When there is an acute herpes infection, the first thing to do is avoid physical contact with individuals with others.
Hand washing is a key aspect of preventive care. General hygiene is the key to preventing transmission of the disease.
There are numerous solutions and ointments which can be applied on the genitalia. Some even recommend a local anesthetic solution. Viscous anesthetic creams and ointments are available and may help decrease the pain. One should refrain from rubbing the eye with the fingers so as not to infect the eye. All activities with another partner which involve the mouth or genital organs should be avoided.
Genital herpes, in either parent, does not generally affect children and there is little risk of transmission so long as normal hygiene is practiced. Genital herpes can be acquired not only with genital contact but also with oral manipulation.
The pain can vary in intensity and most individuals require pain control. Over the counter pain medications are effective for most individuals but some may require much stronger prescription pain pills. One should never apply any cortisone to the infected area.
Cortisone encourages the virus growth and makes the condition worse.
The best and most effective treatment of genital herpes is the antiviral medication, acyclovir. The anti viral drugs stop the virus from multiplying. The drugs can shorten the duration of a herpes outbreak and reduce the number of repeat infections. Unfortunately, the drugs only work if taken continuously. This may not be practical and cost effective.
For those who have an acute infection, the antiviral medication can reduce the number of days the infection is present. This is very helpful to those who have been plagued with painful blisters. There is a topical antiviral drug available. The topical medication is essentially useless and only reduces the infection duration for a day or two and costs a fortune. For those who have recurrent infections, the anti viral drugs have to be taken everyday. This is expensive and not practical.
The anti viral medications available today all require a prescription. The current antiviral drugs available to treat type 2 herpes simplex include:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
Acyclovir is probably the best and most effective. The oral pill is effective and decrease the duration of infection and recurrences. However, it has to be taken 5 times a day, for 10 days and costs a fortune.
Oral anti-viral medications such as famciclovir or valacyclovir have been developed to effectively treat herpes infections. These medications can be used to treat the acute infection or may be used to prevent recurrences. Unlike acyclovir, these medications are generally used in the sick patients who have other illnesses. The drugs are fairly expensive.