What Is The Herpes Simplex Virus
Herpes simplex is a pervasive virus, with herpes simplex type 1 affecting at least two thirds of under-50s worldwide.iIts extremely contagious, and once you have the virus, its with you for life. However, most of the time there are no symptoms and some people are even unaware they have it. From what is HSV to what are the complications, we answer some of your most common HSV questions.
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Before Using Topical Acyclovir
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir , any other medications, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir cream or ointment. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any condition that affects your immune system such as human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using acyclovir, call your doctor.
Who Is At Greatest Risk For Developing Cold Sores
Anyone who is exposed to the herpes simplex virus is at risk for developing cold sores. But many people have the virus and may never develop cold sores.
People who have weakened immune systems are at an increased risk for having more severe and longer-lasting outbreaks of cold sores.
One form of HSV infection, called primary herpes stomatitis, is seen most often in children 1 to 3 years old. It can cause a high fever and blisters throughout the mouth, which can interfere with the ability to eat. It can be serious in childrenthey can get quite sick from this illness, although they usually recover without any long-term problems.
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Rule #: Dont Touch It
Touching the sores can increase the chance that you spread the virus to other parts of your body or to other people. Make sure to wash your hands frequently. Also, you can use a cotton swab or a finger cot to apply cream or ointment to the affected area instead of your fingers to avoid spreading the virus to other regions .
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How Can You Treat Hsv
As soon as you feel that first tingling, itching or burning, apply Abreva® Cream, which can block the spread of the cold sore virus to healthy skin cells. It is clinically proven to clear up cold sores in as few as 2½ days* when applied at the first sign. However, its only suitable for cold sores caused by HSV-1, so if you have sores on your genitals or elsewhere, see your doctor. Abreva® cannot treat HSV-2 symptoms.
*Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed within 2½ days.
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Who Can And Cannot Use Abreva Cream
Abreva® Cream can be used by adults and children over 12 years old. It should be used five times a day for up to 10 days. And because cold sores are contagious, you wont want to share your tube of Abreva® Cream with others. Doing so may spread the infection. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your physician before using Abreva®.
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Preventing The Spread Of Herpes
Even when you do not have sores, you can pass the virus to someone during sexual or other close contact. To protect others:
- Let any sexual partner know that you have herpes before having sex. Allow them to decide what to do.
- Use latex or polyurethane condoms, and avoid sex during symptomatic outbreaks.
- Do not kiss or have oral sex when you have a sore on the lips or inside the mouth.
- Do not share your towels, toothbrush, or lipstick. Make sure dishes and utensils you use are washed well with detergent before others use them.
- Wash your hands well with soap and water after touching a sore.
- Consider using daily antiviral medicine to limit viral shedding and reduce the risk of passing the virus to your partner.
- You may also want to consider getting your partner tested even if they have never had an outbreak. If you both have the herpes virus, there is no risk for transmission.
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Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Acyclovir cream is used to treat cold sores on the face or lips. Acyclovir ointment is used to treat first outbreaks of genital herpes and to treat certain types of sores caused by the herpes simplex virus in people with weak immune systems. Acyclovir is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Acyclovir does not cure cold sores or genital herpes, does not prevent outbreaks of these conditions, and does not stop the spread of these conditions to other people.
Valacyclovir Tablets Are Used In Adults:
- to treat cold sores
- to treat shingles
- to treat or control genital herpes outbreaks in adults with normal immune systems
- to control genital herpes outbreaks in adults infected with the human immunodeficiency virus with CD4 + cell count greater than 100 cells/mm3
- with safer sex practices to lower the chances of spreading genital herpes to uninfected partners. Even with safer sex practices, it is still possible to spread genital herpes. Valacyclovir tablets used daily with the following safer sex practices can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.
- Do not have sexual contact with your partner when you have any symptom or outbreak of genital herpes.
- Use a condom made of latex or polyurethane whenever you have sexual contact.
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How Should I Take Valacyclovir Tablets
- Take valacyclovir tablets exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Your dose of valacyclovir tablets and length of treatment will depend on the type of herpes infection that you have and any other medical problems that you have.
- Do not stop valacyclovir tablets or change your treatment without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Valacyclovir tablets can be taken with or without food.If you are taking valacyclovir tablets to treat cold sores, chickenpox, shingles or genital herpes, you should start treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start. Valacyclovir tablets may not help you if you start treatment too late.
