Living with Herpes: Can it Change your Lifestyle?

Living with Herpes

Few conversations of life are effective enough to change your thought process and you may find yourself in a complicated situation. It happens when your doctor tell you that you have symptoms of genital herpes.

That terrible situation! Yeah, we cannot forget that moment and that conversation with doctor keep us reminding about the disease again and again. Most of people are scared with the term genital herpes and probably it is due to lack of awareness. Many people in society also have a misconception that people suffering with herpes are dirty and people often treat them badly.
Living with Herpes

But the fact is that there are millions of people throughout the world that are living with herpes. Even within America, herpes has its impact on almost one out of every five people.

We know that it is not so easy to enjoy life for people living with herpes type 2; even if a person tries to do so the society will not let him stay happy. It is high time to know that herpes is not as bad as people think about it. Life doesn’t come to an end with herpes rather you can still enjoy date, have sex and fall in love.

Everything can become normal again but only if you follow guidelines of medical professionals. Actually, awareness is the biggest key to succeed in a fight against herpes so it is good to read the details below to get rid of all troubles in your life.

What is herpes?

Herpes is well known as a group of viruses that can lead to painful sores or blisters. The first and very common type of herpes leads to some common troubles like cold sores on mouth area as well as genital herpes that affect sexual organs. The other type of herpes is zoster that shows symptoms like shingles and chickenpox etc.

Female lips suffering from herpes

Female lips suffering from herpes

Chicken pox on the face of a man

Chicken pox on the face of a man

Shingles on men herpes zoster

Shingles on men herpes zoster

What are the common symptoms associated with herpes?

People that are affected with herpes are not always tuned to specific set of symptoms; some of them may show symptoms within a month whereas others may reflect it years after infection.

Patients that have some kind of symptoms within first stage of disease will observe the related symptoms even within 2 to 12 days only. Below are few details about some of the most commonly observed symptoms from people living with oral herpes.

Herpes simplex on arm

Herpes simplex on arm

Symptoms associated with Primary Infection

Primary Infection is a commonly used term for outbreak of the well known genital herpes and they are observed when person is just infected.

The list of symptoms below is rated to be severe in nature:

  1. Red blisters can be observed on skin surface.
  2. Cold sores use to affect the area around mouth.
  3. Malaise
  4. Fever or high temperature
  5. Pain with urination
  6. Enlarged lymph nodes or tenderness
  7. Itching and pain.
  8. Vaginal discharge
  9. Ulceration and blisters on cervix, vagina or external genitalia.

In most of the reported cases, these ulcers are reported to heal with time and they never even leave any scar behind.

Symptoms of Recurrent Infection

The symptoms associated with recurrent infection are generally found to be less severe when compared to primary ones.

Herpes on the lips of young woman

Herpes on the lips of young woman

These symptoms are observed to last for almost 10 days; the list includes:

  • Red blisters
  • Cold sores at mouth area.
  • Women may feel ulceration or blisters in cervix.
  • Tingling sensation or burning around the genitals.

Common Causes of Herpes

If HSV is present on skin surface of infected person then it can be easily transmitted to other person’s skin via genitals, anus or mouth. The virus may also get spread via other areas of skin like eyes etc. Note that, the herpes virus is not transmitted via objects like towel, washbasin or work surface etc, even if it is touched by infected person.

Herpes. Symptoms, Treatment. Infographics

Some of the common ways that causes occurrence of infection are:

  • Making genital contact with infected person.
  • Sharing of sex toys.
  • Having oral sex or unprotected sex with person that is already affected with cold sores.
  • Unprotected anal or vaginal sex.

However, the virus often gets transferred to another body before blisters have appeared on skin surface, when they are visible over there and even when they have disappeared. In case if a pregnant women is suffering with genital herpes then it may also get passed to her baby.

Stages of Herpes on the lips with a description of disease

What are the common treatment options for herpes?

Don’t worry! Even if you are living with herpes simplex 2 then also there is wide range of solutions that can be applied for treatment.

Some of these are discussed as below:

1. Home Remedies

Some of the most commonly recommended home remedies include:

  • Taking some painkillers as per recommendation of professionals. The most preferred options are ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
  • One can also take bath in lightly salted water as it helps to provide relief from several symptoms.
  • Another commonly used solution is to apply petroleum jelly at affected area on skin.
  • Always prefer to wear lose clothing, especially at affected area.
  • Prefer to wash your hands carefully after touching affected area of skin.
  • Do not have sex when you have symptoms of herpes and prefer to talk to doctor about it.
  • If you feel more pain during urination then it is good to apply some lotion or cream at affected area of urethra.

People also prefer to use ice packs for treatment of sores caused by herpes.

2. Medication

The sad truth is that no drug has been developed till now to treat herpes completely but doctors often prefer to prescribe few antiviral as like acyclovir that can help to prevent the undesired multiplication of virus inside your body. These antiviral medications are capable enough to reduce symptoms for people living with herpes.

3. Prevention

Below are few recommendations from experts to prevent attack of herpes virus:

  • Always prefer to use condoms while having sex.
  • If symptoms of herpes virus are present in your body then never ever try to get indulged in sexual activity.
  • When cold sores are already present on mouth then never even try to kiss anyone.
  • It is not good to have multiple sexual partners when you are living with herpes 2.

How to deal with herpes?

  • Whenever you feel symptoms of herpes or have an idea that you may have affected with this disease then prefer to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Do not lose your confidence, stay positive; know that millions of people in this world are living with the same disease.
  • Make efforts to keep yourself stress free and tune to healthy routines.
  • It is not good to touch your sores.
  • Make your sex partner aware about the disease and consult doctors about whether you can have sex or not.

Suppressive Therapy for Herpes

The suppressive therapy is simply the process of taking a specific type of oral antiviral drug for longer run. This drug helps to create interference in multiplication of herpes virus and hence leads to lesser number of reoccurrences.

Pills and bottles

Even if reoccurrences happen after taking these medications they are observed to be of shorter duration and less severe in nature. Those who feel that the frequency of outbreaks is just going to be unacceptable and are not able to handle it emotionally; are advised to consult their doctor about suppressive therapy.

You must curious to know about effectiveness of Suppressive therapy, several reports and studies reveal that continuous suppressive treatment can reduce the herpes outbreaks and the transmission risk can also be reduced up to 50%.

Who is suitable for Suppressive Herpes Therapy?

Doctors will recommend this treatment to you only if:

  • You are suffering with another illness too that can provoke reoccurrences of herpes virus.
  • You wish to control the situation that boosts herpes recurrences so that you can enjoy your honeymoon.
  • Herpes recurrences are often triggered with stress so if you feel too stressed then it will be a good option to try suppressive treatment.
  • If you are planning to start a new relationship and wish to protect your partner from disease.
  • You are facing unbearable pain due to recurrences.
  • You are fed up with long lasting outbreaks caused by herpes.

All these conditions make you suitable for suppressive therapy when you are living with herpes type 1.

If you are living with genital herpes then the most important thing that you need to do in life is to talk to your partner. Make him/her aware about the disease and prefer to have a test so that you can be sure about their health.

In case if your partner is living with herpes simplex 1 then the first most step you need to take is be supportive and motivating towards them. Do not lose hope rather consult doctor and try to find possible ways for a healthy life ahead. Motivation and your love can help your partner to live a quality life ahead. Prefer to gather more and more information about disease so that you can opt for preventive actions.

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