Herpes is one of the contagious viral infections that affects a variety of people around the world. However, it has to be noted that this kind of infection occurs in different levels. However, there are only two levels that are common in a variety of people. Herpes generally looks like a mosquito bite, something that may not seem very serious. In fact, this is one of the reasons why most people often fail to identify that they have the infection in its early stages. The two levels of herpes include:
- Herpes Virus Type 1
- Herpes Virus Type 2
Herpes Virus Type 1 develops cold sores that can be seen around the lips of the mouth. The other level which is herpes Virus Type 2 forms sores that occur around the genitals. It should also be noted the herpes is an infection that can affect both men and women.
Causes of Herpes
Both the levels of herpes have got different causes. However, you will also find out that there are certain causes that are similar to both the two most common levels of herpes. Just like other viral infections, herpes is caused by a virus. Below is the name of the virus that causes herpes:
- Herpes simplex virus.
The herpes simplex virus is just a general name that is given to the virus that causes the infection. However, there are several types of herpes viruses that are commonly known to cause the infection. The two that have been identified by a variety of studies to cause herpes are the herpes virus type 1 and herpes virus type 2. The main agent that aids the transfer of these viruses from one person to the other is body contact. It has to be noted that body contact can also be either through vaginal, anal or oral sex. Kissing is also another means through which the virus can be transmitted. However, the virus will only be transferred to the other person in case the body contact is done with an infected area.
Symptoms of Herpes
To be able to determine in case you have herpes, you need to be knowledgeable about the symptoms. Symptoms are the signs that will be able to give you a hint in case they are similar to the ones that the infection portrays. However, the symptoms may also vary from one woman or man to the other since each person is different. Below are some of the symptoms of herpes:
- Itching sensations that are felt on the area of the anus or the genitals.
- Small blisters that are filled with fluid that rupture leaving small sores that are painful.
- Pain over the open sores in the process of urination. This occurs mostly in women.
- Headaches, fever and backaches
- Swollen glands
There are certain subsequent infections of the herpes simplex virus that last for very few days and may not portray the symptoms. Such infections only indicate few sores that are less painful and may disappear very fast without being noticed. However, it is advisable that whenever you are experiencing the symptoms, you need to immediately consult a doctor since the next time the symptoms may show up again, the infection will have interfered with your immune system that might also lead to certain health complications.
The herpes symptoms will develop within the first two to twenty days of infection. However, this will also depend on the immunity of a person's body. For instance, the symptoms may be less severe or even take a very long time without showing in those people who have got partial immunity to the herpes simplex virus.
Herpes Home Remedies
In case you have been infected with the herpes simplex virus, there are several remedies that you can rely on to be able to help you out. However, one thing that you have to take note of is that even after noticing the symptoms, it is advisable that you visit a doctor for examination. It is only through examination by a medical practitioner that you will be able to ascertain if the infection that you are suffering from is truly herpes.
After examination, the doctor will be able to advise you on the best remedy based on your condition. The remedies may include drugs offered over the counter or any other that will be found to suit your condition. However, there are also several other home remedies that can also be applied in handling herpes. Below are some of the herpes home remedies that you may use: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Licorice Root– The licorice root has been used to effectively treat herpes for several years. Two studies have recently shown that indeed the herb works in preventing the development of the disease and treating the symptoms. The active ingredient in the root, glycyrrhetinic acid, was shown to decrease the likelihood of new herpes infections. However, the herb should only be administered by a qualified herbalist because when the drug is taken in large amounts, it is likely to cause high blood pressure and water retention. It is not recommended for people who have high blood pressure or those who are diuretic. In addition, the long term effects of taking the herb have not been adequately assessed.
- Astralagus– The astralagus, also known as Huang qi, is a flowering herb that is used to treat a variety of infections including herpes. It can be bought as a liquid extract or as a dried root. It should be taken in tea form by boiling it in hot water. This should be about 9 to 30gms.
