Herpes is one of the most common type of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. According to the American Social Health Association, about 1 in 5 people in the United States has genital herpes. Many people who have herpes do not even know that they have the disease. Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus which, when contracted, lays dormant in the nerve cells until something triggers it. Herpes can be treated with natural remedies to prevent frequent outbreaks.
There are two types of herpes simplex virus. The types are herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). The HSV-1 is the most common type. HSV-1 is the virus that causes cold sores and may not have necessarily be contracted through sexual contact. This type usually affects the lips or the corners of the mouth. It can also transmitted to other parts of the body. The HSV-2 is what causes genital herpes. HSV-2 usually affects the genital area and surrounding area. This virus can also be transmitted to other parts of the body.
A person who has been infected with the herpes simplex virus may not experience any signs or symptoms. Some people may have the virus for years without having an outbreak. People who experience symptoms may feel a tingling sensation in the affected area right before an outbreak occurs. Small bumps may appear, which then become filled with fluid. These small bumps usually appears in clusters, which will turn into a painful sore that can last from seven to eight days. The first outbreak is usually the most severe one.
Although herpes cannot be cured, there are many effective treatments that can limit recurrent outbreaks. Herpes treatment ranges from antiviral medication to natural home remedies. Taking 500 mg of lysine three times a day can prevent future outbreaks. Lysine is an essential amino acid that stops the herpes simplex virus from replicating. Eating plain yogurt daily is not only healthy but can also be used to suppress herpes outbreaks. Plain yogurt contains live and active cultures, which discourages herpes virus replication. Application of tea tree oil to the affected area at the first sign of an outbreak can stop the outbreak. Tea tree oil is well known for its anti-viral activity, which reduces herpes outbreaks.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the transmission of the herpes virus. Many people think that if there is no visible sore or lesion, that the virus is inactive and cannot be transmitted. There may be times when an infected person does not have symptoms of an outbreak but can still transmit the virus to others. The stage of the disease is called viral shedding. In this stage, the virus will travel to the surface of the skin where the outbreak normally occurs. The virus is still active in this stage and can be transmitted. Another misconception is that once a person has the herpes virus, he cannot reinfect himself. If proper precautions are not taken, the virus can be transmitted to different parts of the body.
To prevent transmission or reinfection of the herpes virus, when experiencing an outbreak, the sores should never be touched. If at anytime during the outbreak the sore is touched, the hands should be immediately washed with warm water and soap. Using a condom during sexual intercourse may reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. Also, avoid direct contact with others when there are active lesions. To prevent future outbreaks, avoid foods that are high in arginine, which triggers herpes outbreaks. Peanuts, cashews and other types of nuts are some of the foods that are rich in arginine and should be avoided.