There is a lot of stigma tagging herpes as a kind of disease that is disgusting and downright terrible. It is because when herpes comes to mind, we imagine the ugly cold sores around the mouth and itchy feelings around the genital area. This happens as a result of intercourse with multiple partners.
Herpes is usually passed around from one infected partner to another through physical contact that involves body fluids like saliva.
However, it is more than just that notion. To put it simply, herpes is characterized by an infection that is triggered by the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV which affects the genitals, skin, and anal regions of the body. Herpes is classified as one of the sexually transmitted disease (STD) around and considered a chronic and highly contagious condition.
Facts about herpes
Two types of virus are known to be the main cause of herpes which is HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is herpes type 1 or known as oral herpes while HSV-2 is known as genital herpes or herpes type 2. There is about 50 percent of the population in the United States that are affected by herpes, and the numbers are growing. The age range of individuals with herpes are between 14 to 50 years old and generally have an active sexual lifestyle.
The herpes virus usually remains inactive in your body until it gets activated by getting infected. The virus can also be reactivated at any point in life given there is physical contact with an infected person. One cannot simply get the virus from sitting on a toilet seat. Being infected by herpes would usually involve a lot of body fluids being passed around through sweat and saliva. The common areas that are largely affected by herpes are the mouth and the genitals or even both.
Not only is herpes passed around through sexual acts, but can also be developed at childhood.
Symptoms of herpes
Symptoms usually do not come out until after a few months for some people, when a person is infected with herpes. However, when a person experiences the symptoms, it is generally noticeable after four days of being exposed to the virus.
There are symptoms that are prominent once the virus has been activated. They are known as primary symptoms. Then, there are also recurrences where symptoms are experienced more often at any time.
The primary symptoms of herpes include:
– Abnormal vaginal discharges
– Irritation and pain around the genitals
– Swelling of lymph nodes around the genital area
– Experiencing pain during urination
– Cold sores appear around the mouth
– Reddish skin blisters
Some recurrent symptoms may not be as severe and do not last as long as the primary symptoms. These include:
– Genitals will have a tingling or burning sensation
– Blisters will appear
– Cold sores near the mouth
– Blisters or ulcers may appear in a woman’s cervix
Causes of herpes
When a person has contracted the herpes virus, it usually lies inactive at the top of the skin. A person gets infected when the virus is passed on through the moist skin lining the genitals, mouth, and anus. It can also be spread through other parts of the skin, including the eyes.
However, it is important to take note that a person cannot become infected with HSV by touching objects used or touched by an infected person. The virus can be spread through the following:
– When a person has unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person
– Engaging in oral sex with a person who’s infected by the virus
– sharing sex paraphernalia that involves using the genitals and mouth
– genitals get into contact with an infected person
Herpes is not only contagious, but it is also incurable. However, your doctor can prescribe treatment options that are available. However, there are also natural remedies you can try to lower the symptoms of herpes. Below are nine natural ways you can prevent herpes from returning:
- Warm salt bath
Salt can help relieve you from the symptoms like itching and pain. Just pour a few tablespoons of salt in a tub of warm water and soak until you feel its soothing effects. Epsom salt is a good choice.
2. Petroleum Jelly
This remedy can help reduce the pain from blisters and cold sores as it helps close the areas where the virus can easily get in. Just apply the jelly on the affected area.
This may be hard to do, but not engaging in sexual activities until the symptoms are gone is also a good idea.
4. Eat more L-lysine
When you consume foods that are a rich source of L-lysine, this amino acid can significantly help prevent the reappearance of herpes symptoms. These foods include fish, turkey, chicken, legumes and green, leafy vegetables.
5. Baking Soda
Using this remedy can help dry up sores and blisters caused by herpes. Just create a mixture of water and a few teaspoons of baking soda to make a paste. Then, apply the baking soda paste on the affected area to lessen the itch and pain.
6. Sharing is not always caring
If you suspect someone is carrying the herpes virus, avoid sharing personal items with them. This includes toothbrush, shoes, clothing, and soap.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been proven to aid in reducing inflammations caused by herpes. It also helps soothe and moisturize the skin. Its antibacterial properties also help speed up the recovery process from herpes. Just cut off a piece of stem from a plant if you have one at home, and apply the gel on to the affected area.
8. Herbal Tea
This ancient remedy has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can also flush out the herpes virus from the body. Just boil the herbs in a pot of hot water and drink around two or three times a day until the herpes symptoms have disappeared. Herbs that you can use to make this tea would be thyme and sage leaves for better results.
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is another age-old remedy that can help eliminate viruses from the body including herpes. It also lessens the pain from blisters and sores caused by the virus. To use, use a cotton ball soaked in the oil and apply it on to the affected area and apply at least three times a day.
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