What is HSV-1?
HSV-1 a form of the herpes virus that causes visible blisters and sores on the mouth including the tongue, gums and lip area. The sores are usually painful and can last for up to a week or more. When the virus becomes active, the person generally has a fever, and their lymph nodes become swollen. They may have muscles aches and become fatigued. The virus is highly infectious and can be contracted by touching infected body secretions, mucous membranes and skin.
When the virus is introduced into the body, it can lay dormant for a long time before symptoms occur. Even though people do not have visible signs, the virus is still contagious, and the disease can be passed on to others. The virus has a latency stage where it moves to the nerve tissue in the spine and continues to reproduce. An outbreak or recurrence can occur when the body becomes susceptible to stresses such as illness, sunshine or if the immune system is compromised.
Since the virus is usually contracted during childhood, many people do not know they are infected. It is estimated that over 3.7 billion people in the world have oral herpes and between 50% to 80% of adults have the infection in the United States. The virus is spread easily, and the only way to prevent exposure is to avoid contact with a person that has an outbreak.
The cold sores and blisters that occur in the oral region during an outbreak are painful. They can be easily noticed if they appear on the outside of the mouth. Either way, when someone is infected they need to seek medical attention immediately.
How to Treat HSV-1 with Prescription Medication
The HSV-1 virus can be treated with prescription medications that include Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valacyclovir. These are typically administered in pill form or by injection. There are creams available that will soothe the burning caused by the blisters and sores. Taking medications can reduce the number of outbreaks and will decrease the spread of infection. Medication can lessen the discomfort and pain of the outbreaks too.
Acyclovir is a prescription drug that is used to treat the HSV-1 herpes virus. It was one of the first drugs to treat the virus and is not as effective as Valacyclovir. It is typically taken in pill form and will reduce the recurrence of outbreaks. It is an antiviral drug that prevents the virus from spreading. This medication is available as an ointment and can be applied directly to the infected area.
Another medication that is used to treat an oral herpes infection is called famciclovir. It decreases the length of outbreaks and stops the formation of new cold sores. This drug will also stop the virus from spreading to other parts of the body. It lasts longer and is a stronger medication than Acyclovir. The required dosage is lower, and it prohibits the virus from duplicating.
Valacyclovir is used to treat the herpes infection as well and is prescribed more frequently than the other medications. It is usually taken as a capsule in 500mg doses. It does not only reduce the number of outbreaks but decreases the chances of future occurrences. Patients can take the medication between 7 to 10 days and see signs of improvement within 2 to 3 days.
Alternative Methods to Treat HSV-1
Some people choose to treat the virus utilizing homeopathic remedies that consist of herbs and vitamins. They use compresses with natural oils and balms to treat the sores and get rid of blisters. There are foods that are believed to help strengthen your immune system and help as well. These foods generally contain L-lysine and can be found in poultry and vegetables. People can eat a diet high in vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3 foods to decrease onsets of the virus.
Over the Counter Medications to Treat HSV-1
Another way to treat the HSV-1 virus consists of using over the counter treatments. This method includes applying local anesthetics to the infected area. People use creams that relieve their pain that contain lidocaine or benzocaine. They also take pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms. It is recommended to begin this treatment during the first signs of an outbreak.
These treatments methods typically help people manage the HSV-1 infection. Although there is no cure for the herpes virus, these methods can assist with decreasing outbreaks, lessening pain and healing cold sores faster.
Consult With a Qualified Dentist
When you choose a dentist, they must have an impressive education and an outstanding reputation in the industry. They must provide you with exceptional service and have a dedicated staff. Your dentist must be well versed in performing many procedures that consist of general and cosmetic dentistry. They need to provide you with laser dental treatment and preventive care. You want an inviting atmosphere that makes you feel comfortable.
If you want to learn more options to treat cold sores and HSV-1 lesions, you may consult or contact Dr. Marc Lazare. Dr. Lazare is a renowned cosmetic dentist who provides cold sore treatments in New York. Even though, Dr. Lazare performs dental procedures he has knowledge of the medical conditions that affect the mouth. He is aware of the correlation between heart disease, diabetes and gum disease and treats a variety of conditions. He handles patients with herpes and offers advice on how to treat symptoms as well.