A herpes outbreak can occur due to herpes simplex-1 or herpes simplex-2 virus. Herpes simplex-1 virus leads to oral herpes while herpes simplex-2 virus leads to genital herpes. Herpes, especially during an outbreak, is very contagious and infectious.
Herpes simplex-1 virus is often transmitted through contact with an infected saliva especially through kissing or sharing of utensils.
On the other hand, herpes simplex-2 virus is transmitted sexually and often manifests as genital sores and ulcers.
Furthermore, cross-infection of genital herpes, to the mouth, or oral herpes, to the genitals, is possible via oral-genital contact.
More than 50 percent of people in the United States of America have HSV-1 while 15.5 percent of people aged 14-49 have HSV-2.
Symptoms of herpes outbreak include; blisters, cold sores, vaginal discharge, pain while urinating, ulcers. It should be noted that some people infected with herpes are asymptomatic.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with herpes;
- Use a condom when having sex.
- Avoid having sex when experiencing an outbreak.
- Learn to notice the precursor of a cold sore, such as a tingling sensation, and start a treatment as soon as possible.
- Avoid stress and stressful conditions as stress could trigger a herpes outbreak. You could also take up some relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing to curb stress.
- Avoid kissing when cold sores are visible in the mouth.
- Regularly use lip balm to prevent lips from drying.
- Avoid having multiple sexual partners.
- Ensure you maintain a healthy diet as a healthy diet boosts the immune system and helps curb stress and fatigue.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for herpes;
The high medicinal value of Echinacea plant makes it the most effective remedy for herpes. Echinacea has a powerful antiviral action which helps in treating the symptoms of herpes. You may make a tea using echinacea’s flowers or leaves and consume it on a regular basis to get relief. To make this tea, steep the extract in hot water for a few minutes and strain it. Echinacea pills are also helpful in reducing the symptoms.
Garlic is another great ingredient to deal with a herpes outbreak. Garlic’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help in healing the blisters. Garlic oil has an antiviral effect too. For this remedy, crush a garlic clove and place it on the sores for 10 minutes. Repeat it several times in a day. Garlic oil can also be applied to the herpes outbreak to heal it naturally.
3. Baking Soda
To effectively dry out the sores and promote a faster healing, use baking soda. Baking soda’s antiseptic nature helps in checking the growth of microbes on the skin. Make a solution by mixing baking soda and water. Then, take a cotton ball and soak the ball in the baking soda solution. Gently rub the soaked ball on the sores. Leave it on and don’t forget to use a fresh cotton ball with each application. If you have genital herpes, you may prepare a warm bathtub and add half a cup of baking soda to it. Soak yourself for 15 minutes to relieve the condition.
4. Ice Pack
Ice may help in reducing pain almost instantly and reduce the discomfort associated with herpes. Take some ice cubes in a clean towel and wrap it in a small bag. Apply the ice compress to the affected skin for 8-10 minutes. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
5. Licorice Root
Licorice roots have flavonoids that makes it a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Furthermore, licorice is crammed with antioxidants that promote healing in a fast and effective way. The glycyrrhizin present in licorice helps in reducing pain plus it has an antiviral effect which heals the sores. For this remedy, take powdered licorice root in a bowl and mix it with water to form a paste. Dab it over the herpes sores and allow it to dry. Let it stay for half an hour and wash gently using plain water. Repeat this remedy twice every day.
6. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid as well as the capric acid in high concentrations which helps in inhibiting the virus that causes herpes. All you have to do is take 10-30 ounces of virgin coconut oil and consume it every day until the problem subsides. You may also take supplements of lauric acid, but make sure you consult a doctor before using it.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that helps in reducing the infection and provides a great relief. Take 3% hydrogen peroxide in a clean cotton and apply it to the herpes sores. Let it stay for a couple of minutes, then wash it off thoroughly. Reapply it several times for a few days to completely subdue herpes.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera not only soothes the inflammation and pain but also heals the sores faster. Aloe vera is especially helpful in genital herpes. Take out fresh aloe gel by cutting an aloe vera leaf and apply it to the affected skin. Let it dry completely, then, wipe it with a clean damp cloth. Reapply several times in a day to relieve the condition.
9. Manuka Honey
To quickly heal herpes sore, you may use manuka honey. It has high anti-viral and antibacterial properties that make it an effective remedy for herpes. Take some manuka honey and apply it topically on the entire area affected by herpes. Do this on a regular basis until you get some relief.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you are looking for a fast and effective remedy that helps relieve herpes outbreak, use ACV. ACV has an anti-inflammatory and astringent action which promotes a faster healing. Dab a cotton ball, soaked in the vinegar, on the herpes sores. Reapply 3-4 times in a day and do this remedy for at least 3-4 days to see visible results.
11. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm has phenolic acids, flavonoids and rosmarinic acid which are helpful in healing the sores fast. Make a tea using lemon balm extract and apply it to the blisters using a cotton ball soaked in it. You may also drink a lemon balm solution by adding 2-3 ml of its tincture in 1 cup of water. Drink it 3 times in a day until you get rid of the herpes sore. You could also use lemon balm oil if available.
Goldenseal is a useful herb that may help in strengthening the immune system and helps fight the disease in a natural way. Being a great astringent and having anti-inflammatory properties, it will reduce inflammation and heal the sores in a fast way. Apply goldenseal tincture to the herpes sores, with the help of a Q-tip, three times a day.
13. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antiherpetic and anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving herpes in a natural way. It also contains phenylpropanoids and terpenes which kills the herpes virus and provides relief. Mix a little amount of tea tree oil with vegetable oil and apply it to the areas affected with herpes. Avoid applying undiluted tea tree oil as it may cause skin irritation.
14. Herbal Tea
Sipping a herbal tea may help in relieving herpes outbreak to some extent. Herbal teas have a relaxing effect on the body. Herbal teas also contain antioxidants that promote healing and reduces inflammation. You can use sage extract or thyme extract to prepare a healing herbal tea. Other teas that are known to be effective are chamomile, ginger, and cinnamon.
15. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint soothes the herpes sores sites and reduces pain and itching. You may apply some peppermint oil to the area of the skin affected with sores a few times in a day. Make sure you dilute it with water. You may also drink a tea made with peppermint extract to deal with the condition in a better way.
Cornstarch has a drying action on the skin which helps in minimizing the herpes sores and heal them naturally. For this remedy, take a damp cotton ball and dip it in cornstarch. Then, apply it to the area affected by herpes. Reapply it several times in a day until you see some relief.
17. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has carvacrol which has an anti-viral action. This makes it a great home remedy for treating herpes. Apply the oil directly on the skin with the help of a clean cotton 2-3 times in a day.
18. Epsom Salt
If you have genital herpes, Epsom salt may provide great relief. It has an anti-inflammatory effect which heals the sores effectively. Fill a bathtub with warm water and add 1 cup of Epsom salt. Let the salt completely dissolve in the water and soak your body for at least 15 minutes. Do this remedy twice every day.
19. Black Coffee
Black coffee may also help in relieving pain and discomfort associated with herpes sores, especially in the mouth. All you have to do is prepare some black coffee and let it cool. Take some of it in your mouth and keep it for a while. Also, move it over your lips so that it applies to the entire area affected. Do this remedy twice every day for a couple of days.
20. Tea Bags
The tannins present in tea is highly beneficial for treating herpes. Tea’s antiviral action inhibits the virus that causes the sores. Furthermore, its anti-inflammatory action reduces swelling and pain in an incredible way. Pour some hot water into a cup and add a bag of black tea to it. Remove the bag and let it cool. Now apply the damp tea bag on the areas where blisters are present. Let it stay for 4-5 minutes on the blisters. Do this remedy twice every day.
Lemons are easily available and have a great medicinal value that helps in healing herpes. When used at the start of the outbreak, it prevents the symptoms from aggravating. Take a freshly cut slice of lemon and apply it on the blisters. Let it stay over the sores for a couple of minutes. Reapply several times in a day.
22. Soap And Warm Water
Soap and warm water may help in relieving the discomfort associated with herpes blisters. Warm water relaxes and soothes the area while a mild soap disinfects the area and help in healing. Simply use warm water and a mild soap to clean the areas affected with herpes. Pat dry with a towel.
Lysine helps in inhibiting the replication of the virus, thereby, controlling the outbreak. However, lysine is not effective for genital herpes. Take 500 mg of lysine capsules three times a day. Once the infection clears off, you may take a capsule once every day for at least three months to prevent it from coming back. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
24. Domeboro Powder
Domeboro powder is helpful in treating sores and ulcers. It is widely used in hospitals due to its astringent property. The powder effectively reduces itching and pain associated with herpes. Get a pack of Domeboro powder and follow the instruction for use mentioned on the pack. Apply it to the skin with the help of a clean cloth.
Milk, especially immune milk, is another natural ingredient that is readily available and works excellently in reducing a herpes outbreak. It promotes healing of the skin as well as soothes the skin to relieve pain. Soak a cotton ball in some raw milk and dab it on the areas of the skin affected with herpes. Let it stay for some minutes and wash it with warm water. Reapply several times in a day until the skin is completely healed.
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