Herpes Simplex

What is Herpes Simplex?

Herpex Simplex is a common blistering virus that has two subtypes. Type 1 is typically seen on the face, including the lips. Type 2 is typically seen in the genital region. However, both types can actually affect each other’s respective “regions” of the body.

What are the signs and symptoms of Herpes Simplex?

Symptoms of tingling, itching, burning can occur a day prior to the appearance of any blisters in the area. Blisters will then appear and eventually open and crust. These sores can last about 1 week. Herpes Simplex 1 will typically occur on the mouth, lips, tongue or face. Herpes Simplex 2 will typically occur on the vagina, penis, buttocks, or anus.

Who is at risk for Herpes Simