Hi all, I posted on here a long time ago and you guys really put my mind at ease during my intial outbreak and diagnosis of genital HSV-1 that I contracted from my boyfriend. I felt that since this was a pretty warm, welcoming community, that I'd post again.
I am experiencing a small blister that has ruptured. It is just one, and it is not in the same place as my initial outbreak was. I mean it is in the same area, but not in the same exact place. Because it is only one, should I consider this "shedding" or an outbreak?
I would like to add that I am on my menses cycle and that I've been cycling for about 2.5 weeks now (I am irregular and have recently began taking the pill, of which, they had to induce it so I could begin taking the pill)
Hi ladyhawke - yes, we can have genital herpes outbreaks anywhere in the "boxer short" area, between belly button and mid-thigh. The virus sets up house in the sacral gangion - anerve bundle at the base of the spine. From there, it can travel up any number of nerve pathways that fan out to cover the boxer short region.
"Shedding" simply signifies that the virus is active and that we're contagious. Anytime we have symptoms of any kind, whether outbreak or prodrome (signals that the virus is active - such as itching, tingling, burning, nerve pain, flu- or cold-like symptoms, fatigue, headache or nausea, etc.) we should consider ourselves shedding and therefore contagious.
It's common for women to have outbreaks around their period, by the way, which corroborates the theory that hormonal activity can be a factor in triggering recurrences.
Just a heads up that some folks have reported that too much exercise can cause a physical stress that can lead to a recurrence. Everyone's certainly different though. I'm quite physically active and haven't experienced adverse effects.
Are there any natural/home remedies that I could try to quicken the healing time of an outbreak, as well as to help prevent them? I've been told that medications taken daily can do both these things, but I'm more interested in natural/home remedies unless there's no other choice then taking a pill on a daily basis
Understandable - though as you might know, the antivirals have a history of being safe to take. Side effects are minor, and more serious adverse effects are rare.
However, I've heard that some OTC remedies can help: Abreva, Releev, and Dermoplast come to mind.
As for natural remedies, some folks have had luck with L-Lysine and honey, both of which have been officially studied and found to have antiviral properties, though neither is officially approved for HSV treatment. Other natural substances such as red marine algae, certain mushrooms, and coconut oil have also been found to have antiviral properties, but there have not been any trials that I know of to develop preparations to treat HSV with these substances, so there's really no way to guarantee that what you get at the natural food store will be effective.
I would not recommend buying products from internet sources. A lot of snake oil merchants want your money!
Finally, there have been some studies that suggest that certain foods, especially those high in arginine - the counteragent to lysine - could be a factor in triggering outbreaks. I don't have any food triggers myself, but some patients do find it useful to keep a food journal to track any possible connections.
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