Manual Herpes Treatment - Stop Recurring Outbreaks in 9 Easy Steps

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Fact Sheet 508
Contents:
  1. Genital herpes: 10 common myths
  2. Top things to know
  3. Genital herpes - self-care
  4. Genital herpes: Common but misunderstood - Harvard Health

There are two types of herpes simplex virus HSV , the viral infection that causes genital herpes:. Both are spread through skin-to-skin contact and are actually most often transmitted by someone who has no visible sores or blisters. Many people infected with the herpes virus never experience symptoms. However within two to 10 days after initially contracting the virus, a person might experience flu-like symptoms including:.

Genital herpes: 10 common myths

The first bout with herpes can last from two to four weeks, during which time it can still be transmitted. Note that subsequent outbreaks may be less severe, as the immune system develops antibodies. You may experience tingling, burning or itching where the infection initially occurred a few hours before sores appear, but usually no fever or swelling. The outbreak will likely be less painful and last less time — three to seven days.

Only women who are infected for the first time in late pregnancy have a greater risk of infecting their unborn babies, because their bodies have not yet produced HSV antibodies. To prevent this from happening, your health care provider may prescribe medication in your third trimester to decrease the chances of a herpes outbreak around the time you give birth.

Top things to know

The symptoms of herpes can be managed with medication. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC recommends treatment with an antiviral medication during pregnancy, which can lessen symptoms and reduce discomfort and may be used to suppress herpes in pregnant women. Remember, herpes is rarely transmitted to a baby during pregnancy — most newborns with HSV are infected when they pass through an infected birth canal.

If the amniotic sac breaks before birth, very rarely the fluid in an infected birth canal can infect a baby who has not yet passed through the birth canal. In the unlikely event a baby is exposed to herpes during birth, because infection can cause severe problems including brain and eye damage he will be treated with antiviral medications. When you go into labor, your doctor should carefully examine you for herpetic lesions. If, however, you are experiencing sores or early symptoms of a herpes outbreak such as vulvar pain and itching , a cesarean delivery is recommended to reduce the chance the baby will come in contact with the virus.

Herpes of the eye can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person whose virus is active. The National Eye Institute NEI says an estimated , Americans have experienced some form of ocular herpes, with close to 50, new and recurring cases occurring each year. Ranging from a simple infection to a condition that can possibly cause blindness, there are several forms of eye herpes:. Various signs and symptoms are associated with an ocular herpes outbreak.

You may experience inflammation of the cornea, which can cause an irritation or sudden and severe ocular pain. Also, the cornea can become cloudy, leading to blurry vision. Due to these numerous symptoms, your eye doctor may overlook an initial diagnosis of ocular herpes in its very early stages.

Eye herpes is transmitted through contact with another person who is having an outbreak, or through self contact and contamination during an active herpes infection such as a cold sore of the lip. The herpes simplex virus enters the body through the nose or mouth and travels into the nerves, where it may be inactive. The virus can remain dormant for years and may never wake up.

The exact cause of an outbreak is unknown, but stress-related factors such as fever, sunburn, major dental or surgical procedures and trauma are often associated with incidents. Once the initial outbreak occurs, the NEI says untreated eye herpes has about a percent chance of returning. There is no specific time frame for ocular herpes to reappear; it could be several weeks or even several years following the original occurrence.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Antimicrobial therapy for obstetric patients. ACOG education bulletin no.

Washington, D. A randomized, placebo-controlled comparison of oral valacyclovir and acyclovir in immuno-competent patients with recurrent genital herpes infections.

Genital herpes - self-care

Arch Dermatol. A large-scale, placebo-controlled, dose-ranging trial of peroral valaciclovir for episodic treatment of recurrent herpes genitalis. Arch Intern Med. Valaciclovir for the suppression of recurrent genital herpes simplex virus infection: a large-scale dose range-finding study. J Infect Dis.

Patient-initiated, twice-daily oral famciclovir for early recurrent genital herpes.

A randomized, double-blind multicenter trial. Canadian Famciclovir Study Group. Oral famciclovir for the suppression of recurrent genital herpes: a randomized controlled trial. Herpes simplex virus type 2 in the United States, to Mertz GJ. Epidemiology of genital herpes infections. Infect Dis Clin North Am. Virologic characteristics of subclinical and symptomatic genital herpes infections. Increased genital shedding of herpes simplex virus type 2 in HIV-seropositive women.

How to Heal a Herpes Outbreak Quickly

Ann Intern Med. A double-blind study of oral acyclovir for suppression of recurrences of genital herpes simplex virus infection. Faro S. A review of famciclovir in the management of genital herpes. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. Valaciclovir for the suppression of recurrent genital HSV infection: a placebo controlled study of once daily therapy. Aspirin in the management of recurrent herpes simplex virus infection [Letter]. Immunotherapy of recurrent genital herpes with recombinant herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoproteins D and B: results of a placebo-controlled vaccine trial.

Treatment of recurrent genital herpes simplex infections with oral acyclovir.


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A controlled trial. Kroon S. Genital herpes when and how to treat. Semin Dermatol. Mindel A.

Genital herpes: Common but misunderstood - Harvard Health

Is it meaningful to treat patients with recurrent herpetic infections? Scand J Infect Dis. Prolonged continuous versus intermittent oral acyclovir treatment in normal adults with frequently recurring genital herpes simplex virus infection. Am J Med. Perspectives on switching oral acyclovir from prescription to over-the-counter status: report of a consensus panel. Suppression of subclinical shedding of herpes simplex virus type 2 with acyclovir.

Acyclovir suppresses subclinical shedding of herpes simplex virus [Letter]. Herpes simplex virus type 2—a persistent problem [Editorial]. A recombinant glycoprotein vaccine for herpes simplex virus type 2: safety and immunogenicity. A cross-sectional study of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in college students: occurrence and determinants of infection.