Tips for Living With Herpes HSV-1

Herpes simplex is a viral infection of the skin and mucous membranes, usually recurrent that usually lasts a week and that resolves spontaneously. Herpes lesions are often painful and warm or tingly. In certain people, they are tremendously recurrent, indicating a possible decline in the defensive state. There is no cure, and the virus permanently lodges in the body, reactivating itself from time to time due to temporary or non-temporary immune weaknesses.

A Common Disease

2/3 of the world's population are carriers of labial herpes

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 67% of people are carriers of cold sores (although 30% of them do not suffer from it regularly), while 11% of the population have genital herpes ( if you suffer, you should always go to the doctor). This is a very high incidence in both cases. The two types of herpes have in common the treatment and the contagion system:

  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1): transmitted by kissing (most of the time)
  • Genital herpes virus (HSV-2): It is transmitted through genital contact

Some factors produce an outbreak, so these herpes triggers should be prevented as much as possible:

  • Emotional stress
  • Fever
  • The fatigue
  • Infections
  • Sun exposure

Hormonal changes, such as menstruation or ovulation, also affect. Changing some habits will help you if you are living with herpes. Cold sores are highly contagious; it could even re-infect you.

Tips for Living With Herpes

New toothbrush with 3 toothbrushes on blue background

If you are living with herpes, you may use some tips we have for you; if you don't want to spread the virus, you should:

  • Replace your toothbrush with a new one, thus eliminating the risk of getting infected again.
  • Avoid kisses and sex. Kisses transmit cold sores and genital sores. Using a condom does not ensure that contagion does not occur.
  • Apply an aloe gel. Apply a little aloe gel on the gallbladder or scab three or four times a day. Aloe relieves pain and itching and prevents the wound from drying out.
  • Herpes and AIDS. The herpes virus rarely causes complications, except in immunosuppressed people, in whom it can cause serious infections such as herpetic encephalitis or keratoconjunctivitis. In these such cases, it is necessary to consult with your doctor.
  • Do not touch yourself! Cold sores are so annoying that we touch them constantly, but we must avoid them. Touching the wound on the lip delays its healing and can also infect other organs such as the eyes or genitals. Clean your hands if you have touched herpes.

Increase Nutrient Intake

This is simple; you have to boost your immune response with the supply of specific nutrients, like these:

  • Foods rich in L-lysine: legumes, fish, turkey, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Orange and red vegetables have antioxidants, such as carotenoids, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C, which help heal the skin/wounds and increase general immunity.
  • Fish have essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation and repair tissues.
  • Zinc, because its properties help rebuild the skin and protect the body from viruses and infections.
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods, such as sugar or ultra-processed foods.

If you are living with herpes, avoid the following foods as much as possible to limit the severity and duration of the outbreak:

  • Added sugar: because it inhibits immune function and can worsen inflammation.
  • Alcohol: this suppresses immune function and can worsen symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and inflammation of the skin.
  • Processed foods: they contain hydrogenated oils that can cause sensitivities or allergies, aggravate inflammation, and essentially only provide empty calories.
  • Acidic foods: irritate cold sores and cause increased pain
  • Foods rich in L-arginine: as it slightly stimulates the replication of the herpes virus.


Licorice root a natural produce to limit the outbreak making it easier living with herpes

Certain natural products can help limit breakouts:

  • Antiviral Herbs: Elderberry, Echinacea, Garlic, Astragalus, and Licorice Root.
  • L-lysine (1,000 milligrams three times a day): May help treat and prevent rashes.
  • Lemon balm extract: It is applied as a topical healing cream.
  • Vitamin C (1000 milligrams per day).
  • Zinc (30 milligrams twice a day).
  • Vitamin B complex (50 milligrams per day).
  • Essential oils
  • Tea tree oil, clove oil, and myrrh oil, because they have natural antiviral and antibacterial properties, help you reduce discomfort. It is enough to apply them three times a day to the affected areas. If you have sensitive skin, try to dilute its strength a bit.

Remember that before taking any substance for the disease, you need to consult with your doctor and have their approval. Medical advice is always good for our health, especially when you are living with herpes.


The data tell us that the use of Acyclovir - the antiviral drug that is usually prescribed in these cases - can reduce the recurrence of cold sores by 60% in people living with herpes; however, there is no cure for herpes that will ensure that it will disappear. In any case, if you have hepatitis or kidney problems, consult your doctor before taking Acyclovir.

Natural Alternatives

Woman holding an ice cube on her cold sore

Simple ointments containing vitamin E and zinc oxide, which are among the most popular for minor skin conditions, are almost as effective as Acyclovir.

You can take some essential oils following these prompts:

Take just one drop two or three times a day.

Then apply an ice cube on herpes for five minutes.

In the end, put a little petroleum jelly. It will prevent it from ulcerating.

Camellia - is prepared from a freshly used tea filter bag and applied as a poultice on cold sores. Earl Gray is a variety of tea that has shown some effect in people living with herpes. The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) has catechins with anti-inflammatory properties.

Licorice - Licorice powder (petroleum jelly or oil and 50% licorice powder) can be applied directly to the wound for several hours, better overnight.

Propolis - It has an antiviral action and can be applied to the herpetic gallbladder (two or three times a day). Some studies equate its efficacy with that of the drug Acyclovir.

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