What is worrying about the herpes infection is that many of those who are infected with the virus remain blissfully unaware of it, mainly because the symptoms are fairly mild and go unnoticed. Moreover, the symptoms that are associated with different conditions caused by the herpes simplex virus are bound to vary.
Genital Herpes Symptoms
- Pain and itchiness in the genital area
- Appearance of small red bumps or white blisters, which could rupture or turn into bleeding ulcers
- Formation of scabs on the affected area of the skin
- Sores that erupt mainly on the vaginal area, anus, cervix or buttock in women and in case of men, on the penis, buttocks, scrotum, anus and thighs
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Swollen nymph nodes in the groin area
Cold Sores Symptoms
- Blisters on the lips or around the mouth
- Difficulty in speaking, eating and swallowing because of the sores
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the throat and neck
- Drooling (in case of children)
It is more common for cold sores to appear on or around the lips, but in some cases, they can also be seen on the chin, nostrils and fingers. It is also likely for cold sores to appear on the inside of the mouth, mainly on the gums, the underside of the tongue, the inside of the cheek and the roof of the mouth.
Chicken Pox Symptoms
- Presence of a red and itchy rash, which looks like insect bites, mainly on the back, chest, scalp and face
- Appearance of liquid-filled blisters, which may break open and then crust over
- Feeling of unease, irritability, restlessness, malaise and general discomfort
- Severe loss of appetite
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Headaches, ranging from mild to severe
- Dry cough
- Appearance of a reddish rash
- Chills and a fever
- Blisters that are filled with fluid, which may break open and crust over
- Numbness, pain, tingling and burning
- General body ache
The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small part of the skin on one side of the body.
Causes of Herpes
The cause for the herpes condition is because of a viral infection that is picked up through personal or very often through sexual contact. The virus usually enters your body through a break in your skin, like a cut or a wound. However, it is also possible for the virus to gain entry into a persons body through the skin of the mouth, vagina, penis, anus and cervix. Herpes can easily spread from one part of your body to another. Unfortunately, a woman who is infected with herpes can also pass the virus on to her baby, during the delivery process.
Genital herpes can be caused by two types of Herpes Simplex Viruses. HSV-1 is the kind of virus that usually affects the mouth area, but can also spread to the genitals during oral sex. The most common virus that leads to genital herpes is HSV-2. This virus is very easily transmitted and can move from one person to another, even if there is no open sore present anywhere. The HSV-2 virus dies quite quickly if it is outside the body. Therefore, genital herpes is unlikely to occur after mere contact with an infected persons clothes, towels, linens and so on. On the other hand HSV-1 can spread from one person to another if utensils, toiletries and towels are shared. Kissing too, can cause HSV-1 to spread.
Chickenpox, which is caused by the Herpes Zoster Virus is a very contagious condition and spreads quickly from one person to another. This condition occurs because of direct contact with a person who is already infected, or from inhaling any infected droplets that have been dispersed into the air.
The same virus that causes chickenpox can also lead to shingles. In fact, people who suffer from chickenpox are prone to shingles, which is nothing but a relapse of the condition. The most common factor that triggers off this relapse is a weakened immune system.
Remedies for Herpes
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which converts into a monoglyceride called monolaurin that has antiviral and antibacterial effects. Moreover, the lauric acid and capric acid in coconut oil help kill the herpes virus.
- Drink 10 to 30 ounces, or about a quart, of organic virgin coconut oil daily.
Aloe vera is useful in dealing with herpes outbreaks, especially in the case of genital herpes as it helps heal the lesions. It will heal the sores and relieve pain and inflammation.
- Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply it on the affected area. Allow it to dry on its own and then wipe it off with a washcloth soaked in warm water. Do this several times daily for three to four days.
- You can also apply an aloe vera cream or extract topically.
Peppermint tea helps reduce the severity of herpes outbreaks. It also helps soothe the pain and inflammation. Peppermint oil, too, has been found to have a virucidal effect on the herpes virus.
- Drink peppermint tea at least two times a day.
- Alternatively, dip a cotton ball in water and then in peppermint oil. Apply it on the affected area a few times a day.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective remedy that has antiherpetic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It contains terpenes and phenylpropanoids with antiviral activity. Moreover, a 2001 study published in Die Pharmazie found that tea tree oil exhibits more antiviral activity than eucalyptus oil.
- Dilute tea tree oil by adding one-half ounce of a vegetable oil to 10 drops of tea tree oil. You can also add five drops each of myrrh and geranium essential oils and two drops of peppermint oil.
- Apply the solution on the affected area three to five times daily for a few days until the outbreak clears.
Lemon balm is useful in reducing the intensity of herpes outbreaks. Plus, it has antiviral and antibacterial effects. It also contains a compound called eugenol, which works as a natural pain reliever.
- Drink lemon balm tea several times daily for a few days until the symptoms subside.
- Apply lemon balm oil or tea bags on the affected area three or four times a day. You can also wash the area with lemon balm tea.
- Alternatively, dab a little lemon balm extract on the affected area and leave it on until it dries naturally. Do this a few times a day.
Licorice root strengthens the immune system and fights off the herpes virus. It has an active ingredient called glycyrrhizin that has antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Mix one-half tablespoon of water and one tablespoon of licorice root powder. Dab it on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours. Do this three or four times a day until the blister is gone.
- You can also apply a thin layer of liquid licorice root extract, cream, or gel on the affected area.
Note: Those with high blood pressure should avoid taking this herb internally. Also, if topical application of licorice root causes skin irritation, then discontinue the remedy.
Being a disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is a quite popular home remedy for herpes.
- Apply a little 3% hydrogen peroxide solution on the affected area using a cotton ball. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then wash it off. Repeat the process every few hours for a couple of days.
- You can also crush a lysine tablet, mix it with hydrogen peroxide, and then apply.
- For oral sores, use a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and three parts water as a mouthwash a few times daily for two or three days.
Garlic has natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that help combat herpes outbreaks. Research published in Planta Medica in 1992 found that a chemical called allicin present in garlic may have antiviral effects. Garlic oil also contains the antiviral compound ajoene.
- Place a crushed garlic clove on the affected area and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this a few times daily for two days or until you see improvement. Be aware, it may cause a burning sensation.
- Alternatively, you can apply garlic oil on the affected area two or three times daily. To make garlic oil, cook fresh garlic cloves in olive oil until they turn brown and then strain the oil.
- You can also eat one or two crushed garlic cloves daily. This will also work as a preventive measure.
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