Herpes is an infectious disease that is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) which affects the skin and creates blisters, cold sores, and acne around the mouth, genital, and anal area. This disease is transferrable through direct skin-to-skin contact. The symptoms of herpes infection are:
- Pain and itching, especially in the genital area
- Red swollen bumps and white blisters
Consult our infectious disease doctor at Doral Health and Wellness Infectious Disease Center for more information about herpes.
Management of Herpes
You can take antiviral drugs like Famvir (Famciclovir), Valtrex (valacyclovir), and Zovirax (acyclovir) to treat oral and genital herpes. Or other alternative treatments like acupuncture, propolis, Algae extract, etc. are also effective.
- Cold compression: This is one of the most common home remedies in which you put an ice pack on the sores for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the pain several times a day. Wash the area with salt water before applying the ice pack. To avoid frostbite, make sure you remove the ice pack after some time.
- Honey: Honey is amazingly effective, especially kanuka honey on oral herpes. Some studies have shown that it can heal a sore in 9 days.
- Garlic: Garlic has antiviral properties that can help in reducing the effects of Herpes. You can use garlic by crushing it and mixing it with olive oil to dilute, then apply this mixture to your sores 3 times a day. But if you feel a burning sensation or irritation on the sores- wash the area immediately because garlic contains volatile organic sulfur compounds that may cause burns when you apply it directly to the skin. What you can do as an alternative is to take garlic capsules.
- Vitamins: Vitamin D can improve the immune system by helping to protect the body from infection. Vitamin E helps to reduce your stress that lower the effects of herpes. Oral Vitamin C in combination with antiviral treatment can help to reduce the recurrence of herpes simplex keratitis, a corneal infection after the HSV.
- Lemon balm: Lemon balm is also an effective herb, helping to reduce the risk of transmission. You can also extract the essential oil and dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it.
- Essential Oils: Other essential oils that have been found helpful in reducing the irritation on the sores are Tea Tree, Rosemary, Peppermint, Clove, Cinnamon, Thyme, Basil, Ginger, Sandalwood, Zataria multiflora, Eucalyptus caesia and Artemisia kermanensis essential oil.
Do’s and Don’ts
There are many things that you should be careful about with herpes infections, including:
- Change your toothbrush and get a new one.
- Try to consume more vitamin C and zinc supplements if you’re feeling stressed.
- Use a hypoallergenic, clear lip balm to protect your skin from sun rays, cold, and wind exposure.
- Wear cotton undergarments and loose clothes.
- Take warm showers for a long time and try to keep the infected area clean and dry.
- Don’t share cups and glasses while experiencing the outbreak.
- Don’t try to pop, drain, or touch the cold sore when it’s healing.
- Don’t pick at the scab, it might leave a scar.
- Don’t sit and soak for a bath in hot tubs. Instead, take showers.
- Don’t have sex, even if you use a condom. It is still possible that you can transfer the virus. Avoid oral sex at all costs.
- Avoid eating acidic food like citrus fruits or tomatoes, as if they come in contact with sores, they cause a burning sensation.
The best prevention is that you should avoid contact with the infected person completely. Other prevention strategies are given below:
- Use condoms, dental dams, or other barrier protection while having oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
- Take proper medications to lower the chances of spreading herpes to other people.
- Don’t have oral sex while you have an outbreak even if you use a condom. Because not all sores can be covered by a condom.
- Don’t touch your sores with bare hands, you might infect other parts by touching them. Wash your hands with soap and water right after.
Although, herpes is not curable but with the right medication and treatments you can reduce the healing time. You can choose medications, therapies, or home remedies which ones work best for you. Don’t stick with one method if it doesn’t work out for you. Switch to a medication when home remedies are not working.
Want to know which medications and home remedies you should use for Herpes? Talk to our experts on infectious disease doctors at Doral Health and Wellness Infectious Disease Center. Call us at 1-347-384-5690 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at http://www.infectiousdiseasedoctor.net/.