Herpetic Whitlow is a fingertip infection that is painful and involves one or even more fingers and normally involves the terminal phalanx or finger tip. The virus is characterized as blisters and involve the typical signs of inflammation – redness, heat, swelling and pain on the finger or thumb. Routine use of the hands/fingers would be difficult. The infection can easily spread to other parts of the hands. The virus can lay dormant in the human body and become active showing signs in 2- 20 days. Major signs of this disease are extreme tiredness and lack of physical sensation in the finger. The lymph nodes under the armpit can become very tender.
Both Herpes Simplex Virus, HSV1 and HSV 2 are responsible for causing this infectious disease on the hands which is called Herpes Whitlow. There is considerable pain, swelling of the fingers or thumb. Persons working in an atmosphere prone to bodily secretions (saliva, genital secretions), waste materials or poor toilet hygiene are prone to this infection. The infection can spread to others. To avoid spreading the virus, cover the blister with a dry bandage.
Persons in the medical/dental care of patients, especially those personnel treating patients should wear gloves. Do not share towels in public places. Since the infection often spreads through hands, it is important to wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before eating.
Herpes Virus Treatment
Initial treatment is to alleviate the inflammation and pain associated with the virus. The three drugs/chemicals of choice by the American Medical Association are Acyclovir, Valacyclovir or Famciclovir. These drugs are effective in preventing complications and decrease the transmission of the infection to others. Some side effects associated with the use of antiviral drugs are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, runny or stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, headache and some behavioral side effects. The virus can remain dormant in the infected person and can rear its ugly head in the future, though the symptoms may not be as severe as the initial symptom of the disease. PubMed.gov lists research on the HS1 Virus with very favorable results. Further research can be seen within the PubMed.gov site.
Do you prefer a more homeopathic approach to controlling the virus? Essential oils such as Peppermint, Melaleuca, Helichrysum, Clove and Lavender oil can help. Apply one of these oils directly on the lesions at the first sign of the outbreak and several times throughout the day. At Dental Hygiene Fitness we use only Pure Essential Oils. Our oils have no fillers and the plants used to gain access to the oils are indigenous to the areas they are harvested.
Are you due in for an oral exam? At Dental Hygiene Fitness you will receive an oral screening, oral cancer screening and gum disease exam at each visit at no charge to you.
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