Contagious diseases and infections caused by viruses and bacteria are a cause for concern as they can easily be transmitted from one person to another. Whenever there is an outbreak of such a disease it is best to avoid human contact as much as possible until the condition improves. If not, from the infected person the disease can spread to family, friends, and then in turn to the community and so on. In this article, we will discuss the viral diseases herpes and how trying out certain home remedies can help control and reduce it.
What Is Herpes
Herpes or herpes simplex is a common infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Commonly known as HSV, when a person contracts this disease, it causes blisters and sores mainly around the genitals and mouth but can be seen in other parts of the body too. Although the infection causes no life-threatening instances it can be painful causing much discomfort. Not always does this infection come with visible signs but can still be contagious. Anyone can contract herpes regardless of age and gender. Herpes infection is considered most contagious in cases where the blisters are open or wet. Unprotected sex is a major cause of herpes affecting the genitals. Once contracted the virus may stay put in a person’s body throughout their lifetime but medications can help control the spread. Herpes appears in different forms but the more commonly found ones are HSV-1 and HSV-2. The former causes oral herpes and the latter causes genital herpes. Both these conditions have no possible cure but can be managed with medications. The variant HSV-3 called herpes zoster is comparatively more painful and localized one-sidedly.
Causes And Symptoms
The major cause of herpes infection is through direct contact with an infected person. Once a person contracts the herpes virus, then factors like stress, fever, cold, etc may trigger a recurrence of the infection. Although a major percentage of people who are 49 or younger have the virus residing in them they may not show visible symptoms but may infect others with the same. As compared to adults, children are more susceptible to contract this disease owing to their weakened immune system.
Common causes of the HSV-1 virus are as follows:
- Kissing an infected person
- Sharing the same glass, spoon, etc. with an infected person while drinking/eating.
- Sharing cosmetic products like lip balm, lipstick, etc.
Common causes of HSV-2 virus are as follows:
- The major cause is through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
- Oral sex is another cause of HSV-2 infection.
Following are some common symptoms of herpes:
- Visible blisters or sores around the mouth or genitals.
- Pain and itching around the sores.
- Blisters appearing and re-appearing.
- Pain while urinating for HSV-2.
- Vaginal discharges in case of HSV-2.
- The occurrence of a mild fever
- Formation of blisters in the throat and on the lips.
- A burning sensation inside the mouth and throat.
- Tiredness and muscle pain.
- An overall feeling of being unwell.
Symptoms are severe when the person gets infected for the first time and usually milder symptoms appear upon re-occurrence of herpes.
Home Remedies For Herpes
Listed below are some home remedies which when used can relieve the symptoms of herpes:
- Applying ice pack – this is one of the easiest methods to relieve herpes pain especially the one caused by HSV-1 and can be done several times a day. Take crushed ice and put them in a plastic bag. Wrap it using a cloth and place it on the sores for 10-15 minutes, on and off, to relieve the pain and itching.
- Using tea tree oil – this oil has multiple health benefits and effectively helps in the treatment of herpes. Add few drops of tea tree oil in a glass of water and gargle to relieve pain from mouth ulcers. It can be used to treat genital herpes also by applying drops of oil to the affected area.
- Olive Oil Method – olive oil which is rich in antioxidants is one of the best home remedies for herpes treatment. Heat 1 cup of olive oil by adding some beeswax to it. Allow the mixture to cool down. Apply this to the infected area. This method is best suited for blisters around the mouth.
- Using lemon balm – flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and phenolic acid present in lemon balm are highly effective in healing blisters caused by herpes. Prepare lemon balm tea and keep it aside. Into this soak a cotton ball and directly apply it to the sores. You can also consume lemon-balm-infused water. This should be drunk thrice a day for the best results. Lemon balm ointments are also available to relieve pain from herpes.
- Tea Bags method – organic black tea is known for its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties as it is rich in tannin. Make black tea using a teabag. After it cools, use the tea bag and press it gently on the infected area. Do this for 5 minutes. Repeat twice or thrice a day.
- Aloe vera gel – known for its natural healing properties, aloe vera gel is one of the best remedies to treat herpes at home. Apply the gel directly on the infected area and see a positive reduction in pain as well as redness from herpes. For best results use organic aloe vera gel.
- Using corn starch – corn starch is known to reduce itching and chafing of the skin. Apply corn starch paste gently on the infected area using a clean cotton ball. Let it sit for some time. Avoid re-using used cotton balls and take a new one for re-application.
- Baking soda method – baking soda helps in quick relief of pain and itching that develops as a result of herpes infection. Make a thick paste of baking soda. Dip a cotton ball into the paste and dab it on the infected area. This helps in drying out any open wet blisters. Avoid re-using used cotton balls.
- Oregano Oil – Oregano oil treatment method is another easy option to treat herpes at home. With its anti-viral properties, it assists in a quick, hassle-free recovery of the disease. Simply apply oregano oil directly to the infected parts. This can be repeated 2-3 times a day.
- Herbal tea method – skin diseases and herbal tea go hand in hand for herbal tea can be used to treat many a skin disease. Lemon, cinnamon, ginger, chamomile are some preferred choices in this regard especially to treat herpes. Infuse the aforementioned in your daily tea and sip it few times a day. This is a hassle-free yet effective treatment method for herpes.
Herpes is a viral disease that may stick to us for life after the initial onset of the disease. But by following the home remedies as mentioned above one can surely control and manage symptoms. Also, avoid direct contact with people at the onset of symptoms to avoid contamination of daily use products and in turn the spreading of the disease. Visit the doctor’s office without delay upon sighting blisters and upon feeling unwell; to ensure quick treatment is received to relieve symptoms. Also, alongside the prescribed medications, try the home remedies as mentioned whichever best suits your skin type.