- If you miss a dose of valacyclovir tablets, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next dose at its regular time. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time.
- Do not take more than the prescribed number of valacyclovir tablets each day. Call your healthcare provider right away if you take too much valacyclovir tablets.
Nonprescription Products For Hsv
The patient who wishes to self-treat HSV-1 has several options.5 The pharmacist can recommend protectants to keep the area moist. These include petrolatum, zinc oxide, allantoin, calamine, and cocoa butter. Some products also contain external analgesics/local anesthetics to decrease the discomfort, such as benzocaine, benzyl alcohol, camphor, dyclonine, menthol, phenol, or pramoxine. Products containing these two groups of ingredients are safe and effective for patients down to the age of 2 years.5 One such product is Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment, which promises to relieve cold sores.7 It contains phenol, allantoin, camphor, and menthol. Another is Campho-Phenique Cold Sore Treatment, containing camphor and phenol.8 These interventions provide some palliative relief, but they are unable to reduce the time to healing.9
Docosanol 10% is a radically different nonprescription cold sore therapy, available as the trade-named product Abreva. Docosanol, a fatty alcohol, acts through a mechanism that is unique among all prescription and OTC products currently avail-able: inhibition of viral fusion.2,8,10 This novel mechanism does not lead to emergence of resistant HSV-1.2 Patients are best served by a product that can shorten the duration of discomfort and minimize the disfigurement.11 Research has confirmed that docosanol can achieve these goals patients who apply it within 12 hours of onset of symptoms will experience a reduced time to healing compared to controls.9,12
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Characteristics Of Study Population
A total of 1,051 patients were randomized in study 1 and a total of 1,028 patients were randomized in study 2 .2). Patients who treated a herpes labialis episode of known duration during the studies were included in efficacy analyses. A total of 324 acyclovir-treated patients and 346 vehicle-treated patients were included in study 1, and 328 acyclovir-treated patients and 343 vehicle-treated patients were included in study 2.
Can I Kiss Someone While A Cold Sore Is On My Lips
Since cold sores are contagious, kissing should be avoided during a cold sore outbreak. Getting up-close and personal spreads cold sores. At any stage of an outbreak, when you kiss your loved ones, especially on the mouth, youre very likely to pass on the virus. And remember, though not as common, cold sores can spread to other parts of the body, too.
see the answer to this question
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What If I Am Pregnant
It is important to tell your obstetrician that you or a partner have had genital herpes, so that they can monitor you for symptoms and manage your pregnancy safely. There is a risk you can pass the virus on to your baby if you have a vaginal delivery during a first attack of genital herpes. If this happens you may be recommended to have a caesarean delivery.
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Outbreaks For Asymptomatic Hsv
The majority of herpes infections, of both HSV-1 and HSV-2, are asymptomatic. This means that you can be infected with the herpes virus and have viral DNA in your body without any visible symptoms.
People with asymptomatic herpes can still spread the virus to others while not having any cold sores or genital herpes lesions.
Sometimes, people with asymptomatic herpes might experience an initial outbreak of cold sores or genital herpes, only to have the virus disappear after the first outbreak. In this case, herpes is still present in the body, but simply remains inactive and doesnt produce further outbreaks.
It can be difficult to know whether or not you have asymptomatic HSV-1 or HSV-2, or simply have infrequent herpes outbreaks. However, if youre confident you have herpes but havent had an outbreak for several years, its likely that you have an asymptomatic infection.
Even if youre asymptomatic, its still important to take precautions against spreading herpes to other people. Herpes remains in the body even if you dont have any symptoms, and there is a risk that you could spread the virus through kissing, oral sex or other sexual activity.
If you have asymptomatic herpes, the best approach is to speak to your doctor about treatment options and the use of suppressive therapy to reduce your risk of infecting others.
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Can You Get A Skin Allergy From Vaping
If you already know you are allergic to berries, using a berry extract can cause a systemic allergic reaction in the lungs and lead to skin allergies.
Is vaseline good for your lipsIs using Vaseline on your lips a health risk? Yes, it is even funded. If your skin is prone to crocodile wrinkles, petroleum jelly, with its moisture-retaining properties, can reduce discomfort. In addition, it can be safely used on sensitive areas such as the skin around the eyes and lips.Is regular Vaseline safe to put on lips?Why is petroleum jelly bad for the lips? Vaseline: a by-product of
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Some people use natural therapies to treat herpes, either on their own or to support standard medical care. The research supporting their use is generally weak, with little evidence that they can reduce either the severity or duration of an outbreak. Even so, many people swear by their effectiveness and consider them a vital part of managing herpes outbreaks.
