Herpes is a viral disease causing an outbreak of small yet painful blisters and sores on the surface of the skin. There are two types of herpes: one is oral herpes, which is found within the area of the lips, nose and face; while the other one is a more intense version that is called genital herpes, which is found around the lower back, genitals or anus of the body.
Until now, science hasn't been able yet to find a cure for herpes. However, there are currently medications available that are helpful in lessening what might be a frequent occurrence of the outbreak. But before undertaking any sort of action, here are a few things to remember:
- Refrain from touching the infected areas, especially with bare hands, so as to avoid spreading the virus. It is best not to habitually have skin contact with the infected areas. Also, touching may transfer dirt from the hands, keeping the virus more active and subject to more infection.
- Take pain relievers to temporarily alleviate the pain. Generic pain relievers such as aspirin may help improve the soreness, at least for a certain period of time. Limit your dosage, as too much might also lead to side-effects, depending on the sensitivity of the person's immune system.
- Do away with creams, gels and lotions. Although it may seem that the pain is lessened by application of these lubricants, such products, especially those that are commercialized, are not designed to address cold sores and blisters. Most of them are for skin moisturizing, whitening, or revitalizing, and are not in any way related to the improvement of any skin irritation. Consult a physician for other drugs that might be useful for treatment.
- Keep the infected areas clean and dry all the time. To keep the infection from spreading, it is most sensible to keep not only the blistered areas sanitary but also the areas surrounding them. A warm shower is said to be highly effective. Make sure that the same areas have been gently towel dried. Viruses are easily spread on damp or wet surfaces.
- Follow a high-lysine, low-arginine diet. Herpes is one of those diseases that keep coming back. Lysine reduces the occurrence, gravity and healing period of an infection. Good sources of lysine include fish, chicken, beef, milk, cheese, and most fruits and vegetables.
For genital herpes, do not enclose the infected area in a tight-fitting undergarment. Simply put, keep the infected area from any kind of irritation and whatever may possibly cause it. Wearing fitted underwear may cause transfer of the virus from infected to uninfected part. It is also recommended to wear cotton underwear, since this kind of garment is most compatible with all skin types. Some non-cotton garments can be a source of irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.