Almost 90% of Americans have some form of the Herpes Simplex Virus responsible for causing herpes blisters. There are two primary categories of the virus. HSV-1 commonly causes sores in the mouth area or on the lips. HSV-2 will usually cause the appearance of blisters in the genital area. Both versions can be quite painful and lead to scarring and other complications if left untreated.
Although the virus may lie dormant for years, or even a lifetime, herpes of any kind is highly contagious. It can be passed from one individual to another through contact with skin, saliva or mucous. The presence of even a single herpes blister can greatly increase the likelihood of passing the infection from one person to another.
The herpes blisters caused by HSV-1 are often referred to as cold sores or fever blisters. Most commonly, it is children between the ages of one and two years old who suffer the most frequent outbreaks, however, they can affect people of any age. Some sufferers can feel the outbreak beginning, as they experience tingling, itching or numbness in or around the mouth prior to the blisters actually appearing.
Once the herpes blister erupts, it may cause severe pain; however, the healing process fortunately begins rather quickly. As the healing begins, the blisters will change to small, gray ulcers surrounded by redness. The ulcers will eventually form a crust or scab and as they dry and finish healing.
It is important to stay well-hydrated during an eruption of herpes blisters. Those on and around the mouth can be treated in a variety of natural ways that will cause you no side effects. Rinsing your mouth with a wash made from baking soda will prove soothing and increasing your intake of Vitamin C has been known to reduce the severity and longevity of the outbreak. It is important to thoroughly wash your hands anytime you come into contact with a herpes blister in order to avoid self contamination or spread of the disease to other areas of your body.
The sores caused by HSV-2 are most commonly known as genital herpes. This strain of the virus occurs almost exclusively in sexually active teenagers and adults. Pain, tenderness and itching in the genital area may occur immediately prior to an outbreak. In males, the herpes blister will appear on the penis in most cases. In females, they usually appear on and around the vaginal area, but sometimes on the cervix, as well. In severe cases, both men and women may suffer from sores on the legs and buttocks.
Both the frequency of the outbreaks and the healing process depend on the individual. Usually, individuals suffer between one and four outbreaks each year. The average recovery time is between one to three weeks in common cases.
There are numerous treatment options available for those suffering from genital herpes blisters. Your doctor will be able to educate you on the various anti-viral medications now available. It is also wise to incorporate products that are all natural and chemical free whenever possible. Stress management is one of the most important things you can do to control outbreaks.
You may also find that dabbing aloe vera gel, hydrogen peroxide, Echinacea or tea tree oil onto the herpes blister offers some degree of relief. Topical applications containing antiviral herbal extracts can also be quite effective.
Herpes is a virus and as such, a cure is not currently available. However, by educating yourself and following the directions of your doctor, sufferers should be able to minimize the impact the outbreaks have on their daily activities.