Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is spread not only through sexual contact. It can be spread to other areas of the body after touching an open sore.
Herpes is also one of the incurable STIs. Getting a diagnosis of a disease you will live with for the rest of your life is pretty scary. The fact that you can pass it along so easily to sex partners adds insult to injury.
Some people are infected with the virus but never exhibit any symptoms of it. Others experience symptoms upon infection, then with a varying range of frequency afterward. Symptoms can be painful, stressful, and an agonizing reminder of being infected with the disease.
If you suffer from herpes, you should know that you can exert some control over the STI. All you need is to familiarize yourself with these ways to easily manage herpes symptoms.
Use Prescription Antivirals
Although there is no cure for herpes, there are a handful of prescription antiviral medications formulated to treat it. These medications can reduce symptoms, breakouts, and the likelihood of transmission to someone else.
Herpes antivirals valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir may be used intermittently when an outbreak occurs. If you suffer from frequent outbreaks, they can be used daily to suppress them.
To easily manage symptoms with antivirals, get genital herpes treatment at home. Consult with a healthcare professional online any time you have questions. Your prescription will be delivered to your home discreetly.
Prescription antiviral medications treat herpes symptoms effectively. Online providers make getting that treatment easy by saving those trips to your local pharmacy.
Reach for Over-the-Counter Pain Relief
If you have been diagnosed with genital herpes, you should be using antiviral prescription medication. But when you experience an outbreak, you may need a little more relief to manage any pain and discomfort. One answer is probably always in your medicine cabinet.
Many sufferers experience pain in the genital area when sores appear. If you do, reach for ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, and take as directed. You might also find it helps relieve that tension headache you may experience during an outbreak.
Although it’s tempting to reach for an OTC lotion or ointment, resist unless your doctor has instructed otherwise. If you want topical relief, some prescription antivirals come in topical form. If you touch an open sore, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading herpes to other parts of your body.
Taking OTC pain relievers won’t stop your outbreak. But it’s good to know that some symptom relief may be as close as your bathroom cabinet.
Keep Things Cool and Airy
Incessant itching and throbbing pain are common symptoms of herpes outbreaks. Although the cause of herpes is much different, these symptoms aren’t unlike those of a rash or a bug bite. The same things that aid in treating those afflictions may help with herpes as well.
You might find relief with a clean washcloth and a few ice cubes. Place the ice in the cloth and apply the compress to the sores a few times a day for relief. Don’t put the ice directly on the skin.
Air and space are always helpful for healing open wounds and sores. Wear loose cotton underpants and leave those tight skinny jeans in the drawer during outbreaks. Herpes sores usually appear in dark and damp areas, so give them air.
You may be wondering how to handle those washcloths, underpants, and towels that come into contact with sores. Viruses need cells to live, so they die quickly on fabric. Just launder these items routinely after using them.
Don’t Avoid Voiding
During an outbreak, you may experience painful urination. Urine is acidic, so coming into contact with sores can be excruciating. Attempt to avoid urinating to evade the pain and you could find yourself growing bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
Because women often have sores in the labial area, burning pain with urination is common. If it’s severe, you can try to manage the discomfort by urinating in a tub of water. The water will instantly dilute the urine, lowering the effects of its acidity.
To make this easy, use a toilet hat commonly employed to gather urine and stool samples at healthcare institutions. Place it under the toilet seat, fill it with water, sit, and go. The excess liquid will flow into the toilet bowl.
If sores are blocking the urethra, the inability to urinate can cause serious health issues. If you find you cannot void properly, you should talk to your doctor right away. However, taking antivirals will help keep breakouts less severe which could prevent this from occurring.
Make Pain Management Easy
Once you are infected with the virus that causes genital herpes, you’ll be living with it forever. Even though you can’t cure it, you need to figure out ways to manage the symptoms. That is, if you’re one of the people who experience symptoms of the disease.
As with anything else in life, making management as simple as possible will help. Begin with getting a diagnosis and a prescription for an antiviral medication. That’s the best and easiest way to control and reduce symptoms.
You have a life to lead despite a genital herpes diagnosis. Get out there and make managing your symptoms as easy as you can.