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    Krz's Herpes Page   

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I was just diagnosed and I am in pain, uncomfortable, or itching:

Relief from pain
easing pain from lesions
Symptomatic Relief
Treatment of symptoms from Westover Heights Handbook
Domobero and Burrows Solution
A Website on Domobero and Burrows Solution

Symptomatic Relief:

  • Hygiene is important. Avoid touching the sores. Wash hands frequently during the day. Fingernails should be scrubbed daily. Keep the body clean. Wash hands with soap and water after toileting. Soap kills the virus and helps prevent spreading it.

  • Drying agents, such as Burrow's solution, and cornstarch speeds the drying of lesions by absorbing excess moisture. Use: dissolve drying agents in water, using directions on the package. A good method is to use a sitz bath (a small amount of water used to soak the genital area only vs. the whole body). Sprinkle corn starch lightly over the genitals. Precautions: soaking too often or too long may make the outbreak worse. Two 15 minute soaks a day is probably enough. Special sitz bath tubs are also available - new mothers with sore stitches and people with hemorrhoids also buy these tubs so you need not feel conspicuous. Note: a total warm bath may help lesions feel better, and be relaxing, in general. Bubble bath, however, may be irritating. I personally find Aveeno Oatmeal bath in warm water (1 packet per 3 inches of water) to help soothe lesions. Some actually make a paste with it and apply it to lesions for about an hour then wash off.

  • Drink plenty of water. This dilutes urine and makes peeing more comfortable and dilutes medicines in the kidneys.

  • Blisters or sores should be kept clean and dry with an agent such as cornstarch. (Talcum power should never be used because of its association with an increased risk for ovarian cancer).

  • Some people report that drying the genital area with a blow dryer on the cool setting or warm offers relief. It also helps keep the lesions dry which speeds healing.

  • Loose clothing, cotton underwear allows air to circulate more freely around the genitals. This speeds drying of the lesions, and reduces chaffing. Synthetic fabrics don't "breathe" well. Women: use pantyhose with cotton crotches, when possible. Better yet, wear long skirts with no panties.

  • Local application of ice packs may alleviate the pain and help reduce recurrences by suppressing the virus.  One may have difficulty picturing the scenario of ice applied to the genitals. However, it is not difficult. An ice pack can be made by placing some cracked ice in a plastic bag, tying it off tightly, and wrapping it in a thin towel. This can then be placed inside the underwear to hold it in place. Oral outbreaks may also be helped by ice.

  • Lukewarm baths may be helpful. (For people who have pain in urination, some experts recommend urinating in the bath water at the end of the bathing time. This dilutes the urine and prevents burning the sores. Urinating in a cool shower is also helpful and is less offensive to many people).

  • Also, some people report using a squeeze bottle with the straw aimed between the legs and toward the genital region and gently squeezed while urinating relieves pain. Some prefer warm water, some prefer cool. Other methods of pouring water over the area work also.

  • Wearing sun block helps prevent sun-triggered recurrence of HSV-1.

  • Sex should be avoided both during the outbreaks and the prodromes (the early symptoms of herpes), which include tingling, itching, or tenderness in the infected areas.

  • Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Datril, Panadol, Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin), can be used to reduce fever and local tenderness. Children should take acetaminophen; they should never be given aspirin. If this is not strong enough, call your doctor for possible prescription pain relief.

  • Sprays which contain anesthetic (pain killing) agents: spray is applied to the skin, the nerve endings it touches will be temporarily numbed. These same products are sold to relieve pain of sunburn, hemorrhoids, and other skin problems that produce pain. Using a spray makes it possible to avoid touching the lesions, vs. using creams.

    Availability: can be found in drugstores and grocery stores. These products generally contain an active ingredient ending in caine (e.g, xylocaine, procaine, etc.) Ask the pharmacist for guidance in choosing a product if you are having trouble.

  • The tannic acid found in black teas has been found to be useful in reducing itching and pain. Loose tea can be put in the bath, or a moist tea bag can be placed against the lesion (it also helps a sunburn feel better).

  • Bee Propolis, found in many health food and alternative stores and online speeds healing. tea tree oil is helpful to some, but it does sting initially.

Quick Facts about herpes:

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l in 4 adult females and 1 in 5 adult males have genital herpes.
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Ninety percent of people with genital herpes do not know they have it.
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Thirty percent of new cases of genital herpes are type 1, likely from the increase in oral sex.
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There is a "window of opportunity" for being diagnosed by culture. This lasts only about 48 hours from the time your lesion appears. Thereafter, there is a 50% chance of a false-negative culture, requiring further testing for an accurate diagnosis.
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Once you have herpes you are legally and morally obligated to tell future and potential partners.
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You do not have to tell everyone you know you have herpes. Perhaps a family member or trusted friend would be helpful, though. With future partners, it is best to get to know them well enough to know you can trust them with this personal information before telling them.
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You can get genital herpes by receiving oral sex from someone with cold sores, even if they are not broken out at the time.
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Herpes can be carried for many years and passed along without the infected person knowing it or having any symptoms. Ninety percent of those with genital herpes do not know they have it.
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People who have herpes shed virus on their skin. This virus on the skin can infect someone else if they come in contact with it, even if the person who is shedding does or does not know they have herpes, nobody knows when they shed "asympomatically."
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Shedding occurs from before an outbreak until it is completely healed. You are most contagious during an outbreak.
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When you first get herpes you can spread it on your own body until you have enough antibodies to protect you. Handwashing with soap is very important in preventing this.

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Shedding of virus (Also called Asymptomatic Shedding or Sub-Clinical Shedding) occurs with no symptoms, so eventhough we are not always contagious, we do not know for sure when we are having asymptomatic shedding and it can be passed to someone else during that time.
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When you have genital herpes you can shed virus from the entire "boxer shorts" area, not just the genitals and not just the area that is broken out. Though shedding is greater in ano-genital areas, it has been found on the hip and buttocks. Asymptomatic shedding occurs about 2 weeks out of the year, after the first year. Shedding is most frequent during the first 3-6 months after someone is infected with the virus.
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Yes, there is sex after herpes. Partners get protection from Latex or polyurethane condoms but not complete because they do not cover the entire genital area.  Suppressive Therapy (daily antiviral medication) decreases viral shedding by 80-95%. Honesty + condoms + suppressive therapy greatly reduces the chances of transferring the virus to an un-infected partner.
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HSV-1 prefers the oral area but can infect the genital area, HSV-2 prefers the genitals but can infect the oral area. Each tends to be milder away from it's site of preference.
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Using Aveeno Oatmeal Bath and Keeping the area dry really helps me. Use a blow dryer and wear loose fitting shorts, warm-ups or a skirt to allow the lesions to dry out, since being dry speeds healing.
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Burrows Solution (calcium acetate for soaking helps relieve symptoms and dry sores)
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Dermoplast Spray helps locally to relieve pain.
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In a national multi-center study, among monogamous couples where one was infected with herpes and one wasn't, when taking daily suppressive therapy

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The yearly transmission rate is 11% male to female if sex is avoided during symptomatic times and outbreaks, the yearly transmission rate female to male under the same circumstances is 3%. This is cut in half by suppressive (daily) Valtrex.
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 National Herpes Hotline   (919) 361-8488

National Crisis Intervention Hotline (800) 784-2433 - 24 Hours
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