Herpes and Cold Sores
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections are very common worldwide with as many as 90% of American adults being exposed to the virus. Many people don’t relate their symptoms to herpes, since they have either very mild or no symptoms at all. For the majority though, outbreaks can be painful and make that person feel compromised for an extended period of time. Outbreaks are triggered by exposure to the sun, fever, emotional stress, a weakened immune system, or illness.
Oral herpes (cold sores)
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, can be painful and look like a sore with blisters and scabbing. Some people have outbreaks once or twice a year. Others seem to have recurrent lesions every few weeks.
Everyone is at risk for oral herpes from HSV-1. It is transmitted through kissing or sharing drinking glasses and utensils. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, although HSV-2 is the main cause of genital herpes.
By adolescence, 62% of Americans are infected with HSV-1 and by the time people are in their 60s, up to 85% have been infected. HSV-1 infects all people equally across the board. It doesn’t discriminate between gender, race or age.
HSV-2 is the main cause of Genital herpes, which is growing at epidemic rates. All sexually active people are at risk for genital herpes. HSV-2 is spread through unprotected sexual contact.
Women have a higher risk of being infected. 1 in 4 women have HSV-2, compared to 1 in 8 men. Estimates of how many Americans are infected range from 20% to 30% of the population. Having multiple sexual partners puts you at even greater risk.
There is a much higher incidence of HSV-2 infection among adolescents and young adults, compared to the general population. HSV-2 is also 3 times higher among HIV-infected adults compared to the general population.
The Rapid Rise in Genital Herpes
Genital herpes has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.; 500,000 are diagnosed each year. One in five American adults has genital herpes; One out of four teens in the United States becomes infected with an STD each year and by the age of 25. Over 50 million cases are currently estimated to exist in either the active or dormant stage.
Only one third of those inflicted are aware that they have the virus. Many people don’t relate their symptoms to herpes, since they have either very mild or no symptoms at all.
Learn the early Symptoms
“Prodromal Symptoms” such as pain, itching, or tingling, often precede the blisters by one to two days. You may have a sore throat, flu-like symptoms or swollen glands in your neck. After the prodromal stage, blisters appear, they usually break open, and leak clear infectious fluid, and then crust over lasting 2–24 days.
When the sores are completely healed, the active phase of infection is over. The virus retreats into the nervous system and lays dormant. Asymptomatic shedding (shedding without symptoms) can still occur when no sores are present.
When to see your Doctor
It is important to have a medical diagnosis if this is your first outbreak to be certain that what you have is HSV and to have a clear treatment plan.
Whether it is your first outbreak or you have already been diagnosed, see your doctor if:
You have a weakened immune system
The cold sores don’t heal within two weeks
Symptoms are severe
You have frequent recurrences of cold sores
You experience irritation in your eyes
The good news is testing can be done to detect the presence of the herpes virus. If you have a concern that you may have herpes, please get tested. Even if there is no active lesion you can still be contagious.
Solutions for Herpes
Once a person has HSV, although it may remain dormant for long periods, it doesn’t go away and currently, there is no cure.
Ultimately, a holistic approach that includes advice from your doctor is the best solution for either type of Herpes. A strong immune system will help lessen the frequency of outbreaks, as well as healthy lifestyle choices, wearing chemical free sun protection year round and excellent hygiene.
A number of professionals recommend lysine as a daily supplement. Your doctor may prescribe one of a number of anti-viral agents for the type 1 (HSV-1) herpes infection that causes cold sores. Zovirax (acyclovir) and Denavir (penciclovir) are available in cream form. Your doctor could also prescribe oral anti-virals as Famvir (famciclovir), Valtrex (valacyclovir), and Zovirax.
NeoGenesis Products for Herpes Simplex Virus
Before an actual outbreak, a day or so before, you may feel tingling, itching, burning, pain, or flu-like symptoms. When this occurs, apply NeoGenesis Recovery serum to deliver healing and nutrients to the affected area, up to four times daily. Continue use of Recovery two to four times daily until area is healed. Recovery serum can naturally speed the healing time of the lesions, rejuvenate the lesion area more quickly, and reduce pain and discomfort.
HSV Protocol; up to 4 times daily
At the first sign of an outbreak, begin applying NeoGenesis Recovery up to 4 times a day
Once the lesion is beginning to dissipate:
Gently cleanse the area with the NeoGenesis Cleanser
Apply Recovery to the area 2 to 4 times a day
Finish with Intensive Moisturizer or Barrier Renewal Cream
Continue this protocol until the area is completely healed to avoid more blistering or scarring in the area.