Herpes is a contagious disease caused by the herpes simplex virus Type 1 and Type 2. The Type 1 virus also causes cold sores on the mouth, face and lips as well as on the genitals. The Type 2 virus, most commonly promotes the formation of sores on the genitals. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, but it can also be spread from a cold sore on the face if hand washing and other hygienic precautions are neglected. Blisters do not have to be present for a person to spread their virus to another–the virus can be passed during the pre-active state when there is itching or tingling in the area in which the sores generally appear. Note also, that the virus is present in saliva. This poses are very significant issue, as the virus can be passed on before the infected person is even aware that they have the virus. Genital herpes is not curable, however it does spend most of its life in your body, as dormant. Like cold sores do occasionally, genital herpes will flare up four to five time yearly. There are commercially available medications targeted to treating the symptoms of herpes, but there are a variety of remedies that can be utilised for equal effectiveness if you prefer a holistic approach to herpes treatment.
- Baking soda; use a cotton ball to dab baking soda on the affected areas. This will dry out the sores and decrease the itching. Beware, to not double dip cotton balls, or you will only contaminate the unused baking soda.
- Cornstarch works similarly to baking soda, it dries out the sore and reduces itching. Dust a cotton ball with cornstarch and duct it onto sores.
- Peppermint tea will help to ease pain and fever associated with herpes.
- Change in diet will positively affect herpes treatment if immunity boosting foods are added in large amounts to the diet.
- Ice when applied to sores will reduce pain and itching. Fill a plastic bag with crushed ice; wrap the bag in material the thickness of a sheet and apply to the affected areas for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process several times daily, taking care not to give prolonged exposure as this can cause tissue damage.
- Milk will provide pain relief and promote healing. Soak cotton balls in milk and apply to the affected areas.
Additional Advice for those Infected with Herpes
- Do not depend on a condom to protect you or your partner–they may not provide sufficient coverage even though wearing a condom does help. Viral shedding may also occur in the infected area, allowing the disease to spread easily to a sexual partner whether protection is used or not. Use vinyl or latex condoms between outbreaks.
- Refrain from using tight fitting pants or underwear.
- Do not take baths where you soak in the water; take showers as shedding virus can escape into the water.