Herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), is an incurable STD. Once you are infected, you will have the virus for the rest of your life. Some people develop herpes outbreaks every week, others do not. This can vary from person to person and depend on many factors. Read on this article to know why you are getting herpes outbreaks so often and how you can manage them.
How Long Does A Herpes Outbreak Last?
Herpes can take in two forms: oral herpes and genital herpes. Oral herpes results from HSV-1 and can develop on the lips, around the mouth. Genital herpes, on the other hand, is caused by HSV-2. It can commonly be found in the genital and anal area.
After HSV exposure, herpes can take 2 to 12 days to develop symptoms. It usually starts as a small blister or a group of blisters on your skin. The blister can be red, itchy or painful. It can break and turn into a sore, causing other symptoms like:
- Itching, tingling, or a burning sensation
- Pain and swelling around the affected area
- Trouble peeing (genital herpes)
- Painful intercourse (genital herpes)
- Flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, fatigue (the first outbreak)
After a few days, the sore begins to heal and new skin will form. Without treatment, an outbreak of herpes can go away on its own in 2-3 weeks. But several factors can slow the healing time of a herpes outbreak. These are:
The herpes type that you are suffering from. Research has shown that HSV-1 infections can heal faster than HSV-2 infections.
The number of herpes outbreaks that you have had in the past. The number and the severity of herpes outbreaks tend to decrease over time. So if you have had multiple outbreaks in the past, you are likely to heal faster.
The time you use treatment. Using antiviral drugs at the early signs of outbreak can shorten healing and suppress future outbreaks. Many people use ProsurX when they feel an outbreak is coming. It helps lessen the symptoms and prevent the blisters from appearing on the skin. With this treatment, it takes less than one week to being symptom free.
Why Do You Get Herpes Outbreaks Every Week?
Herpes affects people differently. For some people, the first outbreak is the only outbreak. Others have 4 to 6 outbreaks a year. In some cases, people develop outbreaks every week, or every month before period. The number of herpes outbreaks may depend on the following factors:
How long you’ve been infected with the HSV. As mentioned earlier, over time, the severity, the duration and the number of herpes outbreaks will decrease. If you’ve had herpes for a long time, you will no longer have frequent outbreak.
What type of herpes you have, and where it is located. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes and HSV-2 can also cause oral herpes. This occurs when you have oral sex with a person who carries the virus. HSV-2 tends to cause more recurrent outbreaks than HSV-1. The outbreak rate will decrease as the following: genital HSV-2 > oral HSV-1 > genital HSV-1 > oral HSV-2.
Your immune system. An immune system is important to protect your body from viruses. If it is weakened, you are more likely to develop recurrent outbreaks.
Other factors that increase your risk of frequent herpes outbreaks include:
- Colds and sunlight (oral herpes)
- Hormone change (due to pregnancy or menstruation)
- Sexual intercourse (including oral, vaginal or anal sex)
- Trauma to the lips, mouth or face
- Physical and emotional stress
- Others infections (HIV or HPV)
Read more: How to Tell if a Herpes Outbreak Is Coming
How Do You Manage and Prevent Herpes Outbreaks?
If you have herpes outbreaks every week or so often, see your doctor. A few tips below can be effective to ease symptoms and prevent future outbreaks.
Managing Herpes Outbreaks
Use antiviral medication. Go to a drugstore or visit Amazon to buy an antiviral topical cream. ProsurX is one of the best and most common creams for herpes in the market right now. It is known to kill the HSV both on the surface and lower layers of your skin. Therefore, it can relieve symptoms, shorten healing and stop an outbreak before it occurs. Apply ProsurX 2- 3 times daily for 3 days to 1 week and you can get the best results. Other medications can be used to treat herpes: Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex.
Use warm water to ease the discomfort. Take warm baths and showers can give you some relief from herpes symptoms. So, do this 3 or 4 times a day.
Use different towels for your face and body. Herpes is very contagious, especially when the sore is visible. To reduce the spread of herpes, use one towel for your genitals and one for the rest of your body.
Dry yourself after a shower. After a shower or bath, blow dry your genitals thoroughly. It can keep your area dry and speed up healing.
Avoid touching the sore. Touching or scratching a herpes sore can worsen the symptoms and make the virus spread. So, be careful.
Wear comfortable underwear. This allows your skin to breathe, thus healing faster. Choose underwear made from cotton, not from synthetic.
Use supplements. Supplements can help boost the immune system, shorten healing time and suppress outbreaks. Consider bulletproof deep immune support. You can also take Zinc, Lysine, Probiotics or Vitamin B complex.
Use topical herbs or essential oils. Some herbs and oils can be useful to treat recurrent herpes outbreaks. These are aloe Vera, tea tree oil, Neem extract, Echinacea extract, or Licorice extract.
Read more: 7 Super Foods to Shorten Herpes Outbreaks
Preventing Herpes Outbreaks Every Week
Some lifestyle behaviors can cause frequent herpes outbreaks. To prevent transmission and avoid future outbreaks, you should:
Talk to your partner about herpes. Telling your partner that you have herpes. Allow him/her to decide whether to stay in a relationship.
Practice safe sex. Sexual intercourse is the most common way to spread herpes infections. So, avoid all kinds of sexual contact when you are having a herpes outbreak. Do not give/receive oral sex to/on a person who has herpes.
Use protection between outbreaks. Condom is important to prevent STDs during sex. Though it does not offer 100% protection, it can reduce the risk of transmission.
Talk to your doctor. If medications do not help or your infection gets worse, talk to your doctor. They can help you make treatment choices to suit your condition.