Oral Herpes Stages

Many people are prone to outbreaks of cold sores (also known as fever blisters) and desire to avoid this occurrence any way possible. The cause of these annoying blemishes is herpes simplex virus type 1, more commonly referred to as oral herpes. Once the virus is contracted it remains within the body for the rest of the person's life, lying dormant until conditions enable a cold sore outbreak. As there is no known cure available for oral herpes, most infected people find ways to keep the outbreak of cold sores at a minimum. This can be done by adhering to a certain diet, taking medication, supplements or vitamins, or any methods which work to deny the virus the opportunity to flare-up.

Oral Herpes is Contagious – Always use caution during an outbreak

Though everyone is different in their susceptibility to the spread of oral herpes, or in the frequency of outbreaks once they're infected, most people caught the virus before adulthood as a result of touching the saliva, mucous, or contaminated skin of a person carrying the virus. Children are the most vulnerable to the spread of the virus, and infants often experience severe infections and complications as a result, so extra care should be taken with a baby who may be, or has been, exposed to the virus.

Once infected, a person progresses through three stages: Primary infection, latency, and recurrence. After the first infection, not everyone will experience symptoms of oral herpes but find that their infection is asymptomatic. This occurs more frequently than visible outbreaks. Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky, and for those with their first outbreak may experience symptoms like fever and severe sores inside and around the mouth and/or nose. The incubation period for the virus after the infection is 2-12 days, after which symptoms may or may not occur, and thereafter the virus will remain in the body for life. Depressing thought, but most people who possess the virus rarely, if ever, experience outbreaks, and those who do have many options to help manage the symptoms.

How to Consistently Prevent Cold Sores

Now that it's been acknowledged that the cold sore virus is (as yet) impossible to completely cure, let's look at ways to manage life with the virus. There are plenty of home and OTC (over-the-counter) remedies that assist in fighting oral herpes outbreaks, but due to the differences between each person's physical and mental makeup, the task is to find what works best for each individual.

For some, an effective preventative measure may be a high-lysine diet or taking lysine supplements. Others may find that what works is a topical medication or daily pill. There has also been success with using daily exercise to boost the immune system and decrease stress to better resist the dormant virus. Sometimes even attitude, such as confidence in the preventative capabilities of a certain food or medicine, is enough to successfully resist the development of a cold sore. A factor that must be considered is that over time a person's body may become resistant to a certain remedy, be it a pill or lip salve, and will have to adapt to the change. If an effective method of prevention is found, rather than be content with the one solution, continue to look for other remedies, should the original one cease being effective.

Eating a Diet High in Lysine Helps the Body Resist Outbreaks

Lysine is an essential (meaning that the body cannot produce the amino acid on its own but must get it through food or supplements) amino acid which aids the human body in producing protein. In turn, protein helps the body produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies, which are vital in resisting the cold sore virus. Lysine also competes with another amino acid, arginine. The more arginine in the body, the better the environment for the herpes virus to flare up and produce blisters. Eating a diet high in lysine and low in arginine creates an environment hostile to the virus and decreases its chances of becoming active. In fact, many people who feel a cold sore incoming have found that consuming a large helping of fish helps to stop the increased activity of the virus and force it back into its dormant state. What are some foods that contain a lot of lysine?

– Fish
– Cheese
– Apples
– Milk
– Papayas
– Mangos
– Beets
– Avocado

Lysine supplements are also available, found at most drug stores next to the vitamins. Arginine is found in chocolate, nuts, and citrus, so be careful to limit consumption of these foods when wishing to avoid cold sores, especially if immune system is low and stress levels are high.

Vitamins and Exercise Boost the Immune System and Decrease Stress

Possibly the most effective preventative measure in decreasing the outbreak of cold sores and keeping the virus dormant is adopting a healthy lifestyle, one that consistently includes all the nutrients, activity, and attitude needed to fight the cold sore virus. The benefits of vitamin have been discussed numerous times and at this point, most people are aware of how important supplements are to boosting immunities, increasing energy, and increasing overall health. Exercise is also commonly known to promote healthy immune systems and decrease stress. As two of the leading factors in the activation of the cold sore virus is a weakened immune system and high stress levels, taking vitamins and exercising regularly are highly successful in fortifying both the body and mind against the virus. Some have found that they'll worry about getting a cold sore as they're approaching an important date or meeting, and as their concern grows, so does the probability that the outbreak will occur. It is best to have the assurance that the body is consistently functioning healthily and therefore when concern that a cold sore may appear arises, it can be dismissed with confidence.

Treatment With Ointments & Medication Can Also Result in Successful Prevention

There are many lysine lip balms, medicated ointments, and topical creams that help stop the progression of a cold sore, but once the blisters are visible little can be done other than trying to shorten its duration and speed up the healing process so early treatment is essential. Early detection and treatment of an oncoming flare-up enables the best chance that it can be avoided. If a cold sore has appeared on the lips or nose, it is extremely important to remember: DON'T POKE, RUB, OR POP THE BLISTERS. Doing so will only create pressure, causing the blister to spread underneath the skin, creating an even larger sore. Touching the area of infection not only prolongs and worsens the outbreak, it also increases the chances that the virus will spread to other subjects, as remember, it is very contagious upon contact. Unfortunately, there are some OTC medications which instruct the user to “rub on the infected area.” DO NOT rub, just dab and then resist all other urges to touch the blister and surrounding area.

If its found that the cold sore virus continues resisting all efforts to contain it and continues flaring up and disrupting daily life, there are stronger medications that a doctor or dentist can prescribe after examining a patient who has a visible blister. While no one likes going out in public as much as they can help it when experiencing an outbreak, it's best to visit the physician at a time when they can clearly view the type and severity of the patient's cold sores. Once the prescription has been given, it is up to the patient to take the pills daily or only when they feel a cold sore incoming, depending on their preferences and the frequency of their cold sores.

Have Hope – Oral Herpes Can Be Managed Successfully

While there isn't a fail-proof treatment or cure that can stop oral herpes completely, if an individual uses remedies that they have found to be effective they will find that the frequency and severity of the outbreaks will decrease. As each month passes with the virus confined to dormancy, confidence will grow and life will continue without disruption. While complete freedom from the virus cannot yet be fully realized, there is the assurance that medicinal science and research is progressing and hopefully someday oral herpes will no longer be in existence. Until then, continue utilizing and researching cold sore treatments, eating healthy, and exercising. With a healthy lifestyle, the dreaded cold sore outbreak may occur less and less frequently, possibly even ceasing altogether.

Many people are prone to outbreaks of cold sores (also known as fever blisters) and desire to avoid this occurrence any way possible. The cause of these annoying blemishes is herpes simplex virus type 1, more commonly referred to as oral herpes. Once the virus is contracted it remains within the body for the rest of the person's life, lying dormant until conditions enable a cold sore outbreak. As there is no known cure available for oral herpes, most infected people find ways to keep the outbreak of cold sores at a minimum. This can be done by adhering to a certain diet, taking medication, supplements or vitamins, or any methods which work to deny the virus the opportunity to flare-up.

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