He Was Shocked to Discover How He Got Herpes
Student athletes have a lot to worry about. Maintaining high grades, balancing a hectic schedule, keeping up with a social life, and many more subtleties that most people forget about as they get older. One thing that a high school athlete doesn’t typically worry about is contracting herpes during a school-sponsored sporting event, but that’s exactly what happened in California to Blake Flovin of Archbishop Mitty High School.
On February 19th, Flovin participated in a wrestling tournament at Independence High School, the Central Coast Section wrestling tournament. He was in contact with five different wrestlers throughout the day via the tournament matches. Soon after the tournament, Flovin started to notice symptoms developing, primarily in the form of a rash and severe itching. His lymph nodes became swollen on his face and neck as well, causing discomfort and a blotchy appearance on his face where the rash produced the most severe lesions. Flovin commented that he wasn’t sure if he contracted the disease from one of the other wrestlers, or from a mat that the true source host had previously used.
Stories like Blake’s are all too common, but it’s not an issue that most are aware of. When he was taken to the doctor, it was discovered that he was infected with herpes gladiatorum, which is more commonly referred to as mat herpes. Despite the supposed preventability of spreading these diseases, many athletes of all ages contract mat herpes at some point. When an infection and outbreak occurs, it effectively stops that person’s life in its tracks. The athletic endeavors are no longer an option, since you can’t expose others to the disease. You have to deal with marring lesions and widespread sores, sometimes completely covering your face and torso. Skin contact is the only thing required for transmission of HSV-1, the virus responsible for mat herpes. Wrestlers are the most likely to experience mat herpes on their head and neck, since those areas are exposed.
[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”…”]
There are no cures for any form of herpes due to its viral nature. Once it enters your system, it stays with you for life. There are, however, effective treatments in the form of oral antiviral drugs, but those come with potential risks and complications that natural remedies don’t have. Of course, natural remedies do nothing to suppress the disease or the frequency of outbreaks, but they are considerably safer. Such natural remedies include:
Aloe Vera – This well-known remedy is great for all skin conditions, and the gel extracted from the leaves is far more effective than lotions that contain aloe vera.
Baking Soda – Simply apply this classic remedy with a moist piece of cloth, and you’ll feel relief from itching and sores will dry faster.
Tea Bags – It is thought that the tannins in black tea offer antiviral properties. Prep them by making tea as you normally would, then store the tea bags in the fridge to cool. Place the cold tea bags directly on the skin where the outbreak is centered. Apply light pressure to hold the bag in place for about five minutes. It is recommended that this be repeated at least 3 times per day.
Ice – Ice packs provide one of the most effective natural ways to soothe skin issues. Keep an ice pack applied to the affected area for around 15 minutes per session, with 3 or 4 sessions per day.
Essential Oils – These oils help your skin repair itself without leaving nasty scars behind. Vitamin E oil is one of the best choices, which should be mixed with water and applied directly to the affected skin.
What truly makes Blake’s situation unfortunate is that he didn’t receive a diagnosis until after he’d already participated in other wrestling matches, potentially exposing many more student athletes. His family has attempted to convince the California schools to postpone the state wrestling championships. They cite the potential for this disease to spread to other students, putting them at risk for a lifelong disease. The schools have refused to postpone the event, however, but Blake and his family will continue to spread the truth about this condition and those at risk.