What is Herpes?

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The first time I have consulted a doctor with my lips all covered with blisters and vesicles the only thing I had on my mind was “what is herpes and how can I get rid of it?” I immediately asked the doctor if there was any definitive cure the infection and this is what he answered: “Unfortunately dear, there is not a definitive cure for the herpes virus, because it infects nerve cells and hides in them. This means that no over-the-counter treatment can effectively remove it. You have to live with it.” However, not everyone will tell you that a lot of viruses, even the dangerous ones, when they cannot be remove from your body they can be still put in a stage where they are completely harmless.

If you want to know how to get rid of your herpes and don’t have to deal with constant outbreaks, you need to understand first what is herpes, what causes it, its symptoms and which types of herpes exist. The main symptom of the infection are fluid-filled blister or vesicles on the skin. They are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), a highly contagious infection that can cause discomfort and pain. The virus can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact and in the majority of the cases is transmitted through sexual activities, kisses or touching an infected person. But, it is also possible to get infected through toothbrushes, towels, glasses, napkins, lipsticks, cutlery or any object that may have been in contact previously with an infected person.

There are three different types of herpes:

Herpes labialis – generally known as cold sores, this type of herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and causes the formation of fluid-filled blisters or vesicles on the lips and in the area around or inside the mouth. In some cases it is possible that they will spread also to the nose. The blisters can cause itch, pain and a strong discomfort on the infected area.

Genital herpes – this kind of herpes is caused from an infection of the herpes simplex virus type 2 and affects the genital area, glutes, anus and in some cases mouth and lips (if the infection comes from oral sex). The symptoms are the same as herpes labialis: small fluid-filled blisters which cause itch and pain on the area infected. Sometimes, you may also experience headaches, fever or painful urination.

Herpes zoster – commonly known as shingles, it is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which is the virus that also causes chickenpox (varicella). Even if they share the same name, this kind of herpes is not caused by any type of herpes simplex virus. Herpes zoster causes the formation of a great number of small blisters in a small area, usually the chest or the back but it can also form on the neck and the hips. The skin rash often comes with fever, headaches and local pain.

The herpes virus tends to manifest during period of intense stress or when your immune system is weaker. When you get infected it is very important not to touch the infected area, until the blisters start forming crusts. Also, be very careful when you interact with people because the infection is very contagious.

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Herpes Symptoms

Herpes is a very common infection and knowing herpes symptoms can help to prevent and cure it. The virus responsible for the infection is the herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV. This virus is transmitted from person to person mostly through direct contact, but in some cases it is possible that it will happen indirectly. There are two main types of the virus, the herpes simplex type 1 and type 2. The HSV-1 is the cause of oral herpes while the HSV-2 is the cause of genital herpes.

herpes symptoms

Symptoms of herpes

The first episode of herpes, called primary infection, is always the most severe and it happens after an incubation period of 1-2 weeks. The main symptom of the outbreak is an itching or tingling sensation. After that, you will notice the formation of small ulcers which in time will break open and turn into scabs, until complete healing. The all process can last up to 3 weeks in which it is also possible to experience sore, fever and headaches.

After the primary infection, the virus is going to stay hidden inside nerve cells until some events will trigger its manifestation. Usually, you can experience an outbreak any time your immune system is weakened and it won’t be able to suppress the virus. Triggers can be:

  • stress
  • fatigue
  • illness
  • sun exposure or sunburn

You should know that depending on the person it is possible to experience regular outbreaks without the need of any particular event. This is why it is very important to find a way to strengthen your immune system and avoid constant outbreaks. In time the outbreaks should become less severe and less frequent as the body will get more used to the virus.

Herpes transmission and prevention

The moment when herpes is most contagious is while blister are present and the virus is active. During this time it will be very easy to spread the virus to others. In the case of oral herpes just kissing or speaking too close to an infected person can cause the transmission. For genital herpes, any kind of sexual activity (vaginal, anal or oral) with an infected partner can cause you to get infected. Something that is often not known is that the virus can be transmitted even if there are no symptoms. This means that the infected person may spread it without even knowing he/she has been previously infected.

Herpes transmission can occur also through the exchange of body fluids. This is why I recommend being very careful when handling objects that belongs to others, such as glasses, towels, cutlery, toothbrushes or lipsticks. Also, I strongly suggest always using protection with a new partner. If you happen to touch the blisters with your hands, it is very important you wash them immediately to avoid spreading the virus on other parts of your body.

Herpes Cure

You should know that there is no herpes cure. This is because once you are infected the virus will hide inside nerve cells and it will be impossible to attack and remove. But you don’t have to be worry about it. There are ways to make sure that the virus will stay in a permanently dormant state and never manifest again. The most common make use of antiviral medications which can help to relieve symptoms, avoid the spreading of the virus and heal outbreaks faster.

All kind of over-the-counter medicine, either pills or creams, that doctor will prescribe you are made with the same active ingredients: acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. What you should know is this kind of medication ease the symptoms but they do not work on the cause of the problem. This means that when the outbreak is over, the virus will still remain active inside your body and manifest all over again at the first occasion.

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Herpes Cure

When you get infected with herpes simplex virus (HSV), find the right cure can be a difficult task. This is because herpes is a highly contagious infection that can target the mouth and the genital area. There are two main types of herpes virus. The HSV-1 is the one that causes the formation of herpes on the mouth, nose and lips and this is why is also called herpes labialis or oral herpes. The HSV-2 is the virus that causes herpes on genitals and the area around them (anus and glutes). In case of an infection from these viruses, doctors and specialist always prescribes a topical medication together with an antiviral drug.

Topical medication: It is suggested to apply a specific type of cream 3 to 5 times every day for 10 days. The cream should alleviate herpes symptoms such as itch, the reddening of the skin and the recurring outbreaks.

Antiviral drug: This medication has to be taken orally. The prescription, depending on the drug is to take 2 to 5 pills per day for 5-6 days. Their end is to help your body to fight the virus from the inside.

herpes cure

These type of medications have all something in common: they are based on the same active ingredients (acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir). You should know that while the medicine based on these active ingredients are relatively safe to use (unless you are allergic to them), if you are infected with herpes you are going to used them for your entire life. This is because these kind of drugs can help only to alleviate the symptoms and not to cure the cause. Since the herpes simplex virus is going to remain inside your body, it is just matter of time until herpes will develop again on your skin and you have to start the treatment all over again.

How to choose your cure for herpes

Identify the type of herpes you have been infected with is very important to find the right cure. As I mentioned before there are two main type of herpes: oral herpes and genital herpes, which are caused respectively by the HSV-1 and HSV-2. You should know that it is possible that the virus, that normally causes herpes on the mouth, causes genital herpes and viceversa. This is possible because the virus can be spread just by touching one area of the body and then another. The most common way that the virus is transmitted to a part of the body where is not supposed yo be is through oral sex.

How to get rid of your herpes

You know now that common medication are not a definitive solution to your herpes problem. The most effective way to fight the virus is to make your body stronger and making sure that the virus will stay inactive inside your body. This is going to prevent herpes from manifesting continuously on your skin. Let’s see together what are the best ways to achieve this:

  • Exercise regularly. A regular physical activity will strengthen your body and will help you to reduce the recurrence of herpes outbreaks.
  • Reduce the stress. Stress is the main herpes trigger. This is because high level of stress can weaken the immune system.
  • Eat healthy. A balanced and proper diet is going to keep your body healthy and strong.
  • Read below…

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