Coping with Herpes

It can be devastating news to be diagnosed with Herpes. Many experience a strong sense of shame and even loose their sex drive for a while. So, how does one cope with Herpes?

Herpes is a viral infection, most often contracted in children. In adulthood, Herpes can also be spread by sexual contact but the vast majority of people in North America carry the virus without an outbreak, which is marked by painful blisters around the genital area or mouth. Sadly, there is no cure for Herpes.

Herpes does not mean an end to your sex life. It does require having an honest conversation with your partner and act responsively during an outbreak. Most people with Herpes live normal lives and learn to minimize their risk of outbreaks.

Here are some helpful tips to help you cope:

Research shows that carriers are more prone to outbreaks during stressful periods and when the skin has been compromised such as by sunburn, chafing or dryness.

Outbreaks are more common in people who have a greater tendency to manifest their stress physically. Managing your stress can limit outbreaks. Yoga, meditation, talking to someone and wearing comfortable clothing can go a long way in limiting outbreaks.

Person doing a yoga pose
You can manage symptoms with popular relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.

It is very important to avoid touching the blister in an outbreak to avoid spreading the virus further. Many people choose to always have antiviral medication on hand. If you become aware a blister is forming and take antiviral medication in time, you can avoid a break out. Abreva cream (available over-the-counter) is also very helpful to have on hand as it shortens the healing period and reduces the swelling in the blisters.