Herpes Simplex: How do You Prevent Outbreaks?
There are two types of Herpes Simplex: Herpes Simplex 1 and
Herpes Simplex 2. Although you can't cure either you can minimize
outbreaks of the virus with antiviral treatment, precautions and
general care. This article covers both oral and genital Herpes outbreaks, and talks about ways to reduce them.
Avoiding Outbreaks of Oral Herpes - Cold Sores
Preventing Outbreaks of Cold Sores with Antiviral Treatment
Some people may feel the symptoms coming
on and if you do, you should immediately apply antiviral creams. The pre-outbreak symptoms are generally an itchy or irritated or tingling sensation around the mouth.
The treatments are available in pharmacies over the counter and the most
contain either Penciclovir or Acyclovir. The common brands are: Zovirax and Vectavir
When you use an antiviral cream
you should follow these steps:
- Do not use your fingers to apply the cream, use a cotton bud
- Wash your hands first and avoid touching the tip of the cotton
- Do not dip the cotton bud more than once in the cream,
use several if needed
- This way you avoid cross contamination which may slow
down or even eliminate the effects of the cream
Viruses thrives on a low immune defense system. You are more
likely to have an outbreak if you are tired, stressed or ill. By
getting enough sleep, eating healthy and aiming to avoid stressful
situations, you will keep your immune defense system boosted which
will prevent outbreaks of Oral Herpes. Basically you keep the
virus latent by staying healthy and fit. Once you've caught Herpes
Simplex 1, it stays in your body for life but may be latent most
of the time.
If you have less outbreaks of Oral Herpes, you also reduce
the risk of passing the virus on. The virus is mostly contagious
when there is an outbreak, but is also contagious just before an
outbreak and in the viral shedding period when the virus reproduces
itself, which is without symptoms, but nevertheless
When you have an outbreak, you should:
- Use an antiviral cream
- Avoid kissing, oral sex or other types of oral
- Avoid touching the infected area
- Wash your hands regularily
Avoiding Outbreaks of Genital Herpes
If you suspect that you have Genital Herpes you should see a
doctor for diagnosis and advice. The symptoms of Genital Herpes
are a rash that turns into blisters which turn into a dry scab.
The symptoms may vary or be very mild. Your doctor will prescribe
an antiviral tablet containing either:
The antiviral treatment may even, apart from reducing the frequency,
duration and severity of outbreaks, completely eliminate future
outbreaks. As with Oral Herpes, keeping your immune defense system
boosted by eating healthily, getting enough sleep and
avoiding stress will reduce the risk of outbreaks.
When you have outbreaks you should
- Take antiviral tablets
- Avoid sexual activity
- Avoid touching the affected area
- Wash your hands regularily
Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 are unfortunately very common. It is
estimated that 50 to 80 % of the world's population have Herpes
Simplex 1 and many never get it diagnosed. About 1 in 5 adults
have Herpes Simplex 2 and many don't even know it because the
symptoms may vary or not have appeared at all. This lack of knowledge
helps spread the virus. If you do what you can to reduce outbreaks, you also reduce
the risk of passing the virus on.
Still Need Help?
Why not ask your question in our Public Q&A Forum? We'd be glad to hear from you and will try to help as best we can ;-)
- Herpes Viruses: