6 Activities That Cause Herpes Outbreaks

Activities That Cause Herpes Outbreaks with Alexandra Harbushka

Life With Herpes

As someone who has herpes, and I’m guessing you do too because you are reading this, leaning ways to prevent outbreaks is on the top of our list. Clearly after having our first outbreak, which is typically the worst, we never want to experience that again. I know I sure don’t.  Chances are you’ve googled or tuned into Life With Herpes to find out what causes herpes outbreaks. I know I wanted to know what foods cause outbreaks or are there any lifestyle changes I need to make to prevent outbreaks. And of course the next question is what causes these suckers… ??? Over the years I’ve been paying careful attention to see what causes outbreaks and are there types of activities that can cause outbreaks.  The good news is once you know your triggers you can begin to plan and combat the virus. Some of these are my personal triggers and some of these are triggers our members in the Life With Herpes community have mentioned. Here they are:


It’s always fun to talk about sex. Friction and sex go together like peanut butter and jelly.It’s s a great thing and that’s what makes it feel so good but when there is too much friction like the, not enough lube type of sex, that type of friction can cause some skin irritation. The skin irritation can bring on some symptoms of an outbreak and even cause outbreaks. Listen to your body, if sex hurts then talk to your partner. This can be a hard conversation especially mid-pump  but sex is supposed to feel good and not hurt so talk to each other. Maybe try using lube. Lube can be a fun thing and it can really help with the sensation for both of you. Stay away from the lubes that contain spermicide nonoxynol-9, it can irritate the vagina and mess up her environment in there and that equals no fun for anyone. If you are using condoms then make sure you use a water based lube because oil based can weaken the latex and cause holes and tears. If your in the market for an oil based lube then my favorite is the Woo For Play. Check it out here.   


The stress and or excitement of travel can definitely play a huge role on outbreaks. Other things that add to the travel plans are different time zones, not getting good sleep because you are in a different bed, different food, more alcohol consumption, different climate or environment and of course the actually travel time. We don’t realize how traveling really stresses out bodies. Whereas we are having fun sight seeing or visiting a lover our bodies are in overdrive mode fighting off new bugs that enter into our system. I know that for me personally travel always causes an outbreak unless I show it who's boss first.  


This one is more for people with oral herpes because the sun isn't necessarily seeing our privates. Extended sun exposure or also known as ultraviolet (UV) light can lower the immune system and in some people can cause an outbreak.   


Mostly referencing for the ladies but we spend a lot of time waxing, plucking, shaving, sugaring and lasering. Depending on your hair and the coarseness and thickness of your pubic hair the grooming can really irritate your skin. We have pubic hair to protect us from infection and other hibijibis getting in there. I hear all the time from our community that women get outbreaks after shaving. This may or may not be a trigger for you but I wanted to make sure it was on your radar.  

Trauma To The Area  

this includes activities like bike riding, horseback riding, riding the bull (maybe that’s your thing lol). Ladies this is more of our thing and it can also be caused from wardrobe trauma, know what I’m talking about when it comes to jeans that are too tight or sexy lingerie that is meant to be idle in and not actually warn or bodysuits with all the fun snaps. In other words, if there is some type of friction or abrasion to the area it can cause some suffering or a wound. I do believe if you build your tolerance up, like wear sexy lingerie daily (just kidding), or take up cycling then you will build up your endurance.

High intensity activities

this one is more for your immune system and exhausting your body. So taking a boxing class or joining a running club won't cause an outbreak from the activity or sweating but what it can do is compromise your immune system. What I’m not saying is dont exercise, sorry if this was going to be music to your ears. What I’m saying is pushing yourself to the Flo Jo level every day may not be the best thing for your immune system. In fact, I’ve had some members mention they’re training for marathons and boom...an outbreak pops up. Moderate exercise has been found to increase your immune system and do great things for your body but crushing it back to back to back and not letting your muscles rest can open up a pathway for other viruses and bugs to get in thus making your body work extra hard and letting your herpes virus have a hall pass. Now that you know the top activities that cause outbreaks you can begin to either plan ahead, build a tolerance or have your herpes emergency kit ready. If you need more information on curing your herpes outbreak then click here to learn more.


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I bought an IPL hair removal device in the past year, & have had no problem using it on my legs. But once tried it in the bikini area & had a herpes outbreak in that same spot within a few days. I used it on my chin last week, and up came an outbreak a few days later.  Both times, my prescription of Valacyclovir helped to decrease the severity & get the burning blisters under control.  Online research of the possible connection to using the IPL device led me to this blog. 

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Hana Alwan

What is the best way to wax then? Are you saying we shouldn't groom down there. If I take my valacyclovir a few days before waxing and a few days after waxing, will that prevent an outbreak? 

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Sabina Gaspirc

@Hana Alwan Maybe it won't cause an outbreak for you, but we wanted to point this out. Some people choose to take antivirals before and it helps. A lot of times, women take laser and we've had good user experience with that. Other swear by other methods. You should definitely see what works for you. 

In general, hair is there to protect us, as it is a barrier. That is good to know, especially when we want to protect ourselves and our partners better. It doesn't fit everybody, but 'going natural' has its benefits. 

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Jade Engelhardt

I don't even like shaving down there, so now I have one more reason not to! haha

I have to look at the silver lining  ;)

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