Health Intuitive

How TCM Approaches Herpes Outbreaks In Children

A lot of practitioners have received a lot of calls from parents whose very young children are suffering from extremely painful and offensive cases of genital herpes. Today, we are dealing with a nightmare scenario, a pre-potty trained toddler in diapers with a weeping, angry, and sore bottom.

When these practitioners mention it to other parents they often get a perplexed look. You need to understand that this problem is more common that you may have imagined. The suspected virus is the Herpes virus (also known as HSV, HSV1 and HSV2) and is unfortunately a common virus. In fact the virus is believed to be one of the most common viral infections among children. It’s difficult and sad to deal with, but it’s not incurable. Here are some of the facts you need to know.

1. Besides developing in the mouth, herpes virus infections can also develop in the skin, eyes, brain, and in the genital regions.

2. While one may connect genital herpes to the HSV 2or Herpes Type 2, around one third of patients with HSV 1 patients also suffer from infection in the genitals.

3. The herpes virus is a highly infectious virus that can be communicated during birth, in day care centers, and in places where people share common living areas.

4. The answer to dealing with this condition is first and foremost, a proper diagnosis.

Children with herpes simplex are treated with drugs, taken orally in the conventional/allopathic medical system. Western medicine considers herpes as a lifelong incurable virus with off and on active outbreaks.

The typical lists of drugs include Famciclovir, Valacyclovir, and Acyclovir. Famciclovir and Valacyclovir provide better absorption, so they can be used less often than Acyclovir.

Zovirax ointment, a topical form of Acyclovir has not proven to have much benefit in the treatment of genital herpes so most doctors do not prescribe it.

These drugs, however, should be used over a long period of time to both help lessen the severity and the number of outbreaks, but they aren’t able to provide any type of permanent solution, other than suppression.

Then there is the problem of side effects that may include anything from headaches, joint pain, body aches, and flu-like symptoms, to rashes, fatigue, and most importantly, gastrointestinal problems. If you require more detailed information, we recommend the internet. There are lots of well-researched articles to find there.

All these lead to a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to dealing with herpes.

Before one makes an educated choice, we need to explain in plain English how TCM basically works. Practitioners of Chinese medicine considered herpes as an imbalance that has to do with heat-damp in the Gallbladder and Liver energy channels (meridians) – or one can view it as excess heat hurting the Yin. The reason for this is because the symptoms of genital herpes are associated with both excess heat and Yin deficiency.

Or you can look at this problem in another way: the main outbreak is associated with the gallbladder and Liver damp heat. The periodic infection has to do with that along with the Yin deficiency.

Many people already know what a child outbreak can look like. But practitioners normally begin with the examination of the tongue. They often observe see a red tongue with a thick yellow fur. They also palpate the pulse, which normally feels slippery and is quite fast. The treatment objective of TCM is to focus on the elimination of damp-heat and to subdue the fire. This can be accomplished with acupuncture, topical formulations, and herbs.

In regards to prevention, herbal formulas are available to both lessen the severity and frequency of the symptoms. Practitioners usually look at the following: is the child irritable, hot, and thirsty? Then they observe the hands and the soles of the feet of the child. Does he suffer from night sweats? Is he feverish and tired? Is it very difficult to get the child potty trained?

Practitioners also need to consider the diet and simple life style changes of this child. In short, yes, traditional Chinese medicine can help, but it will take total dedication and a whole lot of time. However, we guaranty that your child can have the best possible result!

Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

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