I believe that a proper treatment for herpes should begin with a thorough understanding of the enemy we are facing. Whether you are faced with genital herpes or oral herpes you basically have the same enemy.
The herpes simplex virus has two strains. Typically, strain 1 (HSV1) causes oral herpes – these are also known as fever blisters, cold sores or shingles. Strain two (HSV2) usually infects the urogenital area. Either strain can cause both genital herpes and oral herpes.
The most common incorrect belief is that HSV2 causes genital herpes and HSV1 causel oral herpes. This is not true as both strains can infect both sites. It is however true that around 80 to 90% of oral herpes cases are due to the HSV1 strain and 80-90% of genital herpes cases are due to the HSV2 strain. The problem is that many times statistics can be misleading so you may find these facts to be surprisingly useful.
While the typical manifestations of herpes consist in blisters in the mouth or urogenital area, it is important to understand that these are merely the outward manifestations of the disease. The origin of the word for herpes means: to creep. The word illustrates the clever way that the virus has managed to thrive in our society.
After an infection – typically 2 to 20 days after – the first outbreak of herpes occurs. During this time the virus multiplies and the outward symptoms of herpes manifest themselves. The person is most infectious during this time and constant care must be taken to avoid the infection of others. As the bodies immune system beats back the virus in retreats inside the nervous system. There it lays dormant and waits for a weakness of the organism to strike again.
Many people have observed that the frequency and severity of outbreaks decreases over time. This is due to the fact that the immune system produces antibodies and it is better able to beat back the virus when it reactivates. The opposite is also true, if you go through a period of turmoil – physical or emotional – the bodies defense mechanisms are weakened and the herpes virus can resurface.
Herpes is a life long disease and is not curable at the moment. You can however avoid the embarrassment and pain associated with it by setting up a lifestyle based herpes treatment protocol.
When it comes to treatment for herpes many people only treat it when the virus manifests itself symptomatically. Research has shown that this is not the best approach. This is because the virus can be active but asymptomatic. During this period, you are infectious and you are also allowing the virus to grow stronger in you.
The best approach is to have a constant guard against herpes set up. In other words, treatment for herpes should be continuous.