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Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
Hello, I have recently been diagnosed with Herpes Simplex type2. I know that it will live with me for ever but is there any "magical" topical medication I could find in moscow to relieve the symptoms? Would you otherwise recommend practical remedies such as rubbing with alcohol, some herbal creams? etc... Thank you.
JS
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry, It is a very common question as many people have herpes simplex virus (HSV). In fact it is interesting to know that the majority of the population have had exposure to HSV type 1 or 2, but only some actually get symptoms commonly known as "cold sores". There are two types of HSV. Most common places for infection are the lips or the genital area. Either type can affect either site, but more often type 1 affects the lips and type 2 affects the genital area. Transmission is by skin or mucous membrane contact. HSV "lives" with the person because once infected, the virus stays dormant in nerve cells (similar to how the chickenpox virus stays with us). Usually the virus lies dormant but triggers like stress or sunlight can cause an outbreak. Reviewing the scientific literature, none of the nonprescription topical treatments has been proven effective. They have not been studied using scientific methods. Many affected individuals still attest to home therapies, but some remedies may even cause harm. For example, you mentioned rubbing alcohol but you can imagine that would be quite painful and sting on an open sore and I am unaware of any study that shows that rubbing alcohol works. The good news is that we have proven oral effective medications. The first and most well known anti-viral is Acyclovir. These anti-viral medications are used for the first (primary) infection and for recurrent prolonged infections. The sooner the anti-viral medication is used for an outbreak, the more effective it will be to shorten the duration. You can even take anti-viral medications on a daily basis to prevent or reduce frequency of outbreaks, but this should only be considered if the outbreaks are extremely frequent. Topical acyclovir ointment has disappointingly not been shown to benefit recurrent outbreaks (Acyclovir is an effective drug taken orally but is just not absorbed well through the skin). One prescribed ointment, topical 3% Edoxudine has been studied and showed promising results in reducing the duration of the recurrence symptoms. However so far we have more evidence about oral medications being proven effective. Check with your own doctor from time to time for any updates in the management of herpes. This infection affects millions of people so herpes research is prominent. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
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