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Stress herpes: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Most of the time herpes appears when the immune system is depressed. However, the appearance of herpes can be associated with other factors such as: sun exposure, dehydration, malnutrition, periods of flu and, last but not least, stressful situations.

Herpes is the name of a group of viruses, which includes herpes simplex virus and herpes zoster. Once they appear, they can be repeated over time as they are influenced by the factors described above. A large percentage of the population suffers from herpetic infection, in fact, there are those who suffer 1 or 2 episodes of recidivism in the year , especially in times of stress.

Stress is probably not the original cause for the first herpes to appear, but you should know that once it appears, herpes and stress are closely related to their recurrence. If you want to know more about this topic, we invite you to read this FastlyHealarticle about stress herpes: symptoms and treatment .

What is herpes and why does it appear?

First of all, herpes is the name that describes a group of viruses that includes:

  • Herpes zoster : causes chickenpox and is also known as “shingles”.
  • Herpes simplex : Inside there are two different types, HSV-1 and HSV-2.
  • HSV 1 : it is transmitted by mouth-to-mouth contact, generating what is known as cold sores . In some small cases it can also cause genital herpes.
  • HSV 2 : It is sexually transmitted, in fact, it is a sexually transmitted infection and causes genital herpes in its entirety.

The WHO describes that the infections caused by the 2 types of viruses last a lifetime, estimating around the world that there are 3.7 billion people with herpes.

If you need more information about herpes zoster, you can consult Herpes zoster: symptoms and treatment .

Causes of herpes

Herpes is usually spread by contact with an infected person who is in the blisters or sores stage . However, it is also associated with a decrease in defenses influenced and, in turn, other factors such as anxiety and stress may influence.

Have you noticed that you have herpes before an exam? Before a job interview? After some intense emotional experience? Any of the herpes can and usually is reactivated when the person is involved in situations of extreme stress, its activation is influenced by intense emotions.

Stress not only tends to have an impact on our emotions, it also affects our body. Faced with these types of emotions, the immune system weakens, generating a stir in the release of hormones . Logically, suffering from stress is not a main cause of herpes, but it is an influential and relevant factor.

Check out some of the causes that cause herpes recurrence in: Why do I get cold sores so often .

Symptoms of stress herpes

Fortunately, many more people have herpes than those who experience symptoms.

Despite this, you should know how to identify the initial symptoms that appear in the place where the herpes rash will appear:

  • Itching or tingling.
  • Rash.
  • Pain in the place where the herpes appears: the intensity can be mild to strong.
  • Tingling sensation.
  • Presence of blisters, which later turn into scabs.
  • General discomfort.
  • Fever and chills may appear.
  • The scab usually falls off on its own within 2 to 4 weeks after the herpes onset.

Treatment of stress herpes

Although herpes recurs over time, there are currently many treatments that allow treating the symptoms that appear and controlling the infection.

The job of herpes medications is to shorten outbreaks and limit their coming back soon. The specialist or your GP will indicate the best treatment, depending on the case of stress herpes you have.

Some of the drugs that fight the herpes virus are, for example, Valaciclovir and Acyclovir . Either of them decreases pain and speeds up the healing process. They are effective in both primary and recurrent outbreaks that frequently appear due to stress.

If you notice the symptoms of a recurrence, do not hesitate to use any of the treatments that your GP has indicated immediately. Treating stress herpes helps:

  • The virus stops multiplying.
  • The symptoms (if they appear) are mild.
  • The outbreak ends quickly.

Episodic treatment

There is a treatment modality that is applied to people who suffer less than 6 recurrences of herpes in 1 year , this is called episodic treatment. In this case, the specialist can prescribe antivirals for 5 days whenever symptoms of herpes appear.

Suppressive treatment

The other available treatment modality for stress herpes is suppressive treatment, applied to people who experience more than 6 recurrences of herpes in 1 year . In this case, the prescription of antiviral treatment can be indefinite in order to avoid multiple recurrences.

In addition to this, the intake of analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen is recommended in case of manifestation of pain of mild to moderate intensity.

Home remedies for herpes

There are several home remedies that can be used to soothe and relieve herpes symptoms , including:

  • Baths with salt water.
  • Baths with lukewarm water.
  • Applying petroleum jelly to the site of the blisters can ease symptoms.
  • Applying ice packs can be helpful.
  • The propolis extract favors the healing of wounds that appear with herpes.
  • Sarsaparilla tea promotes healing and helps with inflammation from herpes.
  • Nightshade tea has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition to these home remedies, it is appropriate to know the best recommendations in case you suffer from herpes :

  • Avoid wearing tight clothing in the herpes affected area.
  • Try to wash your hands well, especially after touching the affected area.
  • Avoid having sex while there are symptoms of genital herpes.
  • Do not put bandages on places where herpes appears.
  • Do not scratch the area where the herpes is, this makes it difficult to heal.

You should also know that the best way to prevent stress herpes and its recurrence is to help stress, doing relaxation therapy, yoga and recreational physical activities daily, at least 30 minutes a day. You can read more tips in the FastlyHeal article: Tips to reduce stress .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Stress herpes: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Teeth and mouth .

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