A genital herpes outbreak can be really unpleasant – it can get in the way of your social life, be distracting at work and cause a lot of irritation. The good news is that if you know how to heal herpes sores faster, you can avoid the worst of the condition and get on with your life in no time at all.
Let’s look at how to prevent herpes outbreaks and get rid of them faster when they do strike.
How long does a genital herpes outbreak last?
The first genital herpes outbreak you experience after contracting the virus typically lasts between two and four weeks. Subsequent outbreaks will happen around two to six times per year. Everybody is different, but these will usually last about a week, give or take a few days, and normally become less frequent over time.
How to get rid of herpes outbreak overnight
Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to get rid of a herpes outbreak overnight. There are various treatments which make it go away faster – see the medical treatments section below – yet in even the best-case scenario, it will still take a few days to clear up completely.
You may have seen some adverts online which claim to offer immediate cures for the illness. However, it is important to check that these are being sold by genuine medical professionals – there are sadly many scams and false ‘miracle cures’ out there.
How to prevent a herpes outbreak: know the risks
The best way to reduce the chances of a herpes outbreak is to avoid situations which make it more likely the virus will flare-up in the first place. These include:
Knowing when you are more likely to experience an outbreak means you can prepare and potentially avoid it happening.
Catch a herpes outbreak early
While you cannot always avoid a genital herpes outbreak – sometimes they seem to happen for no reason at all – catching them early means you can avoid the worst. You can usually tell when an outbreak is coming on because you feel a tingling, burning or itching sensation around your genitals or buttocks. You may also feel pain in the lower back, your thighs and knee joints. Soon after, the first sores will appear.
As you get to know your condition better, you will notice how the virus manifests itself. You can then take preventative action.
How to heal herpes sores faster
If you are already having an outbreak, here is how to heal herpes sores faster:
Antiviral medications offer a safe and effective way of controlling a herpes outbreak and can make it go away faster. There are three popular oral treatments for genital herpes – aciclovir, valaciclovir and famciclovir:
You have to take the tablets three times per day. It is the most cost-effective treatment for genital herpes, although having to take the medicine more often can be an annoyance for some.
All of these medicines can be used for herpes suppression treatment too, by taking them once per day, although this is usually only recommended if you have very frequent or severe outbreaks (six or more times per year). Taken daily, suppression treatment can reduce the frequency of outbreaks by as much as 80% and may even prevent them altogether. Research has shown that suppression treatment also makes outbreaks milder and shorter when they do happen.
Know how to heal herpes sores faster and live your best life
Knowing how to prevent a herpes outbreak, and dealing with it effectively when you do have one, can make the illness so much more manageable. Using a combination of home treatment and medication, you can stop the virus in its tracks and get back to your normal life in no time at all.
To learn more about genital herpes and how the condition is treated, read our overview page.
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