The cold weather came and many of us got cold sores. Why does a cold appear on the lips, is it possible to get rid of herpes forever, how does infection occur and what should not be done with herpes? We learned from doctors and share with you!
Why does herpes appear?
According to WHO experts, more than 95% of the world’s population is infected with the herpes virus. In fact, almost all of us have it. But not everyone gets sick. It all depends on your general health. If the body is weakened by frequent colds, endocrine diseases, vitamin deficiencies, gastrointestinal disorders or stress, any draft will wake up the virus. And the rash will reappear. Frequent exacerbations of herpes can also be caused genetically. They are associated with the “breakdown” of antiviral immunity, which is inherited.
How does herpes infection occur?
Mostly by contact. Shared utensils, handshakes, intimacy, kisses—anything. It is enough for a sick person to touch his lips once, on which the crusts from rashes have not yet completely dried up (and after that do not wash his hands), and he will leave viral particles on all objects that he touches.
The herpes virus is quite tenacious. It tolerates temperature extremes and UV radiation well. It is very easy to pick it up in public places. For example, if it gets on metal, wooden and other surfaces (as well as banknotes), it can live for 2 hours. On damp objects and wet fabrics (for example, a towel) — up to 6 hours.
When there is a rash, the likelihood of infection is highest. But even in a latent form, herpes can be contagious, albeit to a much lesser extent. Transmission of infection can occur through invisible microtrauma of the skin and mucous membranes.
The infection is usually asymptomatic, but recurs after a different time and manifests itself differently in everyone. So, for example, someone does not have visible herpes, while someone has it very strongly.
Herpes usually recurs in the infected area. The first sign is local numbness of the skin, followed by indication and itching. Within a few hours after this, and sometimes the next day, rashes typical of herpes appear, similar to small blisters.
Most often, herpes occurs on the lips. Less often — in the nostrils or on other parts of the face, on the fingers, genitals or buttocks.
Recurrent herpes can also cause complications such as corneal inflammation. In this case, one-sided pain in the eyes, increased lacrimation, redness is manifested. There is a feeling as if an eyelash is stuck in the eye or dust has got into it. In some cases, there are visual impairments, as well as increased photosensitivity.
Herpes recurrence can also cause facial stroke in adults if the case is neglected. It is preceded by pain in the ear region, followed by sagging of one corner of the mouth, and the eyes may not close well, followed by dryness.
In particularly difficult cases, herpetic eczema occurs — this is a serious disease in which herpes spreads from a small focus to the face. Usually this disease affects people with atopic dermatitis. Be attentive and careful! Herpetic eczema can be life threatening if left untreated or done incorrectly!
How soon does herpes heal: herpes treatment
Herpes heals on its own in a period of several days to three to four weeks. Various medications can “help” him in this — local action, or for oral administration.
Mild symptoms of herpes should not be treated, but you will have to “quarantine” because until the blisters heal, the infection can be transmitted.
Is it possible to get rid of herpes forever?
Unfortunately this is not possible. Once in the body, the virus remains in the nervous system for life. Just for the time being, he “falls into hibernation.” And when immunity is weakened, illnesses, stress or other adverse factors, it wakes up and makes itself felt with rashes on the skin and mucous membranes. There is currently no cure for herpes completely. All drugs only suppress the reproduction of the virus, but do not remove viral DNA fragments from nerve cells.
In what cases should you go to the doctor?
If there is extensive blistering of the skin and mucous membranes, fever and malaise, this is an occasion to urgently go to the doctor. In addition, you need to run to the hospital when symptoms of conjunctivitis, facial paralysis, and lymphadenitis appear.
Also remember how often you get herpes. If it recurs more than six times a year, it is necessary to discuss its prevention with your doctor.
What to do if herpes appears constantly?
If a “cold” on the lips appears no more than 3–4 times a year, there is nothing to worry about. Most likely, there are no systemic failures in the body. It is only important to learn how to quickly relieve exacerbations. Antiviral ointments and creams will help in this. During the relapse period, use only individual dishes, towels and other personal hygiene items. If exacerbations occur more than 5 times a year, you should contact an immunologist. The task of the doctor is to bring the virus to a state of hibernation and at the same time eliminate disorders of the immune system.
What not to do with herpes
- Bide your time! Use an antiviral agent already when symptoms-precursors appear (Acyclovir, Zovirax, Gerpevir, etc.). Did you feel itching, burning or tingling in your lips? Act right there. There will be a chance to prevent the appearance of bubbles.
- Cauterize the bubbles with iodine or alcohol. The moxibustion virus will not be affected in any way, but they can bring a skin burn.
- Apply ointment with your finger. Touching this finger to another part of the body, you spread the infection. Apply healing ointment with a cotton swab.
- Paint lips. Otherwise, lipstick will become a source of infection — and it will have to be thrown away.
- Kissing and oral sex until the cold sore is completely gone.