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How Oral Herpes Can Be Prevented

August 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Genital Herpes Resource

Oral herpes, also known as herpes labialis or herpes cold sores is one of many subtypes of the herpes virus. Oral herpes is also known as the most common form of herpes, typically caused by herpes simplex virus or HSV-1 although herpes simplex virus 2 which is more commonly known to cause genital herpes can also sometimes cause oral herpes as well. Because both herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 may cause oral herpes, there are several considerations in preventing oral herpes.
A manifestation of oral herpes or herpes cold sores is small herpes blisters found inside your mouth or on your lips. Since this is a virus, cold sores can easily be transmitted and spread through direct contact, particularly when kissing or during oral sex.
The herpes virus can be treated but not cured. The herpes virus is believed to be more contagious during active periods when herpes blisters are present and herpes lesions are visible. However, the herpes virus can be transmitted person-to-person at any time, even when herpes lesions are not visible.

This is why it is important to know and practice all the ways in which you can safeguard yourself against getting infected with oral herpes.

Oral herpes prevention #1
One of the most important herpes prevention steps you can take is to maintain your immune system since viruses usually thrive when your body’s immune defense system is low, there is a higher likelihood of an outbreak if you suffer from other illnesses, are extremely stressed or very tired. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise and avoid excessive stress.

Oral herpes prevention #2

Another oral herpes prevention step you can take is to exercise cautious saliva-swapping. Herpes virus is highly contagious and easily transmitted through saliva. Avoid kissing others that have herpes virus or herpes symptoms. Also avoid sharing cups, silverware and other items potentially contaminated with saliva. Make sure you always have your own eating utensils. Straws, forks, cups-all these seemingly innocent items can also be a pathway for getting the herpes virus.

Oral herpes prevention #3
Maintain your personal bubble. Again, the herpes virus is highly contagious. Keep reasonable distance from those suffering from a herpes outbreak in social and work situations.

Oral herpes prevention #4
The practice of safe sex is another oral herpes preventive step. If a sexual partner is suffering a herpes outbreak of genital herpes, use condoms or practice abstinence from any form of sexual activity. Use latex condoms during all sexual contact. Spermicidal foams and jellies may offer added protection from the herpes virus, although this is highly debated. Oral herpes can be caught from having contact with someone who has genital herpes.  Although Herpes Simplex Virus 2 generally causes genital herpes, it can cause oral herpes as well.
Oral herpes prevention #5
Practice safe sun-exposure. Wear sunscreen and use an SPF lip balm. Or, avoid exposure to the sun altogether if you are prone to oral herpes outbreaks.

Oral herpes prevention #6
Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have contracted oral herpes. Your doctor will usually prescribe an oral herpes antiviral medication and offer herpes treatment and future herpes prevention advice.

Oral herpes prevention #7

Refrain from touching the herpes sores of another person. Touching the herpes sores then touching another part of your body can spread the herpes virus to yourself. If you touch a herpes sore, wash your hands with soap and water as soon as possible.

Oral herpes prevention #8
Try to avoid using someone else’s makeup products, especially lipgloss or lipstick. These simple beauty tools can provide unassuming pathways for the oral herpes virus to spread.

Oral herpes prevention #9

Limit the number of sexual partners you have. Doing so can help you prevent contracting oral herpes.

Preventing the herpes virus is much easier than treating the herpes symptoms of the disease. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, you will have it for life. Avoiding those who are infected with herpes virus, and situations in which spreading of the herpes virus can occur, may be the best way to protect yourself from getting infected with the herpes virus.
Make sure you understand how to recognize and deal with oral herpes to reduce your chances of contracting the herpes virus.


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