Herpes is a painful illness manifesting with small blisters. The pathogenic agents in this case are viruses. The herpes virus infects 9 out of 10 people but it will never manifest in some of them. However, once the virus causing herpes enters the body, painful vesicles may appear on our lips at any point later in time; it tends to be at times when our immune system is weakened.
The virus designated as HSV1 - Herpes simplex 1 - causes the typical blister on a lip. Sometimes a group of blisters appears also in the mouth, on the face or nasal mucous membrane. The virus HSV2 - Herpes simplex 2 - usually causes genital herpes on genitals and adjacent areas. Another type of virus which may occur is Herpes zoster which causes so called shingles. In many people, the virus is present in their body without causing any major trouble. It will only set off at the moment when it gets activated e.g. by lower immunity or another cause. Until the blisters dry out and form crusts, the illness is contagious for other people.
Risk Factors and Herpes Causes
The herpes virus survives in nerve ganglia of an organism for the entire life. It may activate at the moment the hosting organism is weakened. Almost 90% of people occasionally suffer from herpes. The virus wakes up most frequently at the time when the body's immunity has been compromised. The triggering mechanisms may vary. They usually are:
- Excessive sunbathing
- Eating disorder, wrong diet
- Excessive physical strain
- Excessive mental strain
- Fatigue, physical exhaustion
- Post-operation conditions
Risk Factors of Genital Herpes
- Apart from the aforementioned risk factors, the genital herpes is only accompanied by further complications such as skin irritation and wearing airtight or tight clothes and underwear.
Symptoms of Lip Herpes
The occurrence of herpes manifests with pain, unpleasant pressure feelings and tingling in the place of herpes occurrence. Herpes caused by the virus HSV1 manifests as a tiny ulcer or blister on the lip, cheek or nasal mucous membrane. Before it occurs, there are unpleasant feelings in the affected area. Sometimes, the occurrence of herpes is related to symptoms of flu or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Shortly after it appears n the skin, a blister or an eruption of blisters bursts and dries up, eventually forming crust. The crust usually heals within 10-14 days; it also depends on the timely recognition and herpes treatment. The affected spot may be irritated and red a long time after the infection.
Symptoms of Genital Herpes
After two days to a week from the sexual activity with an infected partner, the first symptoms of genital herpes appear. The skin in the area where the infection entered the body itches unpleasantly; it can be irritated and red. A greater number of small blisters that form clusters and islands appear on the skin. Infectious fluid located inside these vesicles may rupture at its leaking contents may infect the partner.
Genital herpes may affect both external and internal genitalia and adjacent regions. Clusters of vesicles may also appear on the thighs, buttocks, or around the anus. This type of herpes is usually also accompanied by headaches, fatigue and general weakness of the body, also burning pain during urination. Genital herpes hides a relatively serious danger, especially for women. It may move from the vagina into the bladder and subsequently cause uncomfortable pain during urination and a variety of other problems. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women, mainly at the latest stage of pregnancy. In such cases, there is high risk of infection at birth and subsequent severe infection of the newborn which may even lead to his/her death. In children, infection with herpes can cause smallpox. For women who have a propensity to get infected with genital herpes, probability of cervical cancer increases. Genital herpes may also increase the probability of transmission of HIV from an infected person.
Symptoms of Herpes Zoster
The basic symptom of this skin disease is painful skin rash with blisters often in stripes. The main risk factor for the occurrence of herpes zoster is reduced immunity. Reduced immunity is typical of old age, so shingles often occurs in people older than 50 and 60 years of age. The disease is not contagious. There are, however, two exceptions who should avoid contact with a person suffering from herpes zoster: people who have not had chickenpox and pregnant women.
Shingles can develop anywhere on the body. The most common sites of occurrence are lumbar region, chest and face. Formation of herpes zoster manifests with burning pain at the site of origin, sometimes even in other parts of the body. Herpes zoster manifests with a stripe of red vesicles. The affected areas of the skin swell, redden and are relatively more sensitive to the touch. Care must be taken to ensure that the person affected with shingles doesn't scratch their blisters; failure to do so results in little scars on the skin.
We can treat herpes with classic medical treatment or commence natural treatment or treatment with food additives.
Classic Medical Treatment
Classic treatment includes administration of antiviral drugs, which are in the form of pills or ointments. Antiviral ointments are recommended immediately upon suspicion of herpes formation. Due to the fact that the active substance contained in the ointment comes in direct contact with the affected area speeds up the healing process and alleviates the symptoms of this unpleasant disease. Antiviral tablets are administered to people who suffer from complicated course of the disease and the frequent repetition of the herpes. We may also encounter various patches intended for the treatment of herpes; however, they are not suitable for use on a rather smaller and less extensive sores.
The basic, natural method to reduce the effect of herpes at least a little is putting ice poultices onto places where you feel tingling or itching announcing the emerging herpes. You may also try to apply chamomile or sage extract to the hurting spot. Lysine, the amino acid, is also a good helper, accelerating the healing of herpes. It doesn't only speed up the healing of existing herpes blisters, but it also reduces their incidence. An infected person should receive greater amounts of foods containing it, such as potatoes, fish, legumes, pork, beef and chicken meat. In contrast, the amino acid arginine supports the development of herpes; in the case of herpes, you should avoid foods in which it is contained. These foods include mainly chocolate, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins and beer.
If you want to get the genital herpes treated medically, it is necessary to visit a urologist or a gynaecologist. Usually, the herpes is treated with antibiotics and it is very important to diagnose it early in pregnant women because it may cause complications in fetal development.
You may also try homeopathy; Natrummuriaticum is used for herpes treatment, mainly for herpes caused by the sun. Also homeopathicsRhustoxicodendron and Apismellifica.
As soon as you feel a herpes onsetting on some place on your body, use cold treatment first. Apply cold poultices or ice cubes on the affected spot will alleviate your pain and also prevent or mitigate herpes symptoms. You may also apply zinc ointment on onsetting herpes. Try sprinkling cinnamon powder on herpes or other inflammatory processes on the skin. When treating herpes, it is suitable to use various products containing propolis, camomile and arnica for local application.
Start eating foods containing zinc and foods rich with vitamin C and B. Such foods are e.g. brewery yeast, brown rice, wholegrain products, raw fruits and vegetables. You may also want to improve your immune system. We may also encounter herpes treatment with polarized light, using biolamps.
The polarized light of the biolamp activates factors which participate in herpes elimination and support the immune system. The energy input reduces sensitivity of nerve cells and therefore alleviates the unpleasant pains that accompany herpes.
The performance of our immune system may be compromised in the absence of virtually any important substance. Therefore, anyone who tends to have recurring herpes should take dietary supplements, essentially multivitamin and mineral ones. Naturally, it is best to use these agents as a form of prevention; then it is necessary to start using them immediately at the first signs of herpes which is usually a feeling of pressure, tingling and itching in the affected area. The effects usually begin within two to three days. The amino acid lysine is a verified prevention to herpes. This amino acid directly prevents and suppresses the growth of virus HSV1. You can use it internally in the form of supplements, diet or externally in the form of cream, which coats the affected area.
Balm cream is efficient when applied during the first feelings of burning and itching. Apply the cream to the affected area two to four times per day. You can also use balm tea and swab the vesicles with a tampon moistened in the tea several times a day. You may also treat herpes with a Hypericum extract as well as with agents and creams containing liquorice extract and ointments containing vitamin E.
Zinc is also a great helper when treating herpes. Apply a dose of serum containing zinc directly to the vesicles.
Any herbs and food additives made from them apply in prevention to herpes; often in the form of pills or capsules. Echinacea is the prime example. Extracts of Echinacea are used in medicine for prevention and treatment of viral and infectious diseases. It speeds up the healing of herpes as well as wounds, frostbite and burns.