Herpes – Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies and Medication

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People infected with genital herpes usually show no symptoms which makes the STI very dangerous because infected persons can be unaware about the infection, but still, transmit it to his/her sexual partners or persons that contact their open wounds.

In a few cases, symptoms may be present during herpes infection, but the symptoms are similar to other infections. The symptoms that occur alongside herpes outbreaks are less severe and rarely occur.

Primary herpes symptoms

When herpes symptoms occur, they do so about 4 – 7 days after contracting the virus. The symptoms include the following

  • Cervical ulcers and blisters in women
  • Vaginal discharge in women
  • Small blisters around the genitals, rectum, upper thigh, and the buttocks
  • Blisters that burst and leave open sores
  • Pain while urinating
  • General unwell feeling like body pain and aches and flu-like symptoms

These symptoms usually last for about 20 days, then subside. The sores from the blisters form scabs then heal without leaving scars.

Herpes symptoms associated with recurring outbreaks

When you get infected with the herpes simplex virus, it remains in your body for your lifetime. Most times, the virus remains dormant but may cause frequent outbreaks. The symptoms of recurring herpes outbreaks include the following.

  • An itching, tingling, or burning sensation in the upper thigh and genital area. This usually occurs before the formation of blisters
  • Sores resulting from red blisters
  • Cervical ulcers and blisters in women

The symptoms of the outbreaks last shorter than the herpes primary episodes. The symptoms are not as severe as the primary herpes symptoms because the immune system recognises the virus and responds faster.

Treatment for herpes

For an accurate diagnosis, you need to get tested during a herpes outbreak. Your treatment will depend on whether you were diagnosed during the primary infection or subsequent outbreaks.

Your health care provider will prescribe antiviral medications like Aciclovir if you received a diagnosis during primary infection, but, the treatment for a recurring episode depends on the episodes’ frequency and severity. The treatment may be an antiviral medication or treatment at home.

Home remedies for herpes outbreaks

During a herpes outbreak, the following home remedies may help relieve your symptoms.

  • Apply aloe vera gel on the sores
  • Dab cornstarch on  the affected area
  • Put water in a bottle and squirt in on the blisters while urinating to ease the pain

The following remedies may work, but there is no research to support their effectiveness.

  • Take pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve the pain
  • Apply petroleum jelly on the affected area
  • Take a warm sitz bath or use lightly salted water
  • Avoid sexual activities even with and without protection, until your symptoms subside
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent irritation

Medication for herpes

No medication can treat herpes infection, but your doctor may prescribe antiviral mediations like Acyclovir to prevent multiplication of the herpes virus. You may also use over-the-counter treatments like herpes creams to relieve the itching, pain and tingling.

You can reduce the frequency of your herpes outbreaks by starting your treatment within the first 24 hours of experiencing the symptoms. Taking the antiviral medication will help the symptoms during outbreaks to subside about 1 – 2 days faster than when you do not take any medication. The antiviral medication can help reduce the severity of herpes outbreak symptoms.

If your outbreaks are frequent, you may need to take your antiviral medication consistently for 6 – 12 months. If you take your medications every day for a long period, it can reduce your risk of transmitting herpes to your partner. If you experience any symptoms of primary herpes or you have recurring outbreaks, consult the nearest sexual health expert.If you are looking for private sexual health clinic in London area, look here or call on 0203 475 1653 to book an appointment with a sexual health specialist.

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Alice Christina, a seasoned health writer, combines her passion for wellness with a strong foundation in evidence-based research. She crafts insightful content that empowers readers to make informed health decisions. Alice's expertise shines through her concise and reliable health articles.