Tips for Health

Herpes: Treatment, Complications and Prevention

By on April 29, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

What should I do if I think I have herpes?

Consult your doctor promptly. Herpes is easier to diagnose when there are sores. You can start treatment earlier and perhaps feel less pain from the infection.

Is there a cure for herpes?

No. But medicines can help. The drug acyclovir can be made faster healing and can lessen the pain of herpes for many people.

Acyclovir pills can treat primary or recurrent herpes and recurrences can stop or reduce their number. Acyclovir also comes in a cream to apply on the wounds during the primary stage or during recurrences. Famciclovir and valacyclovir are other medicines used to treat recurrent genital herpes and to prevent recurrences.

Tips to relieve pain

  • Take aspirin, acetaminophen (one brand: Tylenol) or ibuprofen (some brands: Advil, Motrin, Nuprin).
  • Place warm or cold cloths on the sore spot.
  • Take warm baths. (A woman could piss in the bath tub at the end if you are having pain while urinating: this could help dilute the urine so as not to cause burning sores).
  • Keep the area dry and clean.
  • Wear cotton underwear.
  • Wear loose clothing.

What if I have herpes when I’m pregnant?

If you have genital herpes and you are pregnant, be sure to inform your doctor. You may be given an antiviral drug, so it is less likely to have an outbreak of herpes at the time of giving birth to your baby or near that date. If have an outbreak of genital herpes at delivery, your doctor will probably make your baby born by cesarean section. With a cesarean, the risk of transmitting herpes to your baby is low.

What happens if I get herpes during pregnancy?

If you have your first outbreak of genital herpes during pregnancy, you should inform your doctor. Your doctor may want to treat with antiviral medicine. The risk of a baby getting herpes is much higher if you have your first outbreak of genital herpes near the time of delivery.

It is important to avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. If your partner has herpes and you do, be sure to use condoms during sex at all times. Your partner could pass the infection even if you are not experiencing an outbreak at the time. If there are visible sores, avoid sex altogether until the sores have healed.

Recurrences

Many people have blisters and sores that come back after disappearing. This is called recurrence. Usually the symptoms are as severe as during the first attack.

Stress, illness or fatigue may trigger a recurrence. Being in the sun or having menstrual periods can also cause a recurrence. You know when a recurrence is about to occur because you feel itching, tingling or pain in the places where the infection was the first time.

Is there a safe time to have sex and not spread herpes?

No time at all, because it is difficult to know when you can spread herpes. You must tell your sexual partner who has herpes.

You should avoid having sex if you have any sores. Herpes can spread from one person to another very easily when sores are present. Another reason to avoid sex when sores are present is that these make it easier to become infected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.

You should use latex condoms every time you have sex. Condoms can only help reduce the risk of spreading herpes if they cover all the infected skin.

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