The herpes virus is the source of many jokes, often related to promiscuity, but it’s also one of the most common and easiest to transmit viruses ever discovered.
How common is it?
Studies have estimated 90% of the population will have some form of the virus by the time they reach 60 years old. You may not have it now, but based on statistics, the odds of never getting herpes are overwhelmingly against you.
HSV-1 vs HSV-2
The herpes virus is often discussed as one all encumbering virus, but it’s actually separated into two distinct categories. Having one form of the virus doesn’t mean you also have the other.
HSV-1 is also known as oral herpes, and is the cause of cold sores and facial outbreaks of the virus.
HSV-2 is the cause of genital herpes, resulting in blisters around the groin.
What Causes An Outbreak
Once you’ve contracted the virus it will stay with you for the rest of your life. We haven’t discovered a way to completely cure the virus, so it stays dormant until something triggers the virus and you have an outbreak resulting in blisters of the skin.
Your immune system is normally strong enough to contain the virus, and prevent outbreaks, but in a weakened state the virus will become reactivated. Here’s the most common reasons for a herpes outbreak:
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At Home Remedies For A Herpes Outbreak
If you have five or more outbreaks per year, you may want to speak with your doctor about anti viral options to significantly reduce recurring outbreaks.
For short-term at home solutions, here’s what you can do:
Baking soda can be used to help dry the outbreak area, and speed up the time needed to heal the blisters.
OTC Topical Creams
You can speed up the healing process with creams that contain aloe vera or propolis. For best results, apply the cream when you feel the “tingling” on your skin before the blisters have actually formed.
Wear Loose Clothing
It’s important to not restrict an infected area, as excessive heat can make the outbreak worse. Wear clothes that “breathe”, and allow consitent air flow to the outbreak area.
Keep It Clean
Avoid picking or scratching the blisters, and breaking the skin open, as this can slow the healing process as well as spread the virus to other areas.
Preventing An Outbreak
The amino acid, arginine, is known to help replication of the herpes virus. You can counter the effectiveness of arginine by taking lysine supplements. While some people have experienced good results using lysine as an outbreak treatment, it’s most useful as a preventative measure.
A recent study has shown very encouraging results while using glutamine supplements to suppress the virus, and prevent outbreaks. Further testing still needs to be done to determine the recommended amount of glutamine needed every day.