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Anyone with herpes can tell you the worst part of the condition is the pain and embarrassment of outbreaks.
You don’t have to be late for work, cancel on your date, or cry yourself to sleep in pain.
With a plethora of ways to provide you with some relief, we’ll list them out in detail in hopes that a few will work for you.
We’ll get into providing you with some immediate relief methods to not only get through your day, but through the entire outbreak quickly and as pain-free as possible!
10 Tips to Help You Get Herpes Outbreak Relief
#1. OTC Medication for Herpes
When it comes to using medication, prescribed antibiotics can seem very attractive and hard to resist. However, the side effects can often exaggerate the symptoms or cause other problems for the victim.
An alternative to consider if you’re needing the strength of medication are over the counter (OTC) products.
Consider ibuprofen, such as Advil, and acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, to bring down inflammation and reduce the pain.
Always use as directed, and never overdose no matter how tempting it is to pop more to get faster relief – it doesn’t work that way.
There is one FDA-approved OTC cream called Abreva that’s only used for blisters on the face and cold sores around the mouth. It works best when you rub it in to the infected area five times a day every 3-4 hours.
Do not use this cream for longer than directed, and always follow the directions. Orajel ointments can also help with canker sores in the mouth due to herpes by numbing the pain.
This is a great option since you can’t put Abreva inside your mouth. Lysine lip balms are excellent products to use for HSV-1 on the lips and around it.
But, when it comes to the Southern region, you need something that’s safe to use down there. Consider numbing gels and sprays, such as Bactine. You can also try out local anesthetic ointments, like lidocaine 5 percent ointment.
It does numb the area, but it can’t be overstated that you use these OTC products as directed.
You might know this stuff as diaper cream. Don’t feel embarrassed to buy a tube of it even if you don’t have a baby. Avoid the ones that contain steroids or cortisone.
It can be especially beneficial if you have anal herpes. It will help to soothe the burning, itch, and pain from blisters and tender skin.
#3. Pee Freely
There are many countries that incorporate bidets into their personal lavatories and public ones. Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Japan are just a few countries where bidets are extremely popular.
When it comes to herpes, having one installed in the bathroom can make all the difference for cleansing, soothing, and calming irritated genitals.
However, if you don’t have one or unlikely to ever get one, simply filling up a plastic squeeze bottle with water and squeezing it out over the urethra can help to relieve those burning sensations while taking a tinkle.
You should also consider taking a bath or shower to urinate if the pain is overwhelming.
To take things a step further, apply a numbing ointment 10 minutes before using the bathroom – this goes for “number two” as well. Keeping clean down there can definitely reduce the irritation that’s inevitable with HSV.
#4. Sitz Baths
Sitz baths are used for pain relief from hemorrhoids and post-natal recovery to improving personal hygiene. It’s also a fast, pain-relieving method for genital herpes.
Keeping the area clean, especially after bowel movements is vital. Place it into the toilet and fill it with warm water. You’ll want to use a sitz bath for 10-15 minutes each time 3-4 times a day.
If you don’t have a Sitz bath, you can easily fill your tub with 2-3 inches of warm water. You can also add some additional ingredients to help speed up healing.
- Epsom salt
- Baking soda
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
#5. Cleansing Wipes
Baby wipes, witch hazel pads, and medicated wipes, such as Preparation H, can all help to further cleanse and soothe the bottom, vagina, and those painful blisters, especially when they’re oozing and weeping.
Use them every time you poop to prevent infection and to keep the area clean.
Witch hazel pads won’t sting you, and they actually help to dry out the lesions.
You can also put a panty liner in your undies and place them on top for direct contact with your genitals while you work, sleep, and play.
If you happen to already have witch hazel on hand, especially one with an Aloe Vera blend, you can apply some to cotton balls to apply to the infected area.
#6. Cotton Underwear
Yes, everyone should know this tip – wear cotton underwear during an outbreak! It helps your skin to breathe and will speed up recovery time so the blisters can stay dry. But, the biggest complaint about cotton underwear is that they can stick to your sores.
You can apply several types of topical applications to help heal and prevent sticking.
