Can Symptoms Come Back
Blisters can come back, usually in the same place. Recurrences are usually less severe and may become less frequent or stop over time.
Some people can tell when an episode of herpes is about to happen they may feel tingling or pain in the affected skin or some other sign. This is the best time to start taking antiviral medication, as it may prevent a full episode from occurring. See your doctor, discuss your symptoms and have the medication on hand.Sometimes, recurrent symptoms may be so mild that you only need local treatments.
For some people, herpes causes frequent and troubling episodes. These people can take medication regularly to prevent outbreaks. Discuss your treatment with a doctor.
Where Does The Herpes Virus Live In The Body
The herpes simplex viruses are latent, meaning they can live in the body without causing symptoms. After the initial infection, the virus gets into the nerve roots and spreads to the sensory nerve ganglia, the junctions where nerves from different parts of the body come together. For the genital area, the ganglia are adjacent to the spinal cord in the lower back. For orofacial herpes , the ganglia are located behind the cheek bone.
You May Like: Can You Transmit Herpes Without Blisters
Herpes Myths To Stop Freaking Out About
A surprising number of people you know probably have herpes.
Shocked? You shouldnt be, since the virus is very common. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under age 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 thats 67 percent of the global population in that age bracket. Another 417 million people between ages 15 and 49 worldwide have herpes simplex virus type 2 .
Many people consider HSV-1 more benign, but it turns out theres not much difference between the two types of virus. While its true that HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted disease and can cause genital sores or blisters, type 1 can do the same thing.
One big misconception is that cold sores are caused by HSV-1 and genital herpes are always type 2, but thats not always the case, says Sarah Vensel, a physician assistant in San Francisco. Cold sores are so common theyve been normalized at this point. But genital herpes is sometimes the exact same virus just in a different location.
Not only is herpes incredibly common its also totally manageable. Allow us to set your mind at ease and debunk three widespread herpes myths:
Dont Miss: What Cream To Use For Herpes
Don’t Miss: How To Live With Herpes Type 1
Sores On The Genitals
Most sores on the genitals are sexually transmitted.
Sores on the genitals should be kept clean. Wash them with soap and water. Dry them carefully. Wash any cloth that you dry them with before you use it again.
WARNING! Other infections, especially HIV, can easily pass through these sores on the genitals during sex. The best way to prevent passing infections from one person to another is to not have sex until your or your partners sores have healed.
What About Sexual Partners
Although it can be difficult, talking about having HSV to your sexual partners is important. Its not uncommon to worry about how people are going to react. Despite being a common virus, there is still a lot of stigma and fear that surrounds HSV. If you talk about HSV with your friends or partner, their reaction can vary. While they may initially be surprised or upset, you could also find out they may already have HSV or that HSV is not something theyre worried about once they have the correct information.
Read Also: How To Soothe Genital Herpes Pain
Naturopathic Treatment For Cold Sores
Sometimes known as fever blisters, cold sores are dreaded, painful, and with you for life. Individual cold sores may come and go, but the virus remains.
Lets take a closer look at cold sores today.
Home Remedies: What Helps Quickly Against Herpes
Many people rely on home remedies when they want to get rid of their cold sores quickly. But not every supposed remedy works against cold sores. Toothpaste, for example, is anti-inflammatory when it contains zinc in addition, it dries out herpes. But toothpaste also contains active ingredients that can additionally affect stressed skin. Thats why youd better avoid this home remedy.
You May Like: How To Keep Your Partner Safe From Herpes
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Herpes Simplex On Lips
Is It Time For Treatment
Unfortunately, if you have contracted the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, theres no going back.
The virus can only be managed, and cannot be cured. However, your cold sore is extremely treatable, and rarely requires a visit to the doctor.
If your symptoms worsen, or you experience complications, you should without a doubt see your doctor.
However, in most cases, the cold sores can be cured with ointments or at home remedies.
