What is Herpes | Definition
Herpes is an infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). This is a virus that affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body. This condition is among the long-term conditions. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus.
Most people do not experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected. Those who do have symptoms during the initial period will usually notice them about 4 days after exposure. In most cases, many people with HSV have recurring herpes. When a person is first infected, the recurrences tend to happen more frequently. However, the remission periods get longer as each occurrence tends to become less severe.
Herpes Causes | Hsv Virus | Hsv Infection
It has been discovered that there are two types of herpes simplex virus infections that can also cause genital herpes (HSV-1). This is the type that usually causes cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth. HSV-1 is often spread through skin-to-skin contact, though it can be spread to your genital area during oral sex.
There are only two commonly known Herpes simplex viruses. They are more commonly known as herpes. They are categorized as the following:
- Herpes type 1 (HSV-1) also known as Oral Herpes
- Herpes (HSV-2) or Genital Herpes. Most commonly, herpes type 1 causes sores around the mouth and lips (sometimes called fever blisters or cold sores). HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but most cases of genital herpes are caused by herpes type 2. In HSV-2, the infected person may have sores around the genitals or rectum. Although HSV-2 sores may occur in other locations, these sores usually are found below the waist.
Herpes type 1 (HSV-1) | Oral Herpes
This type of condition is also referred to as Oral Herpes. This type of condition sores around the mouth and lips deeming it sometimes as fever blisters or cold sores. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes, but most cases of genital herpes are caused by herpes type 2. In HSV-2, the infected person may have sores around the genitals or rectum
Herpes (HSV-2) | Genital Herpes
This condition is also known as genital herpes. This is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active person can get. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners.
It has been proven that the positive herpes IgG test can work to test the condition. If the test result is accurate, means that your body has been infected with the herpes simplex virus. Furthermore, type-specific HSV IgG tests can be used to distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 usually infects the mouth, causing oral herpes, and HSV-2 usually infects the genitals
Herpes Signs and Symptoms
Although this condition can be passed from one person to another, one may never notice that you have symptoms from an HSV infection. On the other hand, you might notice symptoms within a few days to a couple of weeks after the initial contact. During that time you may never notice the initial outbreak of symptoms until months or even years after becoming infected.
When symptoms occur soon after a person is infected, they tend to be severe. They may start as small blisters that eventually break open and produce raw, painful sores that scab and heal over within a few weeks. The blisters and sores may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms with fever and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms also include:
- Cracked, raw, or red areas around your genitals without pain, itching, or tingling
- Itching or tingling around your genitals or your anal region
- Small blisters that break open and cause painful sores. These may be on or around your genitals (penis or vagina) or on your buttocks, thighs, or rectal area. More rarely, blisters may occur inside the urethra — the tube urine passes through on its way out of your body.
- Pain from urine passing over the sores — this is especially a problem in women.
- Flu-like symptoms, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue
This is an infection that results when the varicella-zoster virus reactivates from its latent state in a posterior dorsal root ganglion. Symptoms usually begin with pain along the affected dermatome, followed in 2 to 3 days by a vesicular eruption that is usually diagnostic. Treatment is antiviral drugs given within 72 h after skin lesions appear.
Chickenpox and herpes zoster is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (human herpesvirus type 3); chickenpox is the acute invasive phase of the virus, and herpes zoster (shingles) represents reactivation of the latent phase. Herpes zoster inflames the sensory root ganglia, the skin of the associated dermatome, and sometimes the posterior and anterior horns of the gray matter, meninges, and dorsal and ventral roots.
Herpes zoster frequently occurs in elderly and HIV-infected patients and is more severe in immunocompromised patients because cell-mediated immunity in these patients is decreased. There are no clear-cut precipitants.
Herpes Medication | Herpes Cure
The best medication for Herpes are the following antiviral medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of genital herpes:
- Acyclovir: The oldest antiviral medication for herpes is acyclovir. It has been available since 1982 in a topical form (as an ointment) and sold since 1985 in pill form. Acyclovir has been shown to be safe in persons who have used it continuously (every day) for as long as 10 years.
- Valacyclovir: A newer drug, valacyclovir, actually uses acyclovir as its active ingredient. This medication delivers acyclovir more efficiently so that the body absorbs much of the drug, which has the advantage of taking the medication fewer times during the day.
- Famciclovir: Famciclovir uses penciclovir as its active ingredient to stop HSV from replicating. Like valacyclovir, it is well absorbed, persists for a longer time in the body, and can be taken less frequently than acyclovir.
- Antiviral medication is commonly prescribed for patients having a first episode of genital herpes, but they can be used for recurrent episodes as well. There are two kinds of treatment regimens: episodic therapy and suppressive therapy.
If you find out that you have herpes, try not to freak out. There are a few ways that you can stop it from spreading to your partners and other parts of your body.
- Always use condoms and dental dams during oral, anal, and vaginal sex.Talk with your doctor about taking herpes medication every day, which can lower your chances of spreading herpes.
- Don’t have sex during a herpes outbreak, even with a condom. There may be sores on places the condom doesn’t cover.
- Learn how to tell when an outbreak is coming, and stop having sex right when you notice these signs. You may feel a burning, itching, or tingling feeling that lets you know you’re about to get sores.
- Don’t have sex until your sores are totally gone, and the scabs heal and fall off.
- Don’t touch your herpes sores, because you can spread the infection to other parts of your body or other people. If you touch a sore, wash your hands with soap and water right after.
- Don’t wet contact lenses with spit — this might spread your oral herpes to your eye.
- If you have a cold sore on your mouth, don’t kiss anyone — especially babies, children, or pregnant women.
Always tell your sexual partners that you have herpes before you have sex, so you can work together to prevent it from spreading. Telling someone you have an STD can be hard, but herpes is super common and doesn’t lead to serious health problems. So try not to be too embarrassed or stressed out about it.
Herpes Natural Remedies
It has been established that the natural remedies to cure Herpes are several foods that may help boost the immune system which can in turn help with a herpes outbreak. They include:
- Brightly colored vegetables, especially orange and red, which contain higher levels of vitamin C, antioxidants, and carotenoids.
- Wild-caught fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Foods that are high in L-lysine such as vegetables, turkey, fish, chicken, and legumes. L-lysine is known to prevent the replication of viruses. There are also L-lysine supplements available.
- Adequate amounts of protein, such as those mentioned above.
- Many of these foods mentioned are also rich in zinc which helps the body fight infection. Other zinc-rich foods are nuts and seeds, organ meats like liver, and spinach.
- Coconut oil is known to have antiviral and other antimicrobial properties.
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