Despite the fact that both genital herpes and cold sores are extremely common in the United States today, a surprising amount of people don’t realise the link between the two. The fact is that genital herpes and cold sores are two different strains of the same virus; the herpes virus.
Once you’ve contracted the virus, you will have it for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, both types of herpes can cause embarrassment and insecurity and there remains no known cure. However, treatments are available and improving with time. There’s no reason to allow herpes of any form to have a series impact on your life.
The herpes virus can lie dormant for extended periods of time. However, most patients will experience a few outbreaks each year. Over time, the frequency and severity of outbreaks decreases. During outbreaks blisters will appear and require treatment. When the infection is dormant, the patient won’t have any symptoms.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the Herpes Simplex 1 Virus, or HSV-1. Cold sores are also sometime referred to as oral herpes. They present as blisters and sores around the mouth, lips, under the nose and sometimes on the chin and cheeks. In rare cases, they can even occur on the gums which is extremely painful.
HSV-1 can only be spread during an outbreak. This means that if you have oral contact (such as kissing or touching the mouth with your hands) with someone with a cold sore, or exchange saliva with them in any way, you can easily catch the virus. However, the vast majority of the etime the virus is dormant. During this phase, it can’t be as easily caught, although it is possible.
Symptoms of Oral Herpes:
Genital herpes is caused by the Herpes Simplex 2 virus. This is more commonly known as HSV-2. Genital herpes is categorized a sexually transmitted infection, or STI. This is because outbreaks of the virus occur around the genitals.
In women, genital herpes presents as blisters around the vagina, vulva, cervix and anus. In men, they are localized to the penis, testicles and anus. This virus can be contracted through skin to skin contact, but only during an outbreak of herpes infection.
In other words, during a flare up and when blisters are present, it can be passed easily through skin to skin contact. The rest of the time however, when the infection is dormant, it cannot be caught in this way.
This means that sexual contact is largely dependant on whether or not the patient is experiencing an outbreak. When an outbreak does occur, any sexual contact in not advisable. Instead, it’s safer for the sexual health of both parties to wait until the outbreak passes.
Symptoms of Genital Herpes:
Treatment for Cold Sores and Genital Herpes
There is currently no known cure for either HSV-1 or HSV-2. This is because the virus actually makes its way into our cells, so it can’t be killed without killing the cells in question. However, there’s no need to panik. While the first initial outbreak of herpes can be quite severe and very alarming, the virus tends to get less extreme with time. Most people find that as time passes, their outbreaks are significantly less frequent and severe.
There is a wide range of treatments on the market today for both cold sores and genital herpes. Most of these are available over the counter. With the help of these treatments, symptoms tend to clear up in a week or ten days. Sometimes though, it can take from two to four weeks.
Antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, Penciclovir, and Famciclovir can speed up the healing process. There is also a wide range of home remedies that many people claim to be very effective.
Cannabidiol is an oil which is extracted from the cannabis plant. It has become extremely trendy in recent times because of the discovery of its health benefits. These discoveries, coupled with its inherent controversy, have led to huge attention and curiosity from the media and the general public alike.
Scientists have discovered that cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has some powerful medicinal properties. In particular it is being used as an effective anti-inflammatory, a safe treatment for chronic pain and even as a preventer of seizures for patients with epilepsy.
According to some herpes patients, when experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes or cold sores CBD oil be very effective. They claim that treating the painful symptoms of herpes with CBD reduces their pain and discomfort significantly.
It has been proven in many scientific studies that CBD can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral. It is these properties in particular which suggest that cannabidiol would be a safe and effective treatment in cases of genital herpes and cold sores.
There are a whole host of CBD products including topical lotions, oil tinctures, edibles and vapes that you can use when exploring CBD as a treatment. Most of the topical lotions are gentle enough to be used on the genital area, but always be cautious and read the label in detail before using.
The herpes simplex virus, which causes both genital herpes and cold sores, is linked to the immune system. That means that every time the immune system is weakened, a patient with HSV becomes prone to an outbreak. This will usually cause painful blisters and often embarrassment. However, thankfully there are plenty of effective treatments available for patients today.
If you suffer from genital herpes or cold sores and are looking for advice on how best to manage your condition, speaking to your health care provider is a great first step. He or she can run through all of your options with you, and help you get back to your happiest, healthiest self.