Does Stress Trigger A Herpes Outbreak?

Stress is definitely a factor for herpes outbreaks. Many people experience the most recurring outbreaks during stressful times and instances when they are ill.

How does Stress Trigger a Herpes Outbreak?

Once infected with the herpes simplex virus, it lies dormant within your body. You may not see any signs that it is there until after a couple of days or weeks. Sometimes outbreaks won't occur until after you are infected again. The herpes virus is known to attack during times of weakness in your immune system and stress can cause this. When under stress, your body releases substances that cause the immune system to break down. This leaves an opening for a herpes outbreak to occur.


Stress can also be caused by irritation. This happens for long term problems in life, not just something that happened earlier in the day (something you will forget about by tomorrow). The issues in life usually pertain to relationship or family life, where it takes time to solve the problem.


Not getting enough sleep is a well known cause for grouchiness. Well, it can also cause individuals to become stressed. Now, this doesn't mean tiredness after a workout or lap around the pool - this pertains to insomnia or not getting enough sleep each night. It will resemble a chronic feeling of not being able to rest and can last for days or even months. If you are dealing with large workloads or have a young infant, it can cause frustration and fatigue, thus leading to stress and outbreaks.

Get Rid of Stress, Get some Sleep and Avoid Outbreaks

Well, don't we all wish it was that easy? Some causes of stress and fatigue are unavoidable. If you are working overtime, you may get fired if you call it a night before your scheduled leave time. And if you have a young one at home, you have to deal with their fussy whines and try your best to soothe them. If your partner is home at night or whenever you are trying to rest, arrange for him or her to take care of the baby while you relax.

You can help reduce stress by making more "you time" and do things that make you happy. You should also be around friends or go out some times with your loved one or alone. If nothing you do works, you can seek professional help through counseling. By recognizing what causes you stress, the counselor can help you figure out ways to eliminate or deal with them. There is no cure for herpes so it is important to deal with the causes of it to prevent breakouts.

Relaxation Techniques

Getting a massage or indulging yourself in a relaxing yoga session can help clear your mind of your daily worries. Try some of the following:

  • Meditation - This is a great way to eliminate worrisome thoughts and focus on something simpler like an object or soothing sound.
  • Tai Chi - This ancient Chinese tradition helps to alleviate your body from stress and is great for your health.
  • Acupressure - This is a technique that is used to alter the energy flow in your body through finger pressure.
  • Acupuncture - When thin needles are inserted into the body at various pressure points that alters your body's energy flow.


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