Herpes is caused by a virus known as herpes simplex. From the moment it enters the body, it remains there forever, hidden in the nerve root. When immunity (the body's ability to fight infections) falls, a herpes attack occurs. Blisters usually take about a week or two to clear, but there are some steps you can take to speed up the healing process. Things like leaving blisters exposed to air, talking to your doctor about medications, and using ointments can speed recovery. There are still some actions you can take to reduce and avoid a flare-up, such as decreasing prolonged exposure to the sun, reducing contact during sex, and managing stress.
Method 1 of 2: Dealing with a Crisis
Step 1. Leave bubbles exposed to air
While it seems like a good idea to cover the blisters with a bandage, this measure actually slows down recovery. The best way to speed up herpes healing time is to leave it exposed to the air and wait for it to go away on its own.
If you have genital herpes, wear loose-fitting clothing and underwear to increase airflow to the area
Step 2. Leave the bubbles still
Poking at the blisters can cause an infection, which can further increase recovery time. Try to hold on and don't put your hand on the spot all the time. Leave them alone and they'll get better much faster.
If blisters itch or burn, apply a little ice or compresses to relieve symptoms
Step 3. Make a doctor's appointment
If you have frequent or occasional herpes flare-ups, you need to talk to a doctor about treatment options. Although herpes has no cure, there are medications that can improve the lives of those who suffer from this condition. Some of them can decrease the severity and duration of attacks, while others can prevent them and decrease the number of attacks you have.
Step 4. Talk to your doctor about antiviral medications
Antiviral drugs are meant to treat herpes from the first sign of an attack. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of having prescriptions handy for a time when you have the first symptoms and there is no way to make an appointment. Acyclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir are the most commonly prescribed antiviral drugs.
Follow your doctor's directions and take your medication as directed. Do not take more or less than the recommended dose
Step 5. Talk to your doctor about topical herpes ointments
There are several over-the-counter herpes ointments, but you should consult a doctor before choosing which one to rub on your blisters. If you have genital herpes, you need a prescription.
Think about the idea of using a propolis ointment. In one study, propolis ointment was found to be more effective than acyclovir ointment. People who used the propolis ointment four times a day reported that the blisters healed faster than those who used the other
Step 6. Go to the doctor's office to find out if the treatment is working
After you've taken the antiviral for a few months, it's a good idea to make an appointment to see if the treatment is working. If it is not producing the desired effect, the professional may suggest another line of treatment.
Method 2 of 2: Preventing Future Attacks
Step 1. Decrease prolonged exposure to sunlight
If you suffer from cold sores, you may be more likely to get an attack after spending a lot of time in the sun. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of flare-ups by reducing direct sun exposure.
Try to stay in the shade or wear a wide-brimmed hat when you have to be out for a long time
Step 2. Use a water-based lubricant during sex
The friction that occurs during sex can trigger a herpes outbreak. To reduce it, use a water-based lubricant. Always use condoms, especially for genital herpes, as you can pass the disease on to your partner.
- Do not use oil-based lubricants or a spermicide that contains nonoxynol-9 in the composition. The oil-based lubricant can weaken the condom and the nonoxynol-9 ingredient can irritate the mucosa.
- Avoid having sex during a herpes outbreak. There are more chances of transmission at this time. Therefore, it is best to avoid intercourse altogether when herpes is active.
Step 3. Find ways to manage stress
This is one of the common causes of herpes flare-ups, so dealing with it is critical. Consider taking a yoga class, doing deep breathing exercises during the day, learning to meditate, or taking regular, relaxing baths. Find a way to relax and ease tension to prevent flare-ups. Some other ways to alleviate the problem are:
- Get more exercise. Physical activity keeps you healthy and manages stress. Aim for half an hour of moderate exercise each day.
- Eat better. A balanced diet can make you feel better and reduce stress. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid nonsense.
- Sleep more. Sleep deprivation can contribute to excess stress. You need to sleep at least seven uninterrupted hours every night.
- Staying in touch with people. Seeing someone when you're feeling overwhelmed can also help relieve stress. Call a friend to chat when you're not feeling well.
Step 4. Try to add lysine to your diet
Lysine is an amino acid used to prevent and treat herpes. Lysine works by blocking the action of arginine (responsible for the multiplication of the herpes virus). It can be taken whenever you are having a herpes attack or before symptoms start.
- Talk to your doctor before using lysine as a supplement, especially if you have any kidney disease, if you are pregnant or nursing.
- Follow product instructions if you decide to start lysine supplementation.