- Lemon Balm– An extract of lemon balm, commonly known as Melissa officinalis, was one of the most popular and most used forms of treatment for herpes. It has been proven to relieve some of the herpes symptoms as well as treat the lesions. In addition, it prevented the disease from occurring again. The balm is to be applied about four times a day on the affected area in order to reduce the symptoms.
- Hops– Humulus Lupulus, otherwise known as hops, is an herb that contains the key ingredient, xanthohumol. The ingredient is effective in treating viruses such as herpes and cytomegalovirus. The only side effect that is visible as a result of the herb is contact dermatitis which is mostly seen in those who go to the field to pick the herb.
- Manuka Honey– This is a special kind of medicinal honey that is very common in New Zealand. The honey is to be applied on the affected area to help in speeding the healing process of the sores. The main properties that make the Manuka honey one of the ideal remedies to herpes is that it is an antibacterial and also an antiviral substance. In fact, Manuka honey has been proven to be very effective in the acceleration of the healing of Herpes Simplex Virus lesions. When using Manuka honey, you need to typically apply it to the affected area as soon as the symptoms begin to show. You can apply it several times a day.
- Black Tea bags– Black tea bags are said to be the simplest but most effective home remedy for herpes. This can be attributed to the easy availability of the black tea bags. The leaves of the black tea is know to contain tannins in higher levels. This compound is effective for herpes because it has both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory abilities. In using the black tea bags, you are required to make a cup of black tea and then leave to cool for a few minutes. After it has cooled off, take the warm tea bag and apply to the area that is affected holding it there for about five minutes. It is advisable that whenever you begin to see the signs, you need to begin the process for a bout two or three times each day.
- Baking Soda– Also known as Bi-carbonate soda, baking soda has been used for a very long time in addressing various infections. This is because of its numerous health benefits that include hastening the drying out of open wounds and sores. It is also effective for providing relief to itching that is among the major symptoms of herpes. In using baking soda, slightly dampen a soft material like a cotton ball coated with baking soda and apply to the areas that are affected by herpes.
- Try These– The other remedies to herpes that you can also rely on include Domeboro powder, Aloe Vera, skin repair oils among others.
Diet for Herpes
In almost any kind of infection, diet is always an important part of the healing process. In fact, an improvement on the diet can be of great help to the patient compared to even some remedies. For those who are suffering from herpes, it is recommended that your diet should include a high level of lysine and low level of arginine and even vitamin supplements. This kind of diet is not only beneficial to those with herpes but a variety of viral infections.
Lysine is an amino acid that is effective for retarding the growth of virus making it an ideal diet component for those who are suffering from herpes. Some of the foods that are rich in lysine include:
- Dairy products
- Soya beans
- Brewer's yeast among others
Arginine is also an amino acid that supports the growth of viruses and so should be included in a very low level in the diet of herpes patients. Below are some of the foods rich in Arginine that you need to avoid:
- Brown rice
- Nut products among others
Despite the fact that foods rich in arginine are known to agitate the growth of virus, you nay still include them in your diet but in very small quantities. Just try to balance whatever you are eating during this period to ensure that you have a balanced diet.
Prevention of Herpes
When looking at the procedures for preventing herpes, it has to be first noted that herpes is classified under sexually transmitted diseases. This means that in case one has begun noticing the symptoms, it is advisable that much care has to be taken especially during sexual intercourse to prevent the transmission of the virus to the other partner. However, there a are a few ways through which you are able to prevention the infection of the herpes simplex virus. Below are some of them:
- Talk to your partner before any sexual activity about sexually transmitted diseases since some may not even be easily noticeable.
- Avoid making sexual contacts in case you are having signs or being treated for sexually transmitted diseases.
- Be responsible
- Keep away from multiple sexual relationships since this might expose you to sexually transmitted infections like herpes among others.
One of the major ways through which you can be able to prevent the infection of herpes is to be responsible. Ensure that you do not encourage body contacts with people with the infection. However, this does not mean that you cannot greet people with herpes. All you need to do is to just be careful to avoid risky behaviors like kissing with such people since that can lead to the transmission of the virus.
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