Itching from Herpes
Learn what causes herpes itching and what treatments are available to help stop the itch.
by Brad Chase
Based on research cited by the Safe Lab Centre, roughly 500,000 new cases of herpes occur each year, and as many as 20 to 25% of all adults over the age of 15 have developed genital herpes.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is surprisingly common, with more and more cases each year. It's symptoms can also be problematic. At best, herpes is asymptomatic, but is still likely to develop some sores. At worst, the itching from herpes can be unbearable, and you may even find that herpes is causing you cold or flu like symptoms.
Most men and women that have Herpes types 1 and 2 develop a herpes itch. It's important to avoid scratching the herpes itch, because while it's difficult to spread the disease to others through scratching, it is possible to re-infect yourself if you touch an open area of your skin.
However, those that itch often find that the herpes itching can be unbearable without scratching. That's why so many individuals try to find relief from herpes itch.
Herpes is a virus that occurs in stages.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the primary herpes infection is usually the worst, followed by several recurrence stages. The most noticeable symptoms of herpes are the lesions. But herpes has several additional symptoms, including:
Whether the primary or the recurrent stage, the herpes itching can last from 2 days before the lesions occur (according to the New York State Department of Health Manual on Herpes), until after the blisters and sores heal.
Controlling the itchy feeling of herpes can be difficult, but there are several options you can consider. Herpes cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed by using the right management tools.
Some of your herpes itch symptoms may be relieved with simple home care. Consider the following:
For very mild herpes recurrences, the above home care should make the symptoms more manageable. But for most outbreaks it's a good idea to complement the home care with some type of herpes itching treatment.
Several companies have developed medicines designed to control herpes symptoms. Many doctors recommend painkillers like ibuprofen to control the herpes pain, and these types of medicines can have mild benefits for controlling the itch.
Doctors also often prescribe antiviral medications that are valuable for controlling herpes outbreaks. Valtrex and Zovirax are two of the most common, although they're designed more for the initial outbreak as that is when the symptoms are most severe.
They also need to be used during the prodromal phase of the herpes outbreak (before the lesions have broken skin). They can be used afterward, but their effectiveness is greatly reduced. These medicines may also have side effects that include:
All medicines have side effects. Deadly or dangerous side effects are fairly rare with herpes medications, but some degree of side effects is not uncommon with regular use.
Many of those dealing with both herpes types 1 and 2 prefer to avoid pharmaceutical treatments, because the side effects can be disruptive and requires a prescription. Herbal and natural supplements are known to be side effect free, and do not require a prescription, making them preferable for regular use.
Examples of these types of natural ingredients include:
There are several anti-viral herbs that have shown promise with reducing the effects of herpes, but the above three are some of the most valuable herbs and nutrients currently available for stopping the disease from progressing, and reducing the herpes itch that can be such trouble during your everyday life.
Some experts also believe that you should combine natural care with medicines to drastically cut down on symptoms and recovery time.
Herpes itching can be a serious problem, but there are ways that it can be controlled. Home remedies will relieve some of the itching, and medications or natural supplements should take care of the rest.
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