Complementary and alternative therapies sometimes used to treat herpes include:
- Propolis: This is a sticky substance produced by bees that may help speed the healing of genital herpes. A 2017 study found that people who used propolis ointment experienced better healing by the 10th day of treatment compared to those who used a sham ointment.
- Algae extract: Lab studies suggest that algae extract can inhibit the growth of HSV-2 in test tubes. Whether it can do so in humans has yet to be proven.
- Acupuncture: A 2011 study concluded that acupuncture was mildly effective in reducing pain caused by the herpes zoster virus , the type of herpes virus that causes shingles. While this suggests that acupuncture may be useful in easing genital herpes pain, this has yet to be proven.
What Are The Complications Of Hsvxiii
- Skin infections This happens if the virus comes into contact with broken skin such as cuts or eczema.
- Neonatal herpes If an expectant mother has genital herpes, the infection could pass to her baby and cause brain damage, blindness, or even death.
- Increased risk of contracting other STIs Genital herpes increases your risk of contracting other STIs, as the associated blisters can cause breaks in the skin, allowing certain microbes to enter the body more easily.
- Blindness If the infection is transferred to the eyes and spreads to the cornea, it can be sight-threatening.
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Rule #: Use Medication
At the very first onset of signs of an outbreak, you can use antiviral medications like acyclovir. Before the blisters even become visible, you might notice a tingling or burning sensation on your skin. Your healthcare provider can prescribe topical medications to apply to the lesion area . If you have had herpes before, a prescription should be readily available .
Its important to note that acyclovir ointment can be used to treat genital herpes but doesnt typically reduce the length or severity of outbreaks. You should not apply acyclovir cream to the genitals because it may irritate these parts of your body.
If you suffer from frequent or severe outbreaks, your healthcare provider may recommend trying prescription drugs to take by mouth. There are multiple options, including acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir . Studies have shown that oral antiviral drugs for herpes can shorten the duration of lesion episodes and pain by approximately one day . Your healthcare provider will choose the option thats best for you.
Does Abreva Work After The Blister Appears
Based on how Abreva works, once your cold sore blisters are out, proud, and there for everyone to see, Abreva isnt going to do much.
Docosanol works by preventing the herpes virus from infecting new, healthy skin cells. When the cold sore blisters are already out, the viral infection is at its peak. The virus has basically infected as many cells as its ever going to.
So stopping new cells from being infected isnt going to do much for cold sores already in the blister stage beyond perhaps stopping them from getting even bigger. Just dont hold your breath for Abreva to have much of an impact on existing cold sores.
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Cold Sores Vs Canker Sores
Its important to know that cold sores are not the same as canker sores.
- Canker sores are greyish ulcers that only form on the inside of the mouth, on the tongue or on the soft palate. Cold sores appear outside the mouth, taking the form of blisters on the lips or nearby.
- Canker sores are not caused by a virus or bacteria. Experts arent sure why canker sores erupt, although they tend to surface during times of stress or lowered immunity, or after youve injured your tongue or the inside of your mouth .
- Canker sores are not contagious they cant be transmitted to another persons lips, mouth or genitals. But cold sores are very contagious.
- Unlike cold sores, canker sores dont respond to prescription medication. You can relieve pain with some over-the-counter treatments, but as with romantic trauma, the only thing that will heal you is time.
If youre unsure whether you have a cold sore or canker sore, see a health-care provider. Theyll be able to tell you on sight, and they can advise you on strategies to speed healing time, ease discomfort and prevent transmission to others .
Zilactin Cold Sore Gel
This gel dries to form an invisible protective layer over a cold sore. According to the manufacturers, it includes a patented bioadhesive that promotes healing.
One of the key ingredients in this product is benzyl alcohol, which might help with the pain that often accompanies a cold sore. The gel can relieve pain for 6 hours.
Similarly to the other products on this list, a person should use this product when they notice the first symptoms of a cold sore.
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Things You Should Know
- Wash the area before applying a dab to the cold sore, and rub the medicine in with a gentle touch.
- Apply Abreva 5 times per day, washing your hands after only apply other products after it dries and avoid kissing loved ones while using it.
- Talk to your doctor before using Abreva, especially when using it on a child, and avoid sharing it as cold sores are contagious.