I HAVE HERPES, WHAT NOW?
Besides going to your doctor and getting the prescribed therapy, there are a few lifestyle tips that can help make a Herpes outbreak more bearable. I have listed them below.
1) Always keep the affected area clean and dry
2) Try to avoid touching the area during an outbreak, but if you do touch it, wash your hands immediately after contact
3) During the hot months, avoid excessive heat or sunlight, sometimes these can trigger an outbreak
4) As tempting as it might be, do not break open the blisters. This will not shorten the length of time that they stay.
5) You may feel as if you have invented some new therapies, but you should not use sprays, feminine deodorants, or douches,
6) You should also avoid putting petroleum jelly, alcohol, antibiotic cream or ointment, or cortisone cream or ointment on genital herpes because they will sting and they will not help heal the sores any faster.
7) Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing. Save the fitted clothes for times when you are not having an outbreak.
8) You have to figure out what works for you, try a warm bath. Some find it soothing and others think that it hurts.
9) When you are finished showering or bathing, use a blow dryer set on low or cool to dry the genital area.
It is important to remember that even though the virus can be spread when there are no bumps, that you are at an increased risk of spreading and/or contracting the virus when symptoms are present. There is a period before symptoms occur called a prodrome. During this time you may experience a tingling or an itchy feeling in your genital area. When this feeling is present, you should consider the area to be highly contagious.
Remember that condoms will not completely protect you or your partner from getting herpes, and if you are having an outbreak, it will be even easier for your partner to catch it. No sex or sexual contact during an outbreak or during periods of genital irritation. The virus can be passed when skin touches skin, genitals touch genitals, or when a mouth touches genitals.
WHEN SHOULD SOMEONE CONSIDER SUPPRESSIVE THERAPY
Suppressive therapy has been shown to decrease the amount and the length of time that the virus sheds from your genitals. Suppressive therapy is a continuous, daily therapy that may help prevent your genital herpes outbreaks. Below are listed some reasons that you and your doctor might decide that suppressive therapy is for you.
1) If you experience frequent herpes outbreaks.
2) If your outbreaks are emotionally upsetting and/or disturbing
3) If your outbreaks interfere with social or intimate relationships
4) If you experience painful symptoms each time you have an outbreak
5) If when you think about an outbreak it causes you to experience severe tension and anxiety
6) If you or your partner is trying to get pregnant and the two of you need to have sex without a condom.
7) If you are in a stressful period in life where it is even more important than normal that you do not have an outbreak.
DAILY SUPRESSIVE MEDICATION – ASK YOUR DOCTOR WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Valcyclovir HCL (Valtrex) 1GM Orally Each Day
Valcyclovir HCL (Valtrex) 500MG Orally Each Day if Less Than 9 Outbreaks Each Year
Famcyclovir (Famvir) 250MG Orally Each Day
Acyclovir 400MG Orally Twice Each Day
Side Affects include nausea, headache, stomach pain, and dizzines