How to Prevent Outbreaks of Herpes
Learn how to prevent outbreaks of both oral and genital herpes simplex virus.
There are two types of the herpes simplex virus: HSV- 1 and HSV- 2. They are also known as Hunan herpes virus 1 (HHV-1) and 2 (HHV-2) respectively. Both forms of herpes are very contagious, and sufferers experience repeated outbreaks.
The most common sites of herpes infection are the mouth/lips (oral herpes) and genitals (gential herpes). This infection appears in the form of liquid-filled blisters.
However, both herpes viruses can infect any part of the skin surface.
Furthermore, although HSV-1 is more commonly linked with oral herpes and HSV-2 with genital herpes, either virus can cause oral and genital herpes. In fact, the incidence of genital herpes caused by HSV-1 is rising rapidly (currently estimated to account for 20 - 80% of genital herpes cases).
There are three ways to prevent herpes outbreaks: avoiding contact with infected people, natural treatments to prevent future outbreaks, and pharmaceutical drugs.
The University of Maryland Medical Center describes the symptoms of oral herpes (herpes labialis) as painful blisters on the lips and inside of the mouth which burst and form yellowish scabs as they heal. It takes between three days and two weeks for full recovery.
In addition, a person with oral herpes may experience foul breath and increased salivation. Rarely, more serious complications and diseases can occur.
Outbreaks of genital herpes occur one or two weeks after being infected with either of the two herpes viruses. Usually there is tingling in the genital area, followed by red bumps which turn into blisters.
Over the next several weeks, more blisters can occur, rupture, and become painful, open sores. The affected areas cause itching in some cases. Scabs form, and the sores eventually heal.
John Hopkins University states that oral herpes is spread in two ways. First, any direct physical contact with a person who is experiencing an outbreak, such as kissing, will spread the virus to another person.
Since herpes simplex-1 is passed through saliva, the virus can also be spread by sharing toothbrushes, drinking straws, sports bottles, eating utensils, and towels with others.
Children and young adults are the most susceptible to contracting oral herpes. The safest way to prevent an outbreak of oral herpes is to avoid sharing personal items with family members and friends.
Genital herpes is a sexually- transmitted disease. HSV- 2 and HSV- 1 are passed through sexual contact (including oral sex) with an infected partner. The unfortunate truth about genital herpes is that the symptoms of the disease can be so mild that a person may not know he or she has the virus.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the following steps to prevent the spread of genital herpes:
Once a person contracts either oral or genital herpes, the primary concern may be how to reduce and prevent the number and severity of future outbreaks of the virus. There are a number of natural methods to prevent future outbreaks of herpes.
The first order of business to help prevent future outbreaks of either oral or genital herpes is to clean up the daily diet.
While there is no “official herpes diet,” the following suggestions have been clinically proven to boost the body’ immune system, support healthy skin, and speed up the healing time during outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus.
The National Institute of Health has published a number of herbs which scientists have demonstrated to help reduce healing time and incidence of future herpes outbreaks.
The following herbs for genital herpes have effective virucidal properties:
Most of these herbs can be made into traditional healing teas. Three cups of any of these herbal tea preparations, plus applying the cooled, used herbs directly on the affected areas can bring noticeable results.
If a medical approach to preventing outbreaks of herpes is preferred over a natural approach, there are a couple of pharmaceutical drugs which effectively treat both oral and genital herpes.
Physicians usually recommend a pain reliever for the discomfort associated with both types of herpes. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the following drugs for the both oral herpes and genital herpes:
Herpes can never be cured. Like other viruses, such as chicken pox, the herpes virus stays in the body forever. Over time, however, the outbreaks do lessen in severity. The amount of time between outbreaks increases, until the virus goes dormant and is no longer an issue.
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Johns Hopkins Medicine.org, “Mouth Infections”
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University of Maryland Medical Center.edu, “Herpes simplex- Treatment for Oral Herpes”
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