- Coconut oil
- Aloe Vera gel
- Zinc oxide cream
- Witch hazel pads
- Neem cream
- Epsom salts
- Talcum powder
#7. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a powerful and versatile solution made with amino acids and essential minerals to aid in wound healing, weight loss, and so much more!
Believe it or not, it’s even beneficial for helping to soothe the pain of herpes and killing the virus. You can drink ACV to help boost your immune system to beat the outbreak. Make this delicious, sweet tea for a fun way to beat the herps!
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 Tbsp ACV
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash cayenne
For topical applications, dilute ACV with water. Apply directly to cotton balls and to the infected area. Repeat this process 2-3 times daily until the lesions are gone. You can also leave a cotton ball over the area with a band-aid overnight.
Women can vaginally douche and men can rectally douche with this solution to help treat genital HSV.
#8. Air Dry
Keeping the area dry when the wounds are weeping can be a chore. It can be difficult to walk around the house naked. It can be extremely painful to use a towel or toilet paper just to dry off.
If you don’t have the time to air dry or to let your natural solutions dry off by themselves, a blow dryer will be a time-saving and convenient tool. Just don’t burn yourself and use cool or warm air to be safe.
Ice is more than just a numbing and pain-relieving agent. The HSV virus thrives in a warm environment. Helping to freeze the area can help to kill off the infection and reduce outbreak symptoms.
For HSV-1, simply apply a block of ice anywhere that needs pain-relief. It will quickly soothe inflammation, redness, and pain. For HSV-2, it can be quite troublesome to use blocks of ice directly in this area.
You’ll also run into the inevitable event of having to dry off afterwards.
Instead of using ice on the genitals, consider ice packs instead. They can be applied directly to your private parts.
#10. Hot & Cold Therapy
The idea behind using heat and cold therapy for herpes is to stimulate blood circulation. Hot pads applied directly to the skin, especially the genitals, draws blood to the surface. The ice packs then forces blood deep down into the body and into muscle tissue to keep your core warm.
Going between heat and cold therapy will constantly push fresh blood throughout the body to stimulate the circulatory system to speed up the healing process. This process will bring nutrients and oxygen to the surface while eliminating toxins and pathogens to help kick the outbreak faster.
Alternate between a hot pad and ice pack every 10 to 20 minutes.
Tips to Using Natural Methods Correctly
It’s not enough to know how to treat your herpes symptoms naturally. You still need to incorporate good hygiene habits all day, everyday, for the rest of your life. These tips will help you to maximize the pain-relieving potential of these natural, pain-relieving remedies.
- Wash your hands before and after use of your natural treatments.
- Wash and clean the area before applying any topical treatments.
- Never double dip! Don’t reuse a Q-tip, cotton ball, or your fingers into your solution, ointment, or treatment.
- Reduce stress in your life. If it means learning to say “no” to excessive obligations, set your boundaries.
- Keep your treatments, products, and tools as sterile as possible. Wash them after each use and disinfect if applicable.
- Get enough sleep.
- Learn and avoid your triggers.
- Incorporate a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated.
We’ve provided 10 tips for you to try today. They’re affordable, convenient, and easy methods to help you survive the pain of HSV. However, it’s always advised that you discuss your methods and any products you plan on using to treat your symptoms with your general practitioner, specialist, or Naturopathic doctor.
If you’re pregnant, always discuss treatment options and products with your obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN).
When purchasing OTC medication for herpes, discuss with the onsite pharmacist any useful tips, warnings, and dosage information to get the maximum benefits while avoiding potential side effects.
If you are unsure of your diagnose or you are getting worse, see your medical practitioner as soon as possible.
Don’t Just Survive – Live!
There’s a difference between surviving herpes and living with herpes. With many natural remedies and methods to help you manage the outbreaks and kick the pain, you can flourish and enjoy your life the way you want it to be.
Take control of your HSV, or it will definitely take control of you. There is hope that you can keep it at bay. With a few tools under your kelt, you can stay herpes-free under the belt!
Disclaimer: This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a professional healthcare provider before commencing treatment.