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Genital Herpes Treatment Methods
- Genital herpes treatment, or herpes treatments in general, depends on whether or not the herpes outbreak is the first or if it’s recurring
- The primary herpes infection only occurs after a person is exposed to either herpes simplex 1 or herpes simplex 2, two types of the herpes virus
- As there is no cure for herpes, herpes symptoms can only be treated for the length and severity of the outbreaks. A number of antiviral drugs are available and widely used in treating the virus
Deciding on a treatment method for herpes usually depends on what type a person has. It also depends on if the infection has occurred for the first time or if it’s recurring.
The preliminary infection
In most cases, the preliminary occurrence of herpes or the primary infection develops only after a person has been exposed to HSV or the herpes simplex virus. It may take months or in some cases, years to develop, after exposure. However, one can also develop herpes within 4 to 7 days of exposure to HSV.
If a person has genital herpes for the very first time, he/she would need to go to a specialist known as a GUM or genitor-urinary medicine specialist.
A specialist in this field will conduct certain tests and screenings in order to establish the cause of the herpes or any other STIs (sexually-transmitted infections) present in the system. The specialist would then proceed with the treatment procedures, followed by various forms of counseling.
Antiviral drugs for genital herpes are often used for its treatment . These drugs are by no means a cure for the virus. They simply help to reduce the length and severity of outbreaks.
The commonly used drugs for herpes treatment include:
Acyclovir, along with related compounds such as valacyclovir, penciclovir and famciclovir, are usually prescribed. Acyclovir can be taken orally, topically or intravenously. Regrettably, only 10 to 20 percent of acyclovir can be absorbed when taken orally. However, 80 percent of valacyclovir is absorbed by the body and is then further converted into acyclovir in our liver. Famciclovir and valacylovir are only available in oral form and have yet to get approval in the state of Canada for children to use.
Acyclovir is referred to as “nucleoside analogue”, which means that it has the capacity to insert itself directly into the virus’ DNA at the time of replication. This drug, in particular, targets the cells that have been infected by the herpes simplex virus. It strongly prevents the further production of any new virus by actually stopping the formation of the viral DNA. For the most part, Valacyclovir and famciclovir work the same way.
Vidarabine was probably the first antiviral drug available for the treatment of HSV. On the other hand, this drug is not as safe as acyclovir. It is used only about 3% of the time in North America in the form of an ointment. This drug is used for treating herpes infections appearing around the eyes.
Foscarnet is an early anti-herpes drug and was used in treating life threatening infections caused by the herpes simplex virus because of toxicity. This drug is now used for the treatment of severe HSV infections and in cases where acyclovir fails to work.
Besides medicinal treatments, you can also try some of these tips:
• Use cool or lukewarm clothes on the place where the sore has occurred. This is great pain relief.
• Lukewarm baths can be very helpful, especially for women. If a woman experiences pain while urinating, she is likely to urinate in the bathtub as she finishes bathing – this allows the urine to dilute and in turn prevents the sores from burning.
• The affected area should be kept clean and dry.
• Preferably use cotton undergarments.
• Loose-fitting clothes are airy and comfortable.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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