclovir tablets if you find that aciclovir or valaciclovir havent worked for you.
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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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How Much Is Creams For Genital Herpes
creams for genital herpes come in a variety of designs and pricing ranges. Its difficult to predict product costs nowadays. You dont know how much something costs because the pricing range is so vast. For example, a pair of pants can range from $20 to $200 depending on where you buy them. Similarly, additional goods like as creams for genital herpes.
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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 you’re infected with the herpes virus.
How To Avoid Passing On Genital Herpes
There are several steps you can take to reduce the chances of passing genital herpes on to your sexual partner, including:
- always using condoms when you have sex
- taking suppressive antiviral medicines and
- avoiding sex whenever you have symptoms.
However, while these steps will help reduce the chance of spreading the infection, there is still a chance that you could pass on the genital herpes virus through sexual contact.
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How Can You Prevent Cold Sores
There are some things you can do to keep from getting the herpes simplex virus.
- Avoid coming into contact with infected body fluids, such as kissing an infected person.
- Avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking cups, or other items that a person with a cold sore may have used.
After you have been infected with the virus, there is no sure way to prevent more cold sores. But there are some things you can do to reduce your number of outbreaks and prevent spreading the virus.
- Avoid the things that trigger your cold sores, such as stress and colds or the flu.
- Always use lip balm and sunscreen on your face. Too much sunlight can cause cold sores to flare.
- Avoid sharing towels, razors, silverware, toothbrushes, or other objects that a person with a cold sore may have used.
- When you have a cold sore, make sure to wash your hands often, and try not to touch your sore. This can help keep you from spreading the virus to your eyes or genital area or to other people.
- Talk to your doctor if you get cold sores often. You may be able to take prescription pills to prevent cold sore outbreaks.
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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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What Does A Herpes Outbreak Feel Like
As mentioned above, the onset of a herpes outbreak is often associated with tingling, itching, or burning around the affected area.
Blisters and ulcers are unfortunately painful and can cause discomfort.
If this is your first outbreak your symptoms will likely be worse than any recurring outbreaks. Common symptoms associated with initial outbreaks are fever, headache, and other flu-like symptoms.
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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Risks And Side Effects
The three main treatments for herpes acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are all FDA approved, though there are side effects and interactions to be aware of.
Common side effects of these antiviral medications include headaches and nausea. Famciclovir can cause dizziness or sleepiness, and confusion is predominantly seen in elderly patients.
Acyclovir and valacyclovir, which are very similar to each other, can cause your kidneys to stop working. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose. These medications may interact with other medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which may weaken kidney function.
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Antiviral Tablets To Stop The Herpes Virus Multiplying
Antiviral medicines taken by mouth, such as valaciclovir or acyclovir, are the most effective in controlling symptoms, although they cant cure genital herpes. They stop the virus from multiplying in body cells where the virus is present. The medicine only works while you are taking it. The infection can come back when you stop taking it.
Antiviral tablets are used in the following two ways:
- To treat outbreaks as they happen : The aim is to shorten the time each outbreak lasts and to relieve symptoms. This works best when taken as soon as you get symptoms and before the blisters appear.
- To prevent or reduce recurrences : If you get frequent or severe recurrent outbreaks, your doctor may recommend you take antiviral tablets every day to help prevent recurrences. Suppressive therapy is taken continuously, every day, for months or years. Suppressive antiviral therapy may help reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.
Antiviral creams bought over the counter from the pharmacy are not recommended as a treatment for a first episode or recurrent genital herpes as they are of little benefit. Antiviral tablets are the preferred treatment.
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Order Antiviral Treatments For Herpes
If you have genital herpes, you can get an online prescription for antiviral herpes medication discreetly and easily. Our doctor’s prescribe aciclovir, valaciclovir or famciclovir via our online service.
Order for a herpes outbreak: if you have a flare-up of symptoms, you can get a short course of medication to help control the outbreak.
Order to prevent outbreaks: if you get outbreaks more than 6 times a year or find your symptoms are hard to deal with, you can have suppressive treatment. This is where you take a low dose of antiviral medication every day to help prevent outbreaks.
Order a herpes test: if you need to check if youre a carrier of herpes, you can order a herpes test online now.
|1st outbreak – up to 10 days||£25.00|
|Repeat outbreaks – 5 days each, 1/2/3 courses||from £25.00|
|Suppression treatment – 3 months||£49.00|
|1st outbreak – up to 10 days||£70.00|
|Repeat outbreaks – 3 to 5 days each, 1/2/3 courses||from £40.00|
|Suppression treatment – 3 months||£220.00|
|Outbreak – 1 day each, 1/2/3 courses||from £95.00|
Click & Collect: free Next Day Delivery: £3.99Dispensing and standard delivery included.
Topical Treatment For Genital Herpes Using Lemon Balm
The word balm has different meanings. The first meaning of this word conceives that a balm is an aromatic substance, obtained from certain trees by means of incision. It is liquid and almost transparent in the moment of the extraction, but because of the action of the atmosphere the essential oils this substance contains become resin, benzoic acid and cinnamic acid.
The medical meaning of the word balm consists on a compound medication from aromatic substances which is applied like remedy to sores, wounds and other illnesses.
Lemon balm is the common name of a medicinal herb whose scientific name is Melissa Officinalis. This herb is associated to the lemon because their leaves and shaft have lemon scent when they are mashed. This plant is not a balm in the sense of the previous definitions.
Lemon Balm can be used for the treatment of several illnesses. It is effective against throbs and stress. This herb also has antiviral properties: it is effective for the treatment of genital herpes. It has been demonstrated in scientific studies the use of this plant diminishes the duration of the outbreaks of herpes and frequency of its appearance.
Lemon Balm is available in capsules, cream, ointment and bags for tee. The Lemon Balm ointment is effective for topical genital herpes treatment. It is an over the counter genital herpes ointment.
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To Use Acyclovir Cream Follow These Steps:
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What Is The Best Medication For Herpes
The effectiveness of a particular medication varies depending on the person, so there’s no single “best” herpes treatment. Doctors prescribe the most suitable drug for each patient’s condition, medical history, and current medications. That said, here are a few of the drugs most commonly used to treat HSV:
|Best medication for herpes|
This doesn’t encompass the full scope of potential side effects, just the most common ones. Anyone considering treatment with one of these medications should speak with a healthcare professional for a more comprehensive list.
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How Effective Is Herpes Medication
Antiviral herpes medication will not cure oral or genital herpes infections. However, suppressive therapy significantly ameliorates its symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that this treatment can reduce genital herpes outbreaks by 70%-80% in patients that frequently experience them.
How Should This Medicine Be Used
Topical acyclovir comes as a cream and an ointment to apply to the skin. Acyclovir cream is usually applied five times a day for 4 days. Acyclovir cream may be applied at any time during a cold sore outbreak, but it works best when it is applied at the very beginning of a cold sore outbreak, when there is tingling, redness, itching, or a bump but the cold sore has not yet formed. Acyclovir ointment is usually applied six times a day for 7 days. It is best to begin using acyclovir ointment as soon as possible after you experience the first symptoms of infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with topical acyclovir. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
Acyclovir cream and ointment are for use only on the skin. Do not let acyclovir cream or ointment get into your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose, and do not swallow the medication.
Acyclovir cream should only be applied to skin where a cold sore has formed or seems likely to form. Do not apply acyclovir cream to any unaffected skin, or to genital herpes sores.
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