Can You Live A Normal Life With Herpes?

herpes

Many people panic and fear they will never be able to lead a normal life when they hear the word “herpes.” Although it cannot be cured, many people never show any signs of it, and there are numerous treatments that can be used to control outbreaks. But you can live a normal life with herpes. To learn more about herpes, read this article.

What Is Herpes

Several different viral infections are referred to as herpes. The face and lips are affected by Type 1 herpes, while Type 2 herpes affects the genital area. You will experience tingling and fluid-filled blisters on your lips and face if you have Type 1 herpes.

The blisters may be tender and even hurt. They eventually become crusted over and dry out, revealing healed skin. Genital type 2 herpes manifests as painful sores with a burning sensation.

Herpes is most frequently characterized by tingling, red, and sore skin. These are indications that a breakout will happen. Blisters, sores, and bumps become apparent once the breakout starts. Up to 10 days may pass between symptoms.

Herpes can spread to not only other areas of your body but also to people you come into contact with. Within two to 20 days of direct contact, if it is your first herpes outbreak, you become infected.

If it is a recurrence, the outbreak is less severe but it still has a chance of spreading. It is advised to refrain from kissing and sharing utensils, food, and beverages if you have Type 1 herpes. It is best to avoid sexual activity if you have Type 2 herpes.

Can Herpes Be Treated

There is no cure for either herpes infection, but treatment options exist. Herpes is simply in a resting phase when you don’t notice any signs or symptoms of it. Unpredictably, another outbreak could start.

If an outbreak does happen, fortunately, antiviral medications are accessible to support your ability to carry on with your regular life. Antiviral drugs can stop and lessen herpes outbreaks.

Can You Live A Normal Life With Herpes

Along with medications, you can help yourself feel more at ease and calmer by taking painkillers, taking a light saltwater bath, rubbing petroleum jelly on the irritated areas, and dressing in loose-fitting clothing.

Within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, herpes should be treated to shorten its duration.

Even if you have genital or oral herpes, you can still lead a normal life. Just be sure to exercise the proper caution to prevent it from spreading or from causing another outbreak.

Avoiding sex, using condoms during sexual contact, and kissing someone who exhibits herpes symptoms are some preventative measures that can be taken.

What To Do After You’re Diagnosed

If you’ve been told you have herpes, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and maintain your health.

Know What Symptoms To Expect

Depending on the virus you have and the parts of your body that are affected, your symptoms may change. If you do have symptoms, they will probably be worse after the initial infection than they are during recurrent outbreaks. Expect the following as the most typical symptoms:

  • Sores around the genitals, rectum, or mouth (genital herpes)
  • Blisters or cold sores around the mouth (oral herpes)
  • Fever and other flu-like symptoms (during initial outbreak only)
  • Small bumps that resemble an ingrown hair or pimple (genital herpes)

There are two herpes virus strains to be aware of: Despite the fact that HSV-1 and HSV-2 are both capable of causing the herpes virus, HSV-1 is more frequently linked to oral herpes and HSV-2 to genital herpes.

Talk To Your Doctor About Treatment Options

Herpes does not currently have a cure, but there are treatments that can lessen symptoms and the likelihood of the virus spreading. You should still consult your doctor about potential treatments even if you are symptom-free.

If you have HSV-2-related genital herpes, your doctor may advise taking an oral antiviral drug to treat the current outbreak and stop future ones. Although these drugs can’t treat HSV, they can lessen its symptoms and stop the virus from mutating, which can help lessen the likelihood that a partner will contract it.

HSV-1 symptoms can be controlled and suppressed with the help of antiviral drugs. However, suppressive therapy is typically not advised because this strain has a much lower risk of recurrences and genital shedding following the initial infection.

Your physician might advise taking antiviral drugs or applying topical ointments to your cold sores if they are the result of oral herpes. Additionally, topical anesthetics and anti-inflammatory drugs are available over the counter to treat pain and inflammation.

Learn How Herpes Spreads

Understanding how herpes spreads can help you understand how you got it and how to stop spreading it to other people. While touching infected skin, saliva, or herpes sores can also make someone contract HSV, sexual contact is the main way in which it is transmitted.

By kissing someone who has an open sore, for instance, you can catch oral herpes.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that even if a person doesn’t have any symptoms, they can still spread HSV. Fortunately, the herpes virus quickly perishes if it is removed from the body, so touching objects or surfaces won’t cause you to contract it.

Consider speaking with a medical expert about the risks if you have any concerns about how herpes spreads.

Prioritize Your Mental Health

Receiving an HSV diagnosis can lead to stress, anxiety, and other emotions that are occasionally challenging to deal with. You’re not the only one experiencing anxiety after receiving a recent HSV diagnosis. It’s okay to take some time to work through your feelings and, if necessary, seek assistance.

Your doctor may be able to allay your worries if you have health-related ones by discussing treatment options and outlining the risks. Asking for more information or a referral to a mental health expert who can assist you in managing stress or anxiety is another option.

Get Tested For Other Possible Stis

Ask your doctor about testing options for other STIs like chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, and HPV if you engage in sexual activity. Many STIs can be asymptomatic, so early detection can lower the risk of them spreading or manifesting symptoms in the future.

For sexually active adults, the CDC offers the following screening suggestions:

  • Everyone ages 13 to 64 should get tested at least once for HIV.
  • Anyone who has sex with new or multiple male partners should get tested once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
  • Everyone who is pregnant should get tested for syphilis, early on in their pregnancy, they tested positive for hepatitis B, C, and HIV.
  • People with new or multiple sex partners should get tested for yearly, at the very least, HIV.

Ask your doctor for guidance if you’re unsure of which STI tests you require or when to get them. Based on your sexual history, they can offer suggestions and offer more details on various STI tests.

What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Herpes

When they learn they have herpes, some people believe their love lives are over, but this is simply untrue. Herpes patients engage in romantic and sexual relationships with one another or with partners who are herpes-free.

The least enjoyable conversation you will ever have is one in which you discuss STDs. However, it’s crucial to always let partners know if you have herpes in order to stop the disease from spreading.

Even though there is no one right way to discuss having an STD, the following advice may be useful:

  • Proceed with caution. Herpes affects millions of people, many of whom are also in committed relationships. Herpes is generally not a big deal for couples. Try to enter the conversation with a serene, upbeat attitude. Herpes is just a health problem; it doesn’t reflect anything negative about you as a person.
  • Make the discussion mutual. Just keep in mind that STDs are extremely prevalent. Herpes may also be present in your partner. Inquire first if they have ever undergone testing or experienced an STD.
  • Know your facts. Herpes is the subject of a lot of misunderstanding, so arm yourself with the facts and be ready to dispel them. Make sure your partner is aware of how to treat herpes and prevent contracting it during sex.
  • Think about timing. Select a quiet, private location at a time when you won’t be distracted or interrupted. You can practice talking to yourself or a friend if you’re anxious by doing so first. It may sound absurd, but speaking your words aloud can help you prepare your thoughts and feel more at ease when speaking to your partner.
  • Safety first. It might not be safe to tell your partner face-to-face if you’re worried they’ll hurt you. An email, text message, phone call, or, in the worst-case scenario, not telling them at all, would probably be preferable. If you think you might be in danger, call 1-800-799-SAFE or go to the National Domestic Violence Hotline website for assistance.

Final Thoughts

It should not be thought that having herpes prevents you from leading a typical life. It’s not your fault, and there is nothing you can do about it right now but accept it and equip yourself with the knowledge to deal with it.

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