Herpes Simplex Virus spreads with cold sores on the mouth and lips with Type 1 symptoms and on the genitals with Type 2 symptoms. The first attack of the virus makes the blisters to appear that turn into sores. When it enters the body the first time, the virus attaches itself in your body chronically and settles down in the nerve centers in the ganglia area at the base of the brain. It stays there is a dormant form until it is re-activated. The outbreak is accompanied by symptoms such as blisters and sores that are quite painful.
What Triggers a Herpes Outbreak?
There are various factors that can trigger a herpes outbreak:
- Ultraviolet rays of the sun.
- Hormonal changes, especially during severe menstruation cycles.
- Weakness in the body’s immune system.
- Severe Trauma or Surgery
- Intense friction during sexual intercourse brings on the symptoms of an outbreak, accompanied by irritation.
- Extreme physical stress that brings severe fatigue.
- Emotional stress that involves anxiety.
- Immune suppression that can be brought about by other viral infections or steroidal medications.
- Excessive sweating or irritation in the groin area while riding bikes or wearing tight pants.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Hormonal Fluctuations
- Taking an L-arginine rich diet – almonds, cashews and walnuts.
Factors that lead to an outbreak may not be the same for everyone. Physicians are not sure about any particular lifestyle that may cause an outbreak of the virus. Doctors are not sure about how the outbreak can be triggered and reactivated but certain studies have concluded that skin trauma and extreme stress can result in an outbreak.
As of now, there is no permanent cure for the Herpes Simplex Virus. However, there is encouraging news about a new drug that is under the process of being manufactured that can provide a permanent cure in the future.
After the initial outbreak, the sores generally fade away and heal on their own even when they are not treated. The virus can be treated by both natural remedies and medicines that can be bought over the counter. It helps in relieving the symptoms and shortening the virus outbreak cycle. Doctors usually treat this condition by prescribing anti-viral medicines. The dosage is one tablet every day and it helps clear the sores faster and also allows the infected people to engage in sex with their partner after using water-based lubricants and latex condoms.
Promising Cure in the Future
There is talk of an experimental drug that may eventually provide a cure through its treatment option for both oral and genital herpes as per a report from the researchers involved in the making of this medicine. This drug is going to be labelled “Pritelivir” and it will primarily be curbing viral shedding among people who are suffering with genital herpes. It will then eradicate the virus from the nerve path and the nerve cells where it resides in a dormant state after the initial attack on the skin of an infected person. These findings have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Tests have already proved successful on over one hundred and fifty patients who took the drug for a period of one month. Researchers are confident that these preliminary studies and trials may go on to establish a permanent cure for people from the herpes simplex virus. The drug is also going to be useful in preventing the virus from spreading. Dr. Whitley of Alabama University has reported that there was a drastic decrease in the viral shedding during the drug trials.
Until this drug is certified by the Center for Diseases, it can safely be assumed that there is no permanent cure, currently, for both oral and genital herpes as the virus can be triggered by various factors at a later date. The anti-viral medicines that are effective against herpes simplex virus are Famvir and Valtrex.
People who are affected by the herpes virus may experience a tingling sensation on the areas that get infected. They may also have a burning sensation on the skin around the infected area and it will start to itch. The skin will tingle before the blisters break out. They are filled with a milky fluid and after the fluid dries, they turn into sores. The blisters will break open after some time and the fluid will ooze out to form a crust before they heal. On the first occasion, the sores may appear after a couple of days after the virus spreads and may last for up to three weeks.
Other symptoms are a presence of fever as in the case of influenza. The fever will be accompanied by muscle pain and inflammation in the glands or lymph nodes and around the neck and groins. There will be a burning sensation when you pass the urine and in some cases, and problems to pass urine normally. The outbreaks of such sores will generally develop around the mouth and the genitals. However, the sores may appear anywhere on your skin.
