The herpes virus, HSV - 1 (herpes simplex virus 1) is responsible for causing the outbreaks of fever blisters or cold sores affecting conspicuous parts of the body, such as mouth, lips, eyes, nose, cheeks, eyelids and fingers. Then there is this another virus known as the HSV - 2 (herpes simplex virus 2), which causes genital herpes, a more severe condition. These herpes infections are characterized by blisters, which are intensely painful and highly contagious. Here in this article, I have mentioned below the different symptoms caused by the infection of HSV 1 and HSV 2.
Self Care Measures to Manage Herpes Infection
One of the simplest treatment options for managing cold sores at home is the use of black tea bag. Prepare black tea using any common black tea bag. Thereafter, leave the bag to cool down a bit. Place the tea bag on the affected area for about 5 - 6 minutes and repeat this procedure for 2 - 3 times a day.
Application of ice pack to the affected area not only gives a soothing feeling, but inhibits the spread of the virus by lowering the temperature of the area. This works best when put to use during the early stages of the infection. Take care, not to apply the ice directly on the sores. Rather, wrap it in a towel and then treat the affected area.
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of the manuka honey is also helpful. Its use has been known to encourage a fast healing process of HSV infections.
The sores or the blisters can sometimes itch like crazy and it would be unwise to irritate them by scratching. So to take care of the itching in a safe manner, prepare a mix of any astringent powder and water and apply it to the affected part. It will help the sore to dry up quickly and help it recover fast.
Other home remedies to manage cold sore symptoms may include:
- Soak a cotton ball into water, but not too much, and coat it with baking soda and dab the affected area. Use a fresh cotton ball every time, lest it may contaminate the rest of the soda.
- In order to help the sores dry up and relieve itching, you can also make use of cornstarch in the same way, as in the case of baking soda.
- Get some fresh cuttings of aloe vera plants. Freeze the cuttings or the chunks for a few minutes and then rub the cut edges gently on the sores.
Take a warm bath with epsom salt. Pour some epsom salt in your warm bathing water and soak yourself or have a bath for about 15-20 minutes. Benefits of this salt has been related to manage the symptoms of genital herpes in most cases. It is best if you can bath for about 3-4 times a day. After taking the bath, take utmost care that you are completely dry. A warm and moist environment favors the growth of the herpes virus.
Do away with wearing tight and sticky clothes, while you are recovering. Go for natural cotton fiber clothes which would allow the sores to breathe and dry up and heal quickly. Some people might suffer from irritation caused by their clothes getting rubbed to the affected area. In such a case, wearing loose fitting boxers for men and long skirts for women, without any briefs, would be a better option. It is important to know that leaving the sores open and uncovered is also one of the recommended methods to help the infection heal faster.
Using baking soda, ice compresses and cornstarch, help in treating genital herpes, as they do in case of fever blisters. Drinking peppermint or chamomile tea helps in reducing pain and fever.
People who may suffer from painful urination, can make the process less painful by doing it under cool running water in a shower. Urine when passes over open sores might be severely painful for some, especially for women. So try to direct the stream of the urine away from the sores by using toilet tissues. It is also beneficial if you can consider urinating in the bathtub and having a bath later. The water in the tub will dilute the urine and make it less painful even if it happens to pass over the sores. Not to mention, drink about 8 - 9 glasses of water daily. This also helps the urine from getting diluted and less acidic.
Avoiding sex, although not a home remedy for genital herpes, it helps prevent the spread of the infection to your partner. Some might believe that using condoms can curb the spread. However, what most people may be unaware of is that the condom might not cover the entire area.
So this was all about some home treatment options to manage herpes simplex 1 and 2 infections. As mentioned, the sores are highly contagious until they get completely healed. So, not only make use of the above methods, but also pay heed to the prevention of the illnesses to other people and to other parts of your body as well.