Herpes + Cold Sores
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections are very common. Symptoms can be very mild or have no symptoms at all, so people don’t always realize they have herpes. For the majority though, outbreaks can be painful and compromise the skin for an extended period of time. Outbreaks are triggered by exposure to the sun, a fever, emotional stress, a weakened immune system, or an illness.
Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, can be very painful and are often large and unsightly. Some people have outbreaks once or twice a year while others seem to have recurrent lesions every few weeks. The virus can lay dormant for extended periods of time, showing no symptoms.
Everyone is at risk for oral herpes from HSV-1. It is transmitted through kissing or sharing drinking glasses and utensils. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, although HSV-2 is the main cause of genital herpes.
HSV-1 infects all people equally across the board. It doesn’t discriminate between gender, race or age.
HSV-2 is the main cause of Genital herpes, which is growing at epidemic rates now. All sexually active people are at risk for genital herpes. HSV-2 is spread through unprotected sexual contact.
Women have a higher risk of being infected as 1 in 4 women have HSV-2, compared to 1 in 8 men. Having multiple sexual partners puts you at even greater risk.
There is a much higher incidence of HSV-2 infection among adolescents and people in their 20’s, compared to the general population. HSV-2 is also 3 times higher among HIV-infected adults compared to the general population.
“Prodromal Symptoms” such as pain, itching, or tingling, often precede the blisters by one to two days. You may have a sore throat, flu-like symptoms or swollen glands in your neck. After the prodromal stage, blisters appear. They usually break open, and leak clear infectious fluid, and then crust over lasting 2–24 days. It is extremely important to be gentle and take good care of the area as the sores can easily cause scarring.
When the sores are completely healed, the active phase of infection is over. The virus retreats into the nervous system and lays dormant. Asymptomatic shedding (shedding without symptoms) can still occur when no sores are present.
When to see your Doctor
It is important to have a medical diagnosis if this is your first outbreak to be certain that what you have is HSV and to have a clear treatment plan. Whether it is your first outbreak or you have already been diagnosed, see your doctor if:
- You have a weakened immune system
- The cold sores don’t heal within two weeks
- Symptoms are severe
- You have frequent recurrences of cold sores
- You experience irritation in your eyes
The good news is testing can be done to detect the presence of the herpes virus. Knowledge is power so if you have a concern that you may have herpes, please get tested. Even if there is no active lesion you can still be contagious.
Once a person has HSV, although it may remain dormant for long periods, it doesn’t go away and currently, there is no cure.
Ultimately, a holistic approach that includes advice from your doctor is the best solution for either type of Herpes. A strong immune system will help lessen the frequency of outbreaks as well as healthy lifestyle choices, wearing chemical free sun protection year round and practicing excellent hygiene.
A number of professionals recommend lysine as a daily supplement. Your doctor may prescribe one of a number of anti-viral agents for the type 1 (HSV-1) herpes infection that causes cold sores. Zovirax (acyclovir) and Denavir (penciclovir) are available in cream form. Your doctor could also prescribe oral anti-virals as Famvir (famciclovir), Valtrex (valacyclovir), and Zovirax (oral acyclovir).
NeoGenesis Products for Herpes Simplex Virus
A day or so before an outbreak, you may feel tingling, itching, burning, pain, or flu-like symptoms. When this occurs, apply NeoGenesis Recovery serum, abundant in stem cell released molecules to deliver nutrients to the affected area, up to 4 times daily. Incorporate the use of MB-1 to help mitigate the outbreak by rebalancing the microbiome of the skin.
Recovery serum will infuse the skin with the nutrients needed to protect the skin during an outbreak. Recovery may also reduce any pain and discomfort associated with the lesions.
Once the lesion is beginning to dissipate, continue the use of Recovery and MB-1, 2 to 4 times daily until the area is healed. If possible, gently cleanse the area with the NeoGenesis Cleanser then apply the Recovery serum. For any dryness or scabbing, use our Barrier Renewal Cream followed by MB-1 to keep the area hydrated.
Use a chemical-free sunscreen over the area as the sun is a major factor in contributing to the Herpes Simplex Virus.