Have you developed painful or itchy blisters around your genitals? Are you having sores on your lips or in or around your mouth? If you answered positively with a concern, then you might be suffering from herpes. And, if you want to treat your herpes at your home, here are some easy home remedies that can help you tackle herpes effectively. Read on to find out more about herpes and home remedies to alleviate it.
What Is Herpes?
Herpes is a viral infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HPV). There are two types of Herpes, namely, Type 1 HSV and Type 2 HSV. Type 1 HSV causes oral lesions, while Type 2 HSV causes genital lesions. Type 1 HSV usually spreads through infected saliva, i.e. by kissing, sharing personal belongings, oral sex, etc. And, Type 2 HSV usually spreads through sexual contact. The disease produces painful blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid. Oral lesions may be present on the lips, gums, and mouth. Genital blisters in men can occur on the glans, penis, and foreskin and shaft of the penis. In women, it can affect the cervix, vagina, and vulva.
Easy Home Remedies for Herpes:
Here are some useful tips and home remedies to soothe the painful herpetic blisters and get rid of the itching and discomfort naturally.
- Epsom Salt Bath:
Add a handful of Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) in a half bucket of warm water and soak the affected parts of your body for 15-20 minutes in it. Frequent bathing relieves the itching as well.
- Coconut Oil:
local application / oral intake – Coconut oil has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Both local applications & the oral intake of coconut oil are highly effective. You can either consume 1 tbsp of coconut oil daily or apply it on the affected area regularly. Virgin coconut oil is advisable for the oral consumption.
Honey has a cooling effect on your skin lesions. You can apply honey directly on the lesions and allow it to dry for half an hour. Then, wash the parts and pat dry. Repeat the process 2-3 times a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is an effective astringent and anti-inflammatory agent. You can apply apple cider vinegar on the sores to get relief from the pain. (Caution – it may make you experience a slight tingling feeling). You may also consume apple cider vinegar internally by diluting 1-2 tsp in 1 cup of water and consume it twice a day.
- Cold Compress:
Ice helps in relieving the inflammation, pain, and soreness when there are active lesions. Apply ice directly or wrapped in a towel to the affected area. Repeat the process 3-4 times in a day.
- Black Raisins:
Raisins contain polyphenolic phytonutrients which are well known anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Raisins are also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, thereby they are highly effective in strengthening your body’s immunity and in increasing its capacity to fight the virus. Soak 4-5 black raisins in water overnight and consume them empty stomach in the morning.
- Essential Oils:
Essential oils, such as Tea tree oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, or vitamin E oil, help in reducing the soreness developed by herpes lesions. Essential oils can reduce the inflammation and also provide you a great relief from itching.
- Consuming Lysin:
Lysin, a naturally occurring amino acid, plays an important role in treating herpes infection. Consuming lysin rich food, such as dairy products, eggs, fish, chicken, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, apples, mangoes, etc., can help you in alleviating the discomfort resulting due to herpes.
- Aloe Vera:
Aloe Vera helps in ameliorating the body area affected by the genital sores and reducing the inflammation. You can apply fresh aloe vera extract on your herpes lesions, allow it to dry, & wash it off after 15 minutes. Else, you can also consume aloe vera juice once daily.
6 Preventive Measures to Keep Herpes at Bay:
Some preventive measures can also help in reducing the frequency of relapses of herpetic eruptions. Some of the prevention tips for herpes are mentioned below.
- Use condoms to avoid cross infection to your partner and vice versa.
- Wear cotton clothes which are breathable and loose in fitting.
- Avoid sharing personal belongings, such as towels, toothbrush, lipsticks, undergarments, and others.
- Get a blood test done if you complain of recurrent mouth ulcers.
- Manage Stress – Physical or mental stress can affect your immune system directly, and, thereby, it reduces your body’s capacity to fight off the virus. Do exercises and meditation regularly and avoid unnecessary stress.
- Avoid oral sex or sexual contact when the blisters are active or are burst open.
These simple home remedies play a good supporting role in relieving your discomfort resulting due to herpes. Herpes virus has a great affinity to the human race and is quite resistant to a treatment targeted at the local lesions (i.e. By local ointments) &, thereby, it tends to affect you again and again. Please consult your doctor for proper medical treatment and management of this disease as soon as possible.
– Written by Dr. Amrita, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah