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Signs herpes outbreak is coming

HSV can be present within the body anywhere from 2 to 12 days before displaying any sign of infection. The severity of the herpes infection varies, depending upon whether the episode is primary or recurrent. The classic herpes lesion begins as a small red papule that evolves into a vesicle containing clear fluid. HSV outbreaks are often preceded by a tingling, burning, and itching sensation in the affected area [5]. A practitioner can best make a diagnosis based on medical history, laboratory tests, and inspection of the infected area by means of a physical examination. Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids (600mg of each three times daily for three days after onset of symptoms) may help reduce the duration of a HSV outbreak [4].
Vitamin E (15 minute topical applications in and around lesion) may provide pain relief when applied topically to lesions [4]. Lysine (1g per three times per day during outbreaks; 1g per day to limit outbreaks and recurrences) has been shown to help resolve and prevent HSV outbreaks involving the mouth, lips, and genital areas. Vitamin B12 (1000mcg per day intramuscularly) is suggested to have antiviral activity against herpes viruses.
Zinc (50-75mg per day, combine with 2mg of copper to reduce frequency, duration, and severity of HSV infections) enhances cell-mediated immunity and has been shown to inhibit HSV replication. Lemon balm (topical applications 2-4 times per day) topical ointment applications have been used on cold sores.
Licorice (apply ointment or gel to lesions several times daily) is known for its immune system supporting properties.
Siberian Ginseng (500-3000mg dried root capsules per day) has been shown to decrease the severity of HSV infections [4]. Aloe vera (0.5%) cream contains constituents which inactivate HSV-2, both when used alone and synergistically with acyclovir. Herpes Simplex Virus is a common pathogen and its primary infection is usually asymptomatic.
For more information about ELISA Kits, Rapid Tests, IFA Kits, CLIA Test Kits, or Serology tests, please see our website home page, or contact our Customer Service Representative at 818-591-3030. Visually explore Herpes Simplex Virus 1 pictures, or more commonly known as Oral Herpes (cold sores) Pictures.
Genital herpes is an extremely common sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A person infected with genital herpes can transmit the virus when there are no signs present. Before an infected person suffers an outbreak of herpes, they may experience prodrome (warning signs). Although there is no cure for genital herpes, you can reduce the spread of this virus with anti-viral therapy. Anyone infected with the herpes simplex virus will carry it in their body during their entire life.
Please note: We understand that outbreaks are a very sensitive subject and we will protect your privacy. Lesions can occur in many different areas, especially in or around the mouth, lips, genitals, and eyes. HSV-1 is commonly transmitted through saliva and skin-to-skin contact with an individual who carries the virus.
The black population has a higher HSV prevalence than do whites, which may be accounted for by the fact that developing countries are less educated on safe sexual practices.
HSV is recurrent and presents as single or multiple painful clusters of blisters on top of a red base, which eventually ulcerate and form a crust. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the diagnostic standard method for HSV infections of the central nervous system. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties which can help speed up the healing time of blisters and cold sores [6]. Vitamin E is a neuro-protective element which helps relieve nerve pain during recurrences[6]. Lysine is thought to have inhibitory effects on HSV replication, and is antagonistic to arginine, which promotes HSV growth.
Vitamin B12 is also good for the treatment of nerve-related conditions; it is good for overall nerve health and function in general.
It can also be applied topically as a zinc sulfate (4%) solution to reduce pain and increase healing time [1]. Studies show that lemon balm significantly reduces the likelihood of recurrent infections as well as healing time [4].
It is also antiviral by inhibiting growth, activity, and replication of the herpes simplex virus.
The active ingredients in his herbal preparation help to stimulate the immune system and also reduce the number of outbreaks [9].
Studies reveal that aloe cream shortens healing time and decreases severity of symptoms [4].
Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA.
