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How painful are herpes blisters? Aftercare?

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I’ve heard the pain associated with the herpes blisters varies widely among individuals. If I understand the overwhelming majority of people, more than 70% are asymptomatic. Another percent having symptoms so mild they are mistaken for something else or go unnoticed. What percentage of people have significantly painful genital blisters during an outbreak? How does one care for those sores? Aside from Valtrax should a person clean them with soap and water? Antibacterial ointment? 

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Those are great questions!! 

The odd thing is, pain is subjective. Some people have a much larger tolerance for pain than others, so what some may say is painful isn't for another. However, I have never met a person with a herpes sore who said "wow! This feels great and doesn't hurt at all!" So, I would say if someone has a sore, there is most likely at least some discomfort, if not pain, when someone has an active herpes lesion. Or, some people with a sore may feel the same feeling as when they have an ingrown hair; it may hurt if you like at it, as the skin is inflamed, but it may not cause them pain that distracts them from daily activities. 

Herpes sores can be cared for in a variety of ways. Here's some information about the most common and widely available treatments!!

🌼LYSINE CREAM: To soothe skin, Lysine cream/ointment can help the sores heal quicker, soothe pain, and it acts as a 'buffer' between the sores and clothing if someone's clothes irritate the sores. Lysine cream can be bought at drug stores, and even holistic wellness stores. 

💧WATER:  Cold water in a misting bottle helps cool down sores/skin and helps when someone is going to the bathroom, as acidic urine can cause extreme burning. Others pee in the shower because the burning is so bad. 

❄️ICE/🔥HEAT:. Ice packs can helps soothe sores, as the body cannot feel temperature and pain simultaneously. Ice packs or heat can also reduce nerve pain, if it is coming from the lower spine or thighs. 

💊ANTIVIRALS/MEDICINES: Of course, antivirals are helpful to take when experiencing prodrome symptoms, or when you see sores appear. Taking Tylenol while taking Acyclovir or another antiviral MAY be an option, but always consult a doctor before taking any pain medication while taking your antiviral. (You can read the information sheet for drug interactions, the sheet comes with the prescription!)

👕CLOTHING, 🍎FOOD, & ACTIVITY: Wearing loose, cotton clothing helps. Spandex and unbreathable materials aren't the most helpful. Many people with frequent outbreaks choose to avoid foods high in arginine (needed for herpes virus to replicate) and enjoy more foods high in lysine (slows/harbours the replication). If you need to take some days off work, school, or social outings, that's okay. Take time to heal, especially if being seated is super harmful and your work/school requires you to be seated for periods of time. Working out isn't the best idea if you have many sores, or if you have a fever as one of your symptoms when you have outbreaks. 

🚿🧼CLEANING SORES: You can rinse your sores in the shower, and gently squeeze a soapy sponge/loofa over the sores (especially if placing the sponge on them hurts). It isn't a good idea to scrub the sores, as the sores may open or the scabs may fall off. Not touching the sores is very important during the primary outbreak since you can still infect yourself with the virus and spread it to other parts of your body, as you have t yet built up antibodies to protect yourself from contracting it elsewhere. 

Soaps that have mint or other 'tingly' or spicy herbs in them, or have scrubbing beads, aren't a great idea since they may cause burning or too much exfoliating of skin. A basic soap that is gentle is a great choice. Dove soap, for example, may be gentle enough. 

❤️LOVE: A doctor wouldn't tell you this... But a great way to get through an outbreak is to be surrounded by love and things and people that support you. 

I hope this helps answer your question!! Please reach out with any more questions ☺️




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