What Are The Symptoms
Approximately 2 20 days after contact with an infected person a rash or blisters may appear. During the primary outbreak, there may also be an itching or tingling sensation on the skin, flu-like symptoms, fever, painful urination and/or enlarged nodes. The sores or blisters during the primary outbreak are often very painful but will heal within 1-2 weeks without scarring.
Recurrences can vary from person to person. Recurrent outbreaks are usually less painful, less frequent and the sores will heal faster. In some cases, some people never experience any outbreaks after their primary outbreak. Factors that may trigger outbreaks include stress, illness, injury to the infected area, hormonal changes or a compromised immune system.
Witch Hazel: The Cold Sore Treatment You May Already Have In Your Medicine Cabinet
As far as at-home cold sore remedies go, witch hazel may be one of the easiest to find in your local pharmacy or health-food store. You may even have a bottle in your medicine cabinet, as it is often used as an aftershave. A touch of witch hazel on a cold sore can help ease irritation to your skin, says Russell. Witch hazel also has a bit of a drying effect on the sore and surrounding skin.
Topical Genital Herpes Treatment Using Acyclovir Ointment
One of the drugs most widely used to fight genital herpes is Acyclovir. It has antiviral functions that stop the reproduction of the virus and it is available in varied forms: tablets, injections, creams and ointments. Tablets and injections are used for the internal treatment of herpes and the creams and ointments for external treatment. Acyclovir cream is contraindicated for the treatment of herpes genitalis in this case, the application of the ointment is recommended.
Many people ignore the differences between cream and ointment. Which are the differences between these mixtures?
At 77 Fahrenheit degrees the pharmaceutical forms are divided in liquid forms, solid forms and semisolid forms. The ointments and creams are semisolid forms that differ in their content of water. Ointments dont contain water or they contain it in minimum quantity. The creams contain more water than the ointments their content of water sometimes overcomes 50%.
Acyclovir Ointment heads the topical genital herpes medication it should be applied in the areas affected by genital herpes three times a day for seven days. It is more effective if we begin its use when an outbreak is beginning. You can apply this ointment in the genital organs and in their near areas.
You May Like: What Is The Most Accurate Test For Herpes
Herpes Cream Provides Natural Relief
Lelia Cahill, founder of Royal John, is pleased to offer natural relief for those that suffer from genital herpes. Royal Johns Genital Herpes Cream is comprised of all-natural ingredients including echinacea, lady slipper, purslane, golden seal, lemon balm, witch hazel, licorice, tea tree and black cumin.
Thirty-five percent of American adults have genital herpes, says Cahill. While there is not currently a cure, it is important to find comfort and relief from symptoms naturally with a product you can trust.
The plant-based, antioxidant-rich formula is designed to soothe sores and temporarily relieve pain and swelling due to genital herpes. This cream-based formula is chemical-free and easy to use for management of bothersome symptoms.
Cahill brings more than 28 years of expertise in development and research. She has worked with the National Development and Research Institute as well as many brilliant doctors.
Statistically speaking everyone knows someone who has herpes, but not many people talk about it, a big reason is the stigma it carries. Its a normal, non-life-threatening part of a lot of peoples lives. My hope is to remove the stigma of genital herpes and give relief to the symptoms until we find a cure, says Cahill.
For more information or to order, visit RoyalJohn.com or email Also available on Amazon. See ad, page 33.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Reduce Herpes Outbreaks
How Lengthy Do Herpes Sores Final
In some circumstances, it could take 2 3 weeks to heal fully. Subsequent outbreaks are normally much less extreme and move inside a couple of days. Herpes sores usually develop within the following phases: tingling or itching sensation within the affected space this normally occurs within the first 12 24 hours.
What Is The Treatment For Oral Herpes
Possibly more commonly known to the majority of us as cold sores or fever blisters, oral herpes is primarily caused by HSV-1 . This type of herpes is typically spread through direct skin contact with someone who has the virus. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, many people contract HSV-1 as babies if they have been kissed by a family member who had a cold sore.
Though oral herpes usually clears up on its own within a number of days, there are some things you can consider that will help relieve any irritation or pain:
- Cream to ease pain and irritation
- Antiviral cream to speed up healing time
- Cold sore patches
Also Check: How Fast Does Herpes Go Away
You May Like: What To Do When You Think You Have Herpes
How Is Genital Herpes Managed Or Treated
If you have mild symptoms or infrequent outbreaks, you might not need or want treatment. During an outbreak, these steps can ease symptoms:
- 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.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Topical 1% or 2% lidocaine may be used as topical analgesic
Antiviral medications can prevent outbreaks. They can also lessen symptoms and help symptoms go away faster. You take this medicine as a pill or intravenous injection. When taken daily, antivirals can prevent an outbreak. They lower the chances of spreading the virus to other people.
Editorial Sources And Fact
Donât Miss: When Is The Best Time To Get Tested For Herpes
Recommended Reading: Can You Transmit Herpes Through Saliva
How To Heal A Herpes Outbreak Quickly
This article was medically reviewed by Lacy Windham, MD. Dr. Windham is a board certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Tennessee. She attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and completed her residency at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2010, where she was awarded the Most Outstanding Resident in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Most Outstanding Resident in Oncology, and Most Outstanding Resident Overall.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 108,707 times.
Herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once the virus enters ones body, it will always remain there by hiding in the nerve roots. When ones immunity is lowered, it will result in outbreak. Sores usually take about 1-2 weeks to heal, but there are some things that you can do to speed the healing process. Things like allowing your sores to be exposed to air, talking to your doctor about medications, and using ointments may help speed healing time. There are also some things that you can do to reduce and prevent outbreaks, such as reducing prolonged exposure to sunlight, reducing friction during sex, and managing stress.
Myth #: Your Sex Life Is Over
While theres no cure, herpes treatment is simple and can shorten or prevent outbreaks, so you can still have a love life.
People have a disproportionate fear of herpes in relation to any other STI, Grimes says. They feel like their sex lives are ruined forever and thats in no way the case.
If you have the virus, your doctor may prescribe a medication like Zovirax or Valtrex to keep on hand in case of a flare-up. And if you experience outbreaks often, your provider may recommend daily dosing. However you treat it, its worth remembering that herpes is a condition to manage it doesnt define you.
If you have to be perfect for your new partner, that partner will be looking a very, very long time to find a match! Grimes says. Everyone has something, and since one in six Americans between 14-49 have HSV-2, odds are very high that your next partner is in the same boat. The main issue is to have productive conversations around these issues.
So theres no reason for all the stigma and secrecy surrounding herpes, since its safe to assume more people have it than you think. And if youre diagnosed with the virus, your provider will help you find a treatment plan thats easy, effective, and fit for your lifestyle.
Read Also: Can Oral Herpes Cause Genital Herpes
What Can Trigger Herpes Outbreaks What Foods Trigger Herpes Outbreaks
Its not known what exactly triggers herpes outbreaks. Flare-ups are commonly associated with sickness, poor diet, emotional or physical stress, sexual activity, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. Some people have found avoiding foods high in the amino acid Arginine reduces the likelihood of a herpes outbreak. Arginine is commonly found in chocolate and many types of nuts. Excessive caffeine, red wine, and smoking may also be triggers to avoid.
What Is Acyclovir Topical
Acyclovir topical cream is used to treat cold sores on the lips and face.
Acyclovir topical ointment is used to treat genital herpes lesions.
There is no cure for herpes and acyclovir will not prevent you from developing symptoms in the future.
Acyclovir topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Herpes Breakout
Why Genital Herpes Comes Back
Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.
It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.
If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.
Triggers can include:
- surgery on your genital area
- a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer
Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes
You may be prescribed:
- antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
- cream for the pain
If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.
Don’t Miss: Do Herpes Outbreaks Occur In The Same Spot