Diluted patient serum is added to wells, and the HSV IgM specific antibody, if present, binds to the antigen. The HSV 1,2 M Index for Negative and Positive Control should be in the range stated on the labels. When one partner has a cold sore, they are usually a carrier of type 1 herpes simplex virus and can easily spread the virus to another by performing oral sex on them. A great number of individuals lead very normal lives without suffering any serious issues from genital herpes. The genital herpes virus will not live on any surface that is dead such as door knobs and sinks. During this time, the person may experience certain sensations such as pain, itching or tingling. Individuals should have only one sexual partner and should choose a partner that has not been infected with herpes. Most pregnant women with the virus receive anti-viral medications and undergo a cesarean delivery. Treatment will reduce the length of the outbreak as well as the frequency of these outbreaks. On the other hand, HSV-2 is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person [3]. The highest annual incidence of genital herpes among women occurs at 20 to 24 years of age and is estimated to be 210 per 100,000 women.
If systemic symptoms are present, then a more thorough neurological examination needs to be performed [4]. HSV PCR, with its consistency and substantially higher rate of HSV detection, could replace viral culture as the gold standard for diagnosis in those with active lesions [2]. Lemon balm seems to exert its antiviral effects on HSV following viral entry into cells – viral binding assays show that the extract does not prevent HSV-2 entry [7]. Topical application of licorice gels or ointments reduces both healing time and the uncomfortable symptoms of HSV-2 [4]. HSV-1 is mainly responsible for causing outbreaks in and around the mouth and lips; HSV-2 is the main type responsible for genital outbreaks. Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: Alternative Therapies and Integrative Medicine for Total Health and Wellness. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is the most common cause of genital herpes, but it can also cause oral herpes. HSV 1 is generally associated with oral infection and lesions above the waist, and HSV 2 is associated with genital infections and lesions below the waist.
When a person has oral-genital contact with someone who is infected with HSV-1, genital infection is very likely. If a person or their partner has genital herpes, latex condoms should be used, and oral sex should never be performed.
These individuals should educate themselves about all aspects of the herpes simplex virus. That is, we do not indicate that this remedy is for herpes on the label, ensuring your privacy.
HSV-1 is responsible for the development of your typical “cold sore”; it therefore has a predisposition for the mouth and lips, but it can also cause genital herpes in a small number of cases.
The likelihood of becoming infected with HSV-2 increases with the number of sexual partners, having unprotected sex, and having a partner with genital herpes [4]. The initial symptomatic episode is usually followed by a greater likelihood of clinical recurrences as well as shedding of the virus.
Lesions ulcerate more rapidly in moist areas than on dry skin, thus lesions on mucous membranes tend to be more painful [4]. Systemic symptoms may also be present, and include fever, malaise, body aches, headaches, and nausea. Meanwhile, laboratory testing to confirm the diagnosis is indicated for most people having their initial eruption. Licorice also appears to be effective against HSV-1 by reducing membrane fluidity which inhibits fusion of the virus with cells [8].
Trends in HSV Types and Genital HerpesGenital herpes can be caused by either HSV-2 or HSV-1. Clinical cases primarily are 1) eczema herpeticum with eczematous skin changes with numerous lesions, 2) Gingivo-stomatitis and 3) Herpes sepsis, almost only found in newly born of premature infants. Oral Herpes is usually associated with fever blisters and other types of mouth infections. HSV-1 and HSV-2 must enter the body through broken skin or a mucous membrane in order to become infectious [5]. Infections, trauma, stress, fever, menstrual periods, and sun exposure are all common triggers for a recurrent outbreak [3]. Shedding is subclinical, and occurs when the skin tissue harbors the virus and literally “sheds”; transmission of the virus is simplified through the shedding process.
Individuals with genital HSV-1 infections have a much lower risk of viral shedding and symptomatic recurring outbreaks than do those who are infected with HSV-2 genital herpes [2].
Meningitis-like symptoms, such as stiffness of the neck and sensitivity to light, are also common.
A positive blood test, however, does not necessarily mean that the individual had any previous symptomatic indications of a herpes outbreak. It is there important to control for environmental factors which may precipitate an outbreak. Genital herpes does not adversely affect an infected persona€™s immune system and usually does not predispose them to other infections.
Practicing a healthy life style that includes safe sex practices allows individuals to function normally. HSV has an affinity for the nerve cells; it infects the sensory and autonomic nerves before ascending to the nerve ganglia in the spinal cord.


Recurrences of the infection typically occur four to five times a year in those with symptomatic outbreaks. Women can also present with vaginal discharge and inter-menstrual spotting when HSV infects the cervix.
Other acceptable testing methods include direct immuno-fluorescent assay (DFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and antigen detection tests. In recent years, HSV-1 has become a significant cause in developed countries, including the United States.
The intensity of the color generated is proportional to the amount of IgM specific antibody in the sample. It is within the nerve ganglia that the virus can remain dormant and become reactivated at a later time. Swollen groin lymph nodes are common and discomfort during urination occurs when herpes enters the urethra or urine comes into contact with lesions on the vulvar surface [4]. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that isolation of HSV in a cell culture followed by DFA antigen testing can help distinguish HSV-1 from HSV-2 [4]. Once reactivated, the virus migrates from the ganglia to the target site (usually the skin or mucous membranes) where it can either cause an outbreak or shed [4]. Asymptomatic individuals are likely to sexually transmit the infection to others without awareness [4].
HSV outbreaks are characterized by papules that eventually form fluid-filled vesicles, which ulcerate and crust-over.
Several nutritional and botanical treatments exist which can decrease healing time and prevent future outbreaks.
The risk of infection is highest during outbreak periods when there are visible sores and lesions.
Please consult with your doctor or a licensed health professional prior to taking any supplements, botanicals, or medications.
A professional can help determine which supplement is best suited for your unique presentation and circumstances. SymptomsWhen genital herpes symptoms do appear, they are usually worse during the first outbreak than during recurring attacks. Herpes, Pregnancy, and Newborn InfantsHerpes can pose serious risks for a pregnant woman and her baby. The risk is greatest for mothers with a first-time infection, because the virus can be transmitted to the infant during childbirth.
Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using specific diagnostic tests for women in labor to determine the risk of transmission. Babies born to mothers infected with genital herpes are often treated with the antiviral drug acyclovir, which can help suppress the virus. Herpes viruses include human herpes virus 8 (the cause of Kaposi sarcoma) and varicella-zoster virus (also known as herpes zoster, the virus responsible for shingles and chickenpox). The word "herpes" comes from the Greek word "herpein," meaning "to creep." This refers to the unique characteristic pattern of all herpes viruses to creep along local nerve pathways to the nerve clusters at the end, where they remain in an inactive (dormant) state for variable periods of time. The usual cause of oral herpes (herpes labialis), which are commonly called cold sores or fever blisters.
HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, which is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). Until recently, the general rule was to assume that HSV-1 caused oral herpes and HSV-2 caused genital herpes. It is now clear, however, that either type of herpes virus can be found in the genital or oral areas (or other sites). In fact, HSV-1 is now responsible for more than half of all new cases of genital herpes in developed countries. The Disease ProcessHerpes is transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact. To infect people, the herpes simplex viruses (both HSV-1 and HSV-2) must get into the body through tiny injuries in the skin or through a mucous membrane, such as inside the mouth or on the genital or anal areas.
The risk for infection is highest with direct contact of blisters or sores during an outbreak. But the infection can also develop from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible sores or other symptoms. Once the virus has contact with the mucous membranes or skin wounds, it enters the nuclei of skin tissue cells and begins to replicate. The virus is then transported from the nerve endings of the skin to clusters of nerve cells (ganglia) where it remains inactive (latent) for some period of time. However, at some point, the virus wakes up and travels along nerve pathways to the surface the skin where it begins to multiply again. During this time, the virus can infect other people if it is passed along in body fluids or secretions. Viral shedding may be accompanied by noticeable symptoms (outbreak) but it can also occur without causing symptoms (asymptomatic shedding). In either case, a person is infectious during periods of viral shedding. Symptoms may appear as multiple small red bumps or patches that develop blisters. Certain triggers can wake up the virus from its dormant state and cause it to become active again. In general, recurrent episodes of herpes cause less severe symptoms than the primary outbreak. HSV-1 is the most prevalent form of herpes simplex virus, and infection is most likely to occur during preschool years. In addition, because HSV-1 can be passed in saliva, people should also avoid sharing toothbrushes or eating utensils. Transmission of Genital Herpes Genital herpes is transmitted through sexual activity. People can get HSV-2 through genital contact or HSV-1 through mouth-to-genital contact with an infected partner. People with active symptoms of genital herpes are at very high risk for transmitting the infection. Unfortunately, most cases of genital herpes infections occur when the virus is shedding but producing no symptoms.
Most people either have no symptoms or do not recognize them when they appear. In the past, genital herpes was mostly caused by HSV-2, but HSV-1 genital infection is increasing. There is also evidence that children today are less likely to get cold sores and become exposed to HSV-1 during childhood. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 6 Americans ages 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. While HSV-2 remains the main cause of genital herpes, HSV-1 has significantly increased as a cause, most likely because of oral-genital sex. African-American women are at particularly high risk. People with compromised immune systems, such as those who have HIV, are at very high risk for genital herpes.
Drugs that suppress the immune system, and organ transplantation, can also weaken the immune system and increase the risk for contracting genital herpes. It is almost impossible to defend against the transmission of oral herpes, because it can be transmitted by very casual contact, including kissing. Still, you can help reduce the risk of transmitting oral herpes by not sharing objects that touch the mouth, such as eating and drinking utensils, toothbrushes, and towels.
It is best to refrain from any type of sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) during periods of active outbreak. However, herpes can also be transmitted when symptoms are not present (asymptomatic shedding). Although condoms may not provide 100% protection, they are proven to significantly reduce the risk of sexual disease transmission, including herpes. Natural condoms made from animal skin do NOT protect against HSV infection because herpes viruses can pass through them. Use a water-based lubricant. Lubricants can help prevent friction during sex, which can irritate the skin and increase the risk for outbreaks. Only water-based lubricants (K-Y Jelly, Astroglide, AquaLube, and glycerin) should be used. However, it is best not to use condoms pre-lubricated with spermicides. Do not use spermicides for protection against herpes. Nonoxynol-9 can cause irritation around the genital areas, which makes it easier for herpes and other STDs to be transmitted. Use a dental dam or condom for oral sex. If you have any symptoms of oral herpes, it is best not to perform oral sex on a partner until any visible sores or blisters have healed. Limit the number of sexual partners. The more sexual partners you have, the greater your chances of becoming infected or infecting others. It is very unlikely to transmit or contract genital herpes from a toilet seat or bath towel. Studies suggest that male circumcision may help reduce the risk of HSV-2, as well as human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV infections.
However, herpes can cause significant and widespread complications in people who don't have a fully functioning immune system. The CDC recommends that all people diagnosed with herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) get tested for HIV. Most people with HIV are co-infected with HSV-2 and are particularly vulnerable to its complications.
HSV-2 infection increases HIV levels in the genital tract, which makes it easier for the HIV virus to be spread to sexual partners. Herpes and PregnancyPregnant women who have genital herpes due to either HSV-2 or HSV-1 have an increased risk for miscarriage, premature labor, inhibited fetal growth, or transmission of the herpes infection to the infant in the uterus or at the time of delivery. Herpes in newborn babies (herpes neonatalis) can be a very serious condition. Fortunately, neonatal herpes is rare. Although about 25 to 30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies are born with neonatal herpes. The baby is at greatest risk during a vaginal delivery, especially if the mother has an asymptomatic infection that was first introduced late in the pregnancy.
The risk for transmission also increases if infants with infected mothers are born prematurely, there is invasive monitoring, or instruments are used during vaginal delivery.
Transmission can occur if the amniotic membrane of an infected woman ruptures prematurely, or as the infant passes through an infected birth canal. This risk is increased if the woman is having or has recently had an active herpes outbreak in the genital area. Very rarely, the virus is transmitted across the placenta, a form of the infection known as congenital herpes.
Also rarely, newborns may contract herpes during the first weeks of life from being kissed by someone with a herpes cold sore. Infants may get congenital herpes from a mother with an active herpes infection at the time of birth. Aggressive treatment with antiviral medication is required. Most infected pregnant women do not have a history of symptoms, so herpes infection is often not suspected or detected at the time of delivery. Fortunately, if a woman does have genital lesions, rapid diagnostic blood tests can quickly determine her chances of transmitting the virus to her baby during delivery.
Some women with new or recurrent herpes may also be prescribed antiviral medication during pregnancy. A woman with herpes can usually safely breastfeed her baby, as long as she does not have a lesion on her breast or nipple. Neonatal herpes can spread to the brain and central nervous system, causing encephalitis and meningitis. Herpes can also spread to internal organs, such as the liver and lungs. Infants infected with herpes are treated with acyclovir, an antiviral drug. They usually receive several weeks of intravenous acyclovir treatment, often followed by several months of oral acyclovir. It is important to treat babies quickly, before the infection spreads to the brain and other organs. Fortunately, rapid diagnostic tests and treatment with acyclovir have significantly improved survival rates and reduced complication rates.
Nearly all who recover have some impairment, ranging from very mild neurological changes to paralysis.


Like encephalitis, meningitis symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
Fortunately, herpes meningitis usually resolves after about a week without complications, although symptoms can recur. Herpes Eye ComplicationsOcular herpes is a recurrent infection that affects the eyes. Ocular herpes is usually a simple infection that clears up in a few days, but in its more serious forms, and in severe cases, it can cause blindness. It only affects the upper layer (epithelium) of the cornea and heals with scarring. Stromal Keratitis. Iridocyclitis is another serious complication of ocular herpes, in which the iris and the area around it become inflamed.
Herpes Skin ComplicationsEczema Herpeticum A rare form of herpes infection called eczema herpeticum, also known as Kaposi varicelliform eruption, can affect people with skin disorders and those with a weakened immune system. Untreated, this condition can be extremely serious and possibly fatal. Gingivostomatiti Oral herpes can cause multiple painful ulcers on the gums and mucus membranes of the mouth, a condition called gingivostomatitis. Children with gingivostomatitis commonly develop herpetic whitlow (herpes of the fingers). Herpetic Whitlow A herpetic whitlow is an infection of the herpes virus involving the finger, often around the fingernail.
In children, this is often caused by thumb sucking or finger sucking while they have a cold sore. It can also occur in adult health care workers, such as dentists, because of increased exposure to the herpes virus.
The use of latex or polyurethane gloves prevents herpes whitlow in health care workers. SymptomsHerpes symptoms vary depending on whether the outbreak is initial or recurrent. The primary outbreak is usually worse than recurrent outbreaks, with more severe and prolonged symptoms. In fact, studies indicate that 10 to 25% of people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes. The first signs are a tingling sensation in the affected areas (genitalia, buttocks, and thighs) and groups of small red bumps that develop into blisters. The sores may sometimes itch, but itching decreases as they heal. About 40% of men and 70% of women develop other symptoms during initial outbreaks of genital herpes, such as flu-like discomfort, headache, muscle aches, and fever. Some women may have difficulty urinating and may, occasionally, require a urinary catheter. Women may also experience vaginal discharge. Recurrent Genital Herpes Outbreak In general, recurrences are much milder than the initial outbreak.
The virus sheds for a much shorter period of time (about 3 days) compared to an initial outbreak of 3 weeks. Women may have only minor itching, and the symptoms may be even milder in men. On average, people have about four recurrences during the first year, although this varies widely. There are some differences in frequency of recurrence depending on whether HSV-2 or HSV-1 caused genital herpes. HSV-2 genital infection is more likely to cause recurrences than HSV-1. Symptoms of Oral HerpesOral herpes (herpes labialis) is most often caused by HSV-1, but it can also be caused by HSV-2. It usually affects the lips and, in some primary attacks, the mucus membranes in the mouth. A herpes infection may occur on the cheeks or in the nose, but facial herpes is very uncommon. Primary Oral Herpes Infection If the primary (initial) oral infection causes symptoms, they can be very painful, particularly in children.
The sores last 10 to 14 days and can be very uncomfortable. Blisters that may be preceded or accompanied by sore throat, fever, swollen glands, and painful swallowing. Recurrent Oral Herpes Infection A recurrent oral herpes infection is much milder than the primary outbreak.
It usually manifests as a single sore, commonly called a cold sore or fever blister (because it may arise during a bout of cold or flu). The sore usually shows up on the outer edge of the lips and rarely affects the gums or throat.
Recurrences of genital herpes are more likely with HSV-2 infection than with HSV-1 infection. The outbreak of infection is often preceded by a prodrome, an early group of symptoms that may include itchy skin, pain, or an abnormal tingling sensation at the site of infection. Recurrent outbreaks feature most of the same symptoms at the same sites as the primary attack, but they tend to be milder and briefer. Occasionally, the symptoms may not resemble those of the primary episode, but appear as fissures and scrapes in the skin or as general inflammation around the affected area. They include sunlight, wind, fever, physical injury, surgery, menstruation, suppression of the immune system, and emotional stress. Oral herpes can be triggered within about 3 days of intense dental work, particularly root canal or tooth extraction. Timing of Recurrences Recurrent outbreaks may occur at intervals of days, weeks, or years. For most people, outbreaks recur with more frequency during the first year after an initial attack.
The good news is that in most healthy people, recurring infections tend to become progressively less frequent, and less severe, over time.
However, other conditions can resemble herpes, and doctors cannot base a herpes diagnosis on visual inspection alone. These tests include: Virologic tests (viral culture of the lesion) Serologic tests (blood tests that detect antibodies) The CDC recommends that both virologic and serologic tests be used for diagnosing genital herpes. People diagnosed with genital herpes should also be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases.
At this time, experts do not recommend screening for HSV-1 or HSV-2 in the general population. Genital herpes can be caused by either HSV-1 or HSV-2. It is important to determine which virus is involved, as the type of herpes infection influences prognosis and treatment recommendations. Recurrences of genital herpes, and viral shedding without overt symptoms, are much less frequent with HSV-1 infection than with HSV-2. False-negative (testing negative when herpes infection is actually present) or false-positive (testing positive when herpes infection is not actually present) results can occur. Your health care provider may recommend that you have a test repeated. Virologic TestsViral culture tests are made by taking a fluid sample, or culture, from the lesions as early as possible, ideally within the first 48 hours of the outbreak.
PCR tests are much faster and more accurate than viral cultures, and the CDC recommends PCR for detecting herpes in spinal fluid when diagnosing herpes encephalitis. PCR can make many copies of the virus' DNA, so that even small amounts of DNA in the sample can be detected. However, many labs now use PCR for herpes testing because it is highly accurate. An older type of virologic testing, the Tzanck smear test, uses scrapings from herpes lesions.
The scrapings are stained and examined under a microscope for the presence of giant cells with many nuclei or distinctive particles that carry the virus (called inclusion bodies). The Tzanck test is not reliable for providing a conclusive diagnosis of herpes infection and is not recommended by the CDC. Serologic TestsSerologic (blood) tests can identify antibodies that are specific for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. When the herpes virus infects you, your body's immune system produces specific antibodies to fight off the infection. If a blood test detects antibodies to herpes, it is evidence that you have been infected with the virus, even if the virus is in a non-active (dormant) state. The presence of antibodies to herpes also indicates that you are a carrier of the virus and might transmit it to others. Serologic tests can be especially useful for people who do not have active symptoms, but who have other risk factors for herpes (such as other STDs, multiple sex partners, or a monogamous partner who has genital herpes).
Although glycoprotein (gG) type-specific tests have been available for many years, many of the older nontype-specific tests that cannot distinguish HSV-1 from HSV-2 are still on the market.
Canker sores frequently crop up singly or in groups on the inside of the mouth, or on or underneath the tongue. The drugs are used initially to treat a first attack of herpes, and then afterward to either treat recurrent outbreaks (episodic therapy) or reduce frequency of recurrences (suppressive therapy). Drugs can, however, reduce the severity of symptoms, improve healing times, and prevent recurrences. If people experience very severe disease or complications, they need to be hospitalized and receive an antiviral drug intravenously. Your health care provider will prescribe one of the three antiviral medications, which you will take for 7 to 10 days.
You should begin the medication as soon as you notice any signs or symptoms of herpes, preferably during the prodrome stage that precedes the outbreak of lesions.
If taken during prodrome, episodic therapy may help prevent an outbreak from occurring or reduce its severity. Valacyclovir is taken once a day. Suppressive treatment can reduce the frequency of outbreak recurrences by 70 to 80%. It is generally recommended for people who have frequent recurrences (6 or more outbreaks per year). Because herpes recurrences often diminish over time, you should discuss annually with your health care provider whether you should stay with drug therapy or discontinue it.
While taking any suppressive therapy for genital herpes, it is still important to regularly use latex condoms and to avoid any sexual activity during recurrences. A new form of acyclovir (Sitavig) is administered orally as an adhesive tablet; it is applied to the gum region of the mouth, where it dissolves during the course of the day.
In addition, acyclovir is available in topical form, as is the related drug penciclovir (Denavir). Topical TreatmentsThese ointments or creams can help shorten healing time and duration of symptoms. However, none are truly effective at eliminating outbreaks. Penciclovir (Denavir) heals HSV-1 sores on average about half a day faster than without treatment, stops viral shedding, and reduces the duration of pain. Ideally, you should apply the cream within the first hour of symptoms, although the medication can still help if applied later. Apply the cream 5 times a day, beginning at the first sign of tingling or pain. Over-the-counter topical ointments may provide modest relief. They include Anbesol gel, Blistex lip ointment, Campho-phenique, Herpecin-L, Viractin, and Zilactin. Some contain a topical anesthetic such as benzocaine, tetracaine, or phenol. Lip balm that contains sunblock, or sunscreen applied around the lips may help prevent sun-triggered outbreaks.
Herbs and SupplementsGenerally, manufacturers of herbal remedies and dietary supplements do not need FDA approval to sell their products. Just like a drug, herbs and supplements can affect the body's chemistry, and therefore have the potential to produce side effects that may be harmful. There have been several reported cases of serious and even lethal side effects from herbal products.
Always check with your provider before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements. Many herbal and dietary supplement products claim to help fight herpes infection by boosting the immune system. There has been little research on these products, and little evidence to show that they really work. Epidemiology, clinical presentation, and antibody response to primary infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in young women. Seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus type 2 among persons aged 14 - 49 years -- United States, 2005-2008. Guidance on management of asymptomatic neonates born to women with active genital herpes lesions. Genital shedding of herpes simplex virus among symptomatic and asymptomatic persons with HSV-2 infection.



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