Herpes is a viral disease. The virus is of the same family which causes chickenpox. The herpes Zoster (Shingles) virus invades the nerves roots of the posterior ganglia which supplies the skin. Severe pain and rash follow along the path of the nerves which are supplied to the skin.
Herpes virus is also known to cause cold sores on the lips, or a person can also suffer from genital herpes.
Home Remedies for Herpes
Following are the home remedies which are useful for herpes infection: these remedies help to relieve pain and itching, they also speed the healing process.
- Apply tea bags on the cold sores. This is the time tested home remedy for cold sores. Take a cup of water and dip a tea bag and boil the water for five minutes. After the tea bag gets cooled apply it on the affected part. The tannins present in tea have anti inflammatory and antiviral properties.
- You can apply honey on the herpes rash and blisters. Honey is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also speeds the process of healing of the herpes lesions. You can also take a teaspoon of honey early in the morning orally.
- Baking soda is another important home remedy for herpes. The sores speedily dry and stop itching and burning after its application. Make a paste of baking soda after adding few drops of water. Apply the paste on the affected area. It helps to relieve the symptoms in a natural way.
- Aloe vera is another useful home remedy for herpes Zoster, herpes labialis, and genital herpes. You can apply a fresh gel of aloe vera plant after cutting its leaves on the rash and the blisters. Aloe vera is a great antiviral and anti inflammatory. It also helps to soothe the severe pain and burning caused due to herpes infection.
- Many times there is post herpetic neuralgia. It is lightening pain along the affected nerve root after the acute disease has subsided. Rubbing Hypericum essential oil over this area mixed with the base oil such as olive or jojoba is said to relive the intensity of the pain.
Symptoms of Herpes in Men and Women
In case of herpes Zoster, which occurs along the nerve pathway of the skin the first symptom is continuous pain in the affected path of the nerve, usually on the face, trunk or the back and on the buttocks. Often patient feels tired and there is mild rise of temperature especially in old age. The skin becomes sensitive to slight touch, but when pressed the pain is not felt as much as it should be. After 3 to 4 days, the skin in the affected area becomes red and blisters develop. The vesicle dries after 5 to6 days leaving small scars.
Post herpetic pain can occur, especially in old people, and may last for months or years. It can occur in women as well as men.
In women Facial palsy may occur if the infection spreads to the trunk of the facial nerve.
Sometimes herpes infection can spread to eye causing scarring of the cornea and loss of vision. In such a case it is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist at an earliest.
In case of genital herpes in men, tiny vesicles develop on the gentiles. They are extremely painful and itch occasionally. At times the mental symptoms of neurosis and depression are also observed due to the guilt feeling.
Burning urination, swollen lymph gland, can be symptoms in women. The infection can occur anywhere in the vagina, vulva, on the cervix. The blisters are painful and remain infectious for 2 to 3 weeks after it has appeared for the first time.
Herpes virus can be tested by IgM antibody test for herpes simplex. This test can differentiate between HSV -1 and HSV-2.
Herpes virus culture is another test for detecting genital herpes.
Polymerized chain reaction (PCR) test is another test which can be done from the fluid retrieved from the sores or from the spinal fluid. It can find the genetic material of the HSV virus. This test is often done for confirming if the infection has spread to the brain.