When a person gets affected initially by the herpes virus, he or she may not feel or see any visible symptoms. In the case of oral herpes, the blisters will break out on the lips or around your mouth. You may even find them on your tongue and near the eyes and ears. The herpes simplex virus may spread to one or both the eyes in the case of an eye infection. The eyes may become sensitive and there may be a watery discharge. It is better to take immediate treatment to avoid scarring around the eyes. In the case of genital herpes, the sores may appear on the penis, the vagina, anus, thighs and buttocks. They may appear anywhere on your skin. Some people get the sores on their back or around the hip area.
When you are affected by either oral herpes or genital herpes, you will experience discomfort as the sores become itchy and painful. The sores appear in the form of red blisters and they swell with milky fluid within them. You can catch this virus through sexual contact, physical touch or a kiss.
Home Treatment for Herpes
You are able to treat herpes sores at home. Natural remedies and medicines are available to treat the virus. Some of the natural remedies are:
- Olive Leaf Extract
Olive oil has always been recommended as one of the best moisturizers for your skin. It is an anti-oxidant and one of the most sought after treatments for herpes sores. Olive and lavender oil can be heated after blending. After the mixture cools down, it can be applied on the infected areas.
- Ice Pack
A simple method to cure the herpes virus at home is ice as it offers tremendous relief when are you are suffering with pain from the sores. Crush the ice cubes and fill it in a plastic bag; wrap the plastic bag in thick cloth and place it on your sores for about fifteen minutes. You will get comfort from both the itching and the swelling. You have to do this, twice a day.
- Baking Soda
This is also an effective way of getting healed from herpes. You can get relief by using a cotton ball, dipped in baking soda and applied on the sores. The same cotton ball cannot be re-dipped into the baking soda dish.
- Tea Tree Oil
One of the best remedies for treating an outbreak of herpes sores is tea tree oil. Add a few drops of this oil in a glass of water and gargle to remove the ulcers from lips and mouth. You can use the oil through an eye dropper for application on the genital areas.
- Epsom Salts
you can take a warm bath with Epsom salt water to provide soothing relief from the pain you get with the sores. It will help in drying the sores faster and reducing the itching effect.
- Over-the-counter Medicines
Analgesics are helpful in relieving the pain from a herpes virus outbreak. Some of the medicines that help are Ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. Ointments such as Propolis are helpful for application on the infected areas. Homeopathic medicines such as Kreosotum, Apis and Hepar Sulfur will also help.
When you know that you have the herpes virus, you may not feel that is the end of the world for you when it comes to the dating ritual. There is no need for you to feel low about it or stop seeking fun and love. Oral or genital herpes does not take away your natural qualities that attract people to you in the first place. You will continue to be popular. The first thing that you will have to realize when you catch the herpes virus is that it is a very common thing and almost one out of five adults may be affected by this virus.
Breaking the Topic of Herpes to Your Date
When you go out on your first date after catching genital or oral herpes, it may seem a bit peculiar to you but you will have to adapt to your new condition. You have to be positive and keep hoping that you will always be active and intimate sexually with the person that you are dating. There is no need to keep the herpes virus as a secret. You can be candid with people and talk as plainly as possible about your condition. You have to break the news at an appropriate moment. It is totally up to you, on a date, to select an appropriate time to talk about genital herpes (how to tell your partner if you have herpes?)
It will be insensitive on your part to wait until you have had sex to inform. It will put you in an awkward situation. Another thing that you have to be prepared for, when you date after catching the herpes virus is the possibility of rejection. You have to allow for a little indifference from the person you are dating when you inform him or her that you are affected by genital herpes. A person who humiliates you or is inconsiderate just because you have herpes is a waste of time.
Keep on dating and you will ultimately come across a person who likes your company regardless of your viral condition. There are people in this world who are considerate and accommodating. You can join one of several dating sites for people with herpes that are available on the internet. You may have to realize that herpes will change the way you look at dating. You will not be able to date in the same kind of pools that you used to date earlier in. It is, therefore, advisable to date on special sites that cater to people who have herpes. There is a good possibility of meeting people who are in a similar situation like you. You need not be depressed, thinking about the burden of stigma attached with herpes.