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What to watch out for with herpes - apply ointment with cotton swabs
About two out of three people are infected with herpes viruses. However, few know about the contagion, treatment and prevention of herpes. Infection can be dangerous for some people. Experts have some tips for those affected.
Many are unaware of their infection
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), more than 85 percent of Germans are infected with herpes viruses, and the majority do not even notice it. The viruses often only become active through certain influences such as stress or strong sunlight and lead to herpes in the mouth. Health experts advise treating cold sores as early as possible.
Creams heal faster
But what helps against herpes? "The use of creams, the so-called antivirals (substances that inhibit the spread of viruses) such as Containing acyclovir leads to faster healing. However, it is better to apply it directly at the first signs of redness and burning, ”says Prof. Volker Steinkraus from the Dermatologikum Hamburg.
Apply ointment with cotton swabs
Affected people should apply cold sore preparations with a cotton swab and not with their fingers. This prevents the virus from spreading to other areas of the body, as the magazine “Neue Apotheken Illustrierte” explains in the current issue (issue August 15, 2016). The experts recommend starting therapy at the first signs of a tingling sensation.
Patches promote healing
An earlier issue of the magazine explained that local medicines containing the active ingredients aciclovir or penciclovir are used in the normal course. Such drugs are said to inhibit virus replication. The earlier they are used, the most effectively they help. Transparent plasters are relatively new, which curb the spread of the herpes viruses and promote the healing process.
Home remedies for herpes help
However, the infection does not always have to be treated with antiviral drugs. Sometimes home remedies for herpes, such as manuka honey or tea tree oil, are sufficient. It is also important to wash your hands often and thoroughly. In addition, those affected should not share cutlery or towels with others to protect them from infection. It can take up to two weeks from the outbreak of the herpes to the healing.
Special caution for some groups of people
However, herpes is not harmless for everyone. Health experts say that caution is particularly important for pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and young children. You should immediately see a doctor at the first sign of a herpes infection. Infected adults should be very careful when contacting young children. A kiss from them could be fatal to babies, as a UK case showed. (ad)