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Month: July 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Herpes: Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

Posted on July 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

In general, herpes is not considered a very serious affection and can be treated quite easily. An important characteristic of the herpes simplex virus is the fact that once infected, a person remains infected for the rest of life.

After the primary infection, the virus stays dormant until it gets activated with or without a specific trigger, but normally during periods of weakened immune system the herpes simplex virus is most likely to re-activate.

Outbreaks are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Of the eight different known types of the virus, the most common are HSV-1 and HSV-2, which presents in the form of red bumps with fluid-filled blisters, small but painful, localized around the face or genital area.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with an outbreak or even skin to skin contact since the virus has periods when it can be transmitted even without a present outbreak.

Herpes Labialis (cold sores)

It is caused by the infection with HSV-1 type virus. There is the possibility that at the time of the infection, no outbreak will occur. If there is an outbreak at the time of the infection, it is likely that this first cold sore outbreak will be more severe than any recurring ones. It starts off with a small, bumpy, red area, where the fluid-filled blisters form around the lips and mouth and up to the nostrils. Symptoms are an itching and burning sensation. Cold sore outbreaks are painful and unpleasant. The blisters eventually dry up in a few days, leaving behind a crust which will fall off within a week, leaving behind no traces.

Some common cold sore outbreak triggers are:

– infections
– high fever
– exposure to sunlight
– menstrual periods
– pregnancy
– stress
– fatigue

Genital Herpes

In general, a person becomes infected by having unprotected sexual contact with a person infected with HSV-2 (genital herpes).

Symptoms appear in about two weeks from the transmission and have a duration of 2-4 weeks. Still, many people infected with HSV-2 can never have an outbreak or have very mild ones which can be confused with insect bites or skin irritation. In general, people with genital herpes have an average of 4-5 outbreaks per year.
With time, the recurrence of herpes outbreaks (both cold sores and genital) decreases.

Treatment of herpes consists of local application of antiviral cream (Acyclovir, Zovirax) and of antiseptics in more extensive outbreaks to prevent further spreading or infection of the virus. In case of more severe outbreaks, the antiviral treatment for herpes can be taken orally, with the dosage and period strictly recommended by the doctor. It is important to remember that the treatment for herpes can shorten the length of an outbreak and relieve its symptoms, but it will not prevent future herpes outbreaks.

What Do We Do When We Have A Herpes Outbreak?

– apply antiviral cream a few times a day on and around the infected area
– cold compresses reduce inflammation (decrease swelling and redness)
– ibuprofen and paracetamol relieve the pain and discomfort
– avoid acidic foods and drinks (citrus, tomatoes)

How Do We Avoid And Prevent Herpes Outbreaks?

Avoid prolonged exposure of the lips in direct sunlight (using a hat or applying chapstick or cream with an UV filter);
Avoiding intimate contact (i.e. kissing) with people who have a genital or labial herpes outbreak;
Avoid sharing towels, cookware, or other objects with a person who has a herpes outbreak.

Cold Sores Treatment – Prescription and Over-the-Counter Treatments

Posted on July 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Basic Essential Information About Cold Sores and the Herpes Simplex Virus

Cold sores are an external symptom of infection by the herpes simplex type 1 virus (although it’s rare, it is possible for the type 2 strain, normally responsible for genital herpes, to cause cold sores), for which there is, regrettably, no cure currently known–once you’re infected by the herpes virus you’re infected for life and doomed to suffer cold sore outbreaks for all eternity (sorry). Although, one thing that should make you feel better is that over time your body slowly builds up an immunity to the virus so that the outbreaks will become less frequent and the ones you do get will be shorter in duration and less in severity–cold sore outbreaks are particularly frequent and acute during the first year of infection.

Oral herpes cycles through periods of active and dormant stages with the active stages (where you’ve got a visible cold sore) lasting between 2 and 21 days with a week being about average for most people. The dormant stage is where you don’t have any visible sores and the virus has retreated into the sensory nerve cells near the site of initial infection, which is typically the face and more specifically the lips and around the mouth.

