Almost 90 million Americans are infected with herpes, a skin infection that commonly manifests with painful and fluid-filled blisters. There are about 40,000 new diagnosed cases of herpes a day, which makes about 150,000,000 new herpes cases per year. With herpes spreading at such a fast rate in the USA, more and more people are looking for ways on how to avoid herpes outbreak. In a herpes outbreak, the first symptom commonly reported is a burning, tingling or itching sensation on the site where the blisters will eventually erupt. Painful and fluid-filled blisters will soon form on the site. Over a period of 2-3 weeks, the blisters will gradually heal, crust and shed off. When the outbreak resolves, the herpes simplex virus hides and sleeps on the nerve cells of the spinal column. The sleeping or dormant virus may be reactivated and triggered anytime by stress, genital irritation, fatigue, trauma and menstruation. This is the reason why an HSV-infected person can experience an outbreak even after several years.
Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus has two types: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 causes oral herpes that affects the mouth, lips, nose and surrounding areas of the face. HSV-2 causes genital herpes that affects the vagina, penis and surrounding regions. However, HSV-1 an also cross-infect the genitals through oral sex. HSV infections spread from one person to another through direct contact with a blister or infected body fluid. Once a person gets infected, he or she will remain infected permanently.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for herpes. antivirals such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and famcyclovir can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of the outbreak. The antiviral drugs should be taken as soon as the tingling, burning or itching sensations starts or when the blisters begin forming. A person with mild symptoms can do some home care remedies for herpes sores. First, loose-fitting cotton underwear and pants should be used rather than nylon or synthetic garments. Second, gently cleaning the site with water and mild soap may also help. Third, over-the-counter pain relievers and warm baths can help reduce the pain. Since herpes is basically incurable, both infected and non-infected people should start focusing on how to avoid herpes outbreak and making precautions.
The most definite solution on how to avoid herpes outbreak is abstaining from sexual contact. For people who cannot do this, staying in a monogamous and long-term relationship with the same sexual partner is the next best thing. Naturally, the partner should also be uninfected and should also be monogamous. As a guiding principle when having intercourse, a person without symptoms of HSV may be infected with the virus and can transmit the disease.
Although not as effective as abstaining and monogamy, latex condoms may also be a way on how to avoid herpes outbreak especially among couples where one partner is already infected. Only latex types of condoms have been proven effective in reducing the spread of herpes. Correct and consistent use of latex condoms will help the unaffected partner from acquiring the disease. Tests have also showed that female condoms are effective as well in preventing the transmission of herpes.