Best Hygiene Practices If You Have Genital Herpes
Published June 17th, 2020
Despite the fear surrounding the disease, herpes is not life-threatening. It merely causes an inconvenience (albeit a terrible one). But because of the social stigma associated with it, the psychological trauma it brings is often worse than the physical symptoms. It’s common for herpes patients to experience depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
Herpes is easily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. You can also get it from using something that was previously used by an infected person like towels. Though infected people are contagious at any given time, they are at higher risk of infecting others when their sores are visible.
After the initial contact, it takes around 2 to 20 days for the blisters to start showing. The virus stays dormant in your body and can reactivate when triggered. This usually happens when you’re stressed or have eaten certain types of foods. For women, menstruation can also trigger a herpes breakout.
Though scientists have come up with a vaccine, they haven’t yet discovered a cure for it. So your best chance of keeping yourself herpes-free is to avoid it. Once you get infected, there’s usually nothing you can do. The medicines available on the market only makes the symptoms more bearable. It does not rid you of the infection.
Since herpes is caused by a virus, proper hygiene is essential in preventing its spread and easing its symptoms. Below are some of the recommended hygiene practices if you have herpes.
Washing your hands as thoroughly as possible can help a lot to prevent spreading herpes to other parts of your body or to other people.
If you’ve just touched the infected area, make sure to wash your hands first before touching other parts of your body. Also, make sure to wash your hands properly before touching or scratching the affected area. The dirt and bacteria in your hands can irritate the sores.
Soap and water usually do the trick. This classic combination usually gets rid of many types of viruses and bacteria. This includes the herpes simplex virus which, as you may have guessed, causes genital herpes.
Showering when you have herpes can be quite a challenge. Especially when the sores appear on the outer parts of your genital area.
Obviously, there are regular bathing practices you can’t do. This includes scrubs and taking a long, soothing soak in your bathtub. Using certain types of soaps and cleansers may also irritate the sores causing further discomfort.
Shower in warm water to cleanse the area. Then dry the affected area with a hypoallergenic towel or a blowdryer. Make sure to never share a towel with another person. You also need to use a different towel or blowdryer to dry the affected area. Keep it as clean and dry as possible. Wearing cotton underwear also helps as it absorbs moisture effectively.
Make it a habit to wash several times during the day, especially during outbreaks.
Creams and lotions also tend to irritate the blisters so avoid them as much as possible. If you really have to, make sure its as natural as possible with no paraben, alcohol or fragrances.
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