A lesser known yet fairly prevalent sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes is caused by type 1 and type 2 herpes simplex virus. Whereas type 1, called HSV-1 causes oral herpes, HSV-2 is the more dreaded of the viruses, as it causes most of the genital herpes cases across the world. When active, the HSV-2 virus moves to the infected skin surface and makes its copies, thus raising risks of rubbing off to another person.
Common symptoms of genital herpes include clusters of fluid filled blisters that break out around the genitals, spreading towards the inner thighs. Usually, the first outbreak of the symptoms is the most severe. In several cases, there are only 2-5 outbreaks of the symptoms throughout the lifetime of the patient, whereas there could well be cases wherein there are no symptoms at all. Nonetheless, genital herpes can be a serious dent to anybody’s life quality, and is also a serious deterrent to a normal and healthy sex life. This makes it important for every patient of genital herpes, as well as partners of patients to understand everything about treatment of the disease.
Genital herpes treatment basics
Whereas there is no certain cure for genital herpes yet, patients can draw a lot of confidence from the fact that medical science has succeeded to a great extent in overcoming the symptoms of the disease. Antiviral drugs have been helping genital herpes patients from a long time now, ensuring that they continue to enjoy symptom free lives. Of course, drug therapy is not a cure, but a temporary respite from the sporadic symptoms. The three major drugs relied upon for treatment worldwide are acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir).
The different phases of genital herpes treatment
Understanding genital herpes treatment is easier when viewed across different stages, as follows –
Initial treatment – When the symptoms of the disease break out first, doctors give a brief course of antiviral therapy to patients. This is primarily to provide you relief from the discomfort and itching, and also to prevent the worsening of the disease conditions.
There are 2 major therapeutic options after the initial phase –
Intermittent treatment – Your physician might suggest antiviral drugs for you to keep handy and consume whenever you observe symptoms of genital sores coming up. This strategy works pretty well in cases where the symptoms are not very severe and well-separated in time. Consuming the antiviral drugs controls the symptoms and prevents them from causing much pain and trouble in your life.
Suppressant treatment – For patients who frequently experience the genital sores caused by herpes, a suppressant strategy of treatment is more advisable. In this treatment, patients take a dose of the antiviral drug every day and hence keep the symptoms at bay. For people suffering from as many as 6-8 outbreaks of sores every year, this strategy can bring down the occurrence to 1-2.
Simple home remedies for genital herpes
Though you’d be better off pursuing a continued treatment for genital herpes, there are quite a few home remedies that can help you get over your tough days with the disease. Here are the most effective ones –
Take a warm bath
Soak your body in a tub of warm water and stay there for half an hour. This could get you riddance from the pain brought by a genital herpes bout. A word of caution – be very careful about how you soak out the water after your bath, as other people fall at risk of catching the virus of you leave the washroom unclean. Also, dry the affected area of your body thoroughly to prevent symptomatic sores.
Inducing more dryness with baking soda and cornstarch
Your supermarket has two of the most potent relief agents for genital herpes. When the itching gets too much for you, get some baking soda or cornstarch, dab some cotton into the powder, and gently apply over the sores. Being extremely potent in terms of their drying properties, both baking soda and cornstarch faster healing of sores by ensuring quick dryness of the affected areas.
Of course, you’d do well to always keep yourself updated on the treatments available, and the experiences of patients with the same. This post explains a lot more about genital herpes, its symptoms, and cure; read it, so that you can accept the disease and do everything to keep its interference in your life to a minimum.