Herpes is a viral infection that attacks the body and then lives in certain nerve cells forever. There is currently no cure for herpes and people infected with it will have it their whole lives unless a cure is found. Often people experience recurrences of outbreaks. Some people have outbreaks as regular as once a month and others go for long periods of time – even years – without an outbreak. It is possible to spread herpes to others during an outbreak and even possible when you have no visible symptoms.
Herpes can be embarrassing for some people and often they do not see a doctor because of this embarrassment. It is important that you see a doctor if you think you may have herpes for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Herpes is one of the most common STDs and is easily spread when people do not even realize they have it.
There Are Many Herpes Treatments Available
There are different antiviral medications that are typically prescribed for herpes such as Valtrex, Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Zovirax. Some medications come in pill form and some come as a cream that can be applied directly to cold sores. These creams usually have agents in them that help with pain caused by fever blisters.
There are over-the-counter medications for cold sores but you should always see your doctor first to make sure you take something that is right for you. Your doctor can properly diagnose herpes, tell you what type of herpes you have and you and your doctor can work together to find a treatment plan that works for you.
Another thing to take into consideration when deciding on a treatment plan is the frequency of your outbreaks. If you are having more than 6 outbreaks in a year, you may want to consider suppressive therapy. Suppressive therapy involves taking a pill once a day every day to prevent getting an outbreak.
Zovirax is an older medication and usually works to shorten the duration of a herpes outbreak. Because the herpes virus hides out in nerve cells, it is not easy to treat when it is not active. Once the virus becomes active, these medications can be most helpful.
Famciclovir and Valtrex are newer medications for herpes and work much in the same way as Zovirax but many people find these more comfortable to take.
Denavir is often used to treat cold sores and it helps ease the pain and discomfort of the sores. Getting treatment as soon as you start to notice signs of the infection will make your healing time shorter.
There Are Specific Genital Herpes Treatments
Treatment for genital herpes is similar to oral herpes treatments. In fact, usually the same antiviral medications are used for both types of herpes.
Viral infections – such as HIV and herpes - can not typically be cured and the only realistic option is a vaccine to prevent people from getting herpes to begin with. There are several vaccines being studied for herpes and hopefully soon there will be a cure.
There are also herbal treatments for people who want to try a more natural approach to oral and genital herpes treatments. Certain minerals are thought to help prevent outbreaks.
Scientists are also studying to find a vaccine that will cure herpes once someone has contracted it. This would be a miracle for millions of people with the infection. The vaccine would work by injecting a form of the virus into the body and triggering the immune system to fight it off.
Treatment is important to help you fight off your infections of herpes and live a normal and happy life until a cure is found. Also, since herpes is spread easily when blisters are present, keeping the outbreaks in control and preventing them as much as possible will allow you to have a more healthy sexual life.