Today the herpes virus is extremely widespread among adults, yet those living with it know how drastically it can interfere with day-to-day life. There is the pain, itchiness, and stinging of outbreaks, not to mention the embarrassment of a cold sore. Even between outbreaks, there is the daily fear that another may be coming soon, the constant paranoia that any small blemish or pain may be the beginning of a blister or cold sore.
Because there is no cure for herpes, the battle may feel hopeless. However, there are numerous ways you can decrease the lifetime and intensity of a cold sore, as well as decreasing the frequency of outbreaks. In this article, I discuss a few basic things everyone living with the herpes virus should know, from avoiding passing it to partners to a variety of non-prescription treatments.
Transmitting the Herpes Virus
While the majority of American adults test positive for the herpes virus, many people see few or no symptoms. Unfortunately, the virus can still be spread in the absence of symptoms. Oral herpes, evidenced by cold sores, is contagious during an outbreak and also in the days leading up to it. Those infected with the herpes virus should be careful not to pass it to others. During an outbreak, be extremely cautious not to exchange saliva with any non-affected individual, including sharing food, drinks, or utensils.
Unfortunately, there is currently neither vaccination nor cure for the herpes virus, although at least one potential vaccination has made it to the testing stages. However, there are numerous effective ways to mitigate the symptoms. With some basic knowledge and the right tools, it’s possible to reduce the frequency and duration of outbreaks so they need not interfere with daily life.
Herpes and the Immune System
While a strong immune system will not prevent you from getting infected with the herpes virus, it has a direct effect on the number, severity, and duration of outbreaks. As long as your immune system is going strong, the likelihood of getting an outbreak is small. However, there are numerous factors that can weaken your immune system, giving the virus an opportunity to break though your defenses and resulting in much-dreaded outbreaks. Some factors, such as job or family stress, weather changes, or exposure to other viruses, are out of your control. However, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and vitamins and supplements, are completely in your control. Keeping in good physical condition, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and taking vitamins that support your immune system can go a long way towards keeping your herpes in remission. When choosing a vitamin or supplement, look for one with numerous immune-supporting ingredients, including Vitamins C & D, and Echinacea.
Anti-viral medications are scientifically shown to be the most effective long-term treatment for herpes. While there is currently no way to remove the virus from the body altogether, these medications can keep it dormant. Anti-virals can be applied topically or taken in pill or supplement form. Applied topically, they are shown to shorten outbreaks of both oral and genital herpes. Taken daily in pill or supplement form, anti-virals can actually suppress the virus, decreasing the frequency of outbreaks. There are numerous prescription anti-virals on the market with this target for those who have severe or debilitating outbreaks. For individuals who prefer all-natural remedies, several mushroom varieties are proven to be powerful anti-virals as well, specifically maitaki, shitake and reishi mushrooms. Aloe vera has also been cited as a simple and cheap topical anti-viral.
There are multiple brands of the over-the-counter chapsticks and balms that can be found in the aisles of your local pharmacy. These contain some combination of topical anti-viral, anesthetic, and sterilizing agent. Their primary purpose is often to relieve the pain and irritation of a cold sore. If you are interested in a product that actually shortens the time of outbreak, be sure to check for an anti-viral or herpes-fighting ingredient, such as Lysine or Docosanol.
Prevasure Supplement & Balm
In addition to pharmaceuticals, natural remedies are effective at treating and preventing herpes outbreaks. Prevasure is a herpes treatment supplement and balm combination with both immune-supporting and anti-viral properties. It contains vitamins and herbs that bolster your immune system to fight the virus on a daily basis. All-natural anti-viral ingredients reduce the intensity and duration of outbreaks when they do occur. Using a program such as Prevasure offers both immediate cold sore relief, as well as a long-term approach to living with herpes.
Whatever approach you choose to take, know that herpes does not have to interfere with your life. There are many ways to deal with the virus that considerably mitigate your symptoms and make living with herpes completely manageable!
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