Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and Type 2 (HSV-2). The Type I virus is the same one that causes cold sores on the mouth, face, and lips, although it can also cause sores on the genitals. The Type II virus, however, most often causes sores on the genitals.
Causes of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two strains of HSV, both of which cause genital herpes.
Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV 1) – This strain of virus causes herpes infections of lips and mouth. The infection includes fever blisters and cold sores. The virus is spread through mouth to genitals during oral sex.
Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV 2) – This strain of virus most commonly causes genital herpes and is the main cause for the disease. It is highly contagious and generally causes no symptoms. It is spread through skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact.
Herpes simplex virus is spread from one person to another if:
1. Mouth, penis, vagina or skin comes in contact with someone already infected with the virus
2. Skin of an infected person who has visible rashes, blisters or sores comes in contact
3. Skin of an infected person who has no visible symptoms comes in contact may also be a cause
The first episode usually starts within a couple weeks of exposure, and the initial onset can be pretty bad, including an initial round and then a second round of painful sores, flulike symptoms, fever, and swollen glands. Sometimes the symptoms are mild, however, and appear as little more than insect bites or a rash.
Once you have genital herpes, you have it for life. Luckily, it spends most of its life, and yours, dormant. But like cold sores, genital herpes recurs, often up to four or five times a year. There are a few home remedies that can help you through an episode, however. Head over to the next page to learn more.
Home Remedies for Genital herpes
1. Cook one cup of olive oil in a pot, add some bee wax and lavender oil. Cool and smear on the herpes. This is one of the common home remedies for genital herpes.
2. Salt baths can clean, soothe and dry the sores. Wash areas below the waist in a warm, shallow bath and use Epsom salts (you can buy epsom salts from most supermarkets and drugstores). This will help to dry out and clean the sores.
3. Take analgesics or pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or paracetamol to relieve pain. If your outbreaks are very painful, you will need to talk to your doctor about this option.
4. Baking soda is another useful home remedy for genital herpes. Slightly dampen a cotton ball or tissue, dip it in Baking Soda (Bi-Carbonate Soda) and coat the infected area. Leave on the sore to dry out the infection and to help relieve itching.
5. Local application of ice packs may alleviate the pain. Ice will soothe the area, as well as lower the temperature of the infection, helping to inhibit the virus.
6. Application of cold tea bags to the infected area every hour may be beneficial. This is because tea bags contain tannic acid which is thought to have antiviral properties, best used at the first sign of an outbreak.
7. Aloe vera is also used as a home remedy for genital herpes. It cools down the itching and redness. It is safe and gentle, so can be applied on and inside the genitals.
Filed Under: Sexual Health, Problems and Satisfaction in Women