Available Prescription Anti-Viral Treatments for Cold Sores

Acyclovir (Zovirax): This will shorten the duration of the pain by up to 1 day, and can reduce the healing time of your first (ever) cold sore outbreak by 1 to 2 days.

Famciclovir: This medication is occasionally used to treat the herpes virus that causes cold sores as well as genital herpes (it acts on both the type 1 and type 2 strains, in other words), and studies have shown that it works as well as Acyclovir in treating oral herpes outbreaks. Possible side effects include itching, fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, or diarrhea.

Valacyclovir: Valacyclovir was approved by the FDA specifically to reduce cold sore duration in people who are at least 12 years of age or older, and it’s also known that Valacyclovir is absorbed much easier than other anti-viral medications such as Acyclovir and Famciclovir. Possible side effects include allergic reaction, headache, skin rash, insomnia, dizziness, and fatigue.

Topical Over-the-Counter Creams

Tetracaine cream (Viractin) and Lidocaine (Zilactin-L): These are topical anesthetics (painkillers) that can relieve the pain and itching associated with cold sores. Initial studies show that tetracaine cream can reduce the healing time of cold sores by up to 2 days. These products are applied to cold sores up to 6 times daily for best results. Pain and itching are relieved usually within 2 to 3 days after a person first applies the product.

Docosanol 10% (Abreva): A newer nonprescription cream that is safe and effective for treating cold sores. It is most effective when applied at the first signs of a cold sore outbreak. It is the first nonprescription cold sore medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to shorten healing time and the duration of symptoms. I’ve tried this and, although I did noticed a bit of an improvement, I wasn’t particularly impressed with it.

Benzyl alcohol (Zilactin): This is a gel that relieves the pain of cold sores and may help shorten healing time, especially if used as soon as a cold sore begins to form. Let me say that this is probably, by far, the most effective over-the-counter treatment that I’ve ever tried. Apply it to the cold sore with a q-tip once every two hours.

Dimethicone with sunscreen (Herpecin-L): This is a product that moisturizes your lips and protects them from the sun. This can help reduce the pain and itching of cold sores. It can also help prevent cold sores from returning, especially if they were triggered by sun exposure.

The Best Remedies For Cold Sores – Proven Methods That Work!

Posted on July 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Many people are looking for the best remedies for cold sores. These blisters can be so painful, itchy and unpleasant to look at. Hence, this article will provide you with some remedies that are tested to work well with this condition:

1.) Home remedies

This includes herbal plants and natural ointments. Herbs like Aloe Vera, peppermint, and sage have anti-viral properties which are good for these sores. Just apply a few drops of extract from peppermint onto your sores. On the other hand, rub the juice or the fleshy part of the Aloe Vera into your sores. You can also use Aloe gel if you cannot find fresh Aloe Vera.

Natural ointments from olive oil and tea tree oil are also effective. Apply any of those regularly for best results. While the sores have not burst yet, you can do a cold compress to help the healing process and provide relief as the cold will reduce the swelling and redness. And when the sores finally break open, wash these with warm water to rinse off the fluid which can spread the virus.

2.) Over-the-counter and prescribed drugs.

There are many good remedies for cold sores that you can buy. Denavir, Zovirax, Famvir, and Valtrex are FDA accepted pills for these sores. These can speed up the healing and slow down the virus’ activities. Note that these medicines require different doses. Creams are also available for relieving the sores. Abreva, Acyclovir (5% cream), and Penciclovir (1% cream) are excellent in soothing the itch and pain caused by the sores.

With all those remedies described above, you can get rid of those unwanted sores on your lips, mouth or nostril. You must act at the first sign of sore outbreak for best results. Although these may be best remedies for cold sores, these do not eliminate the causative agent of the sores. Thus, a sore outbreak is likely to happen again, unless the virus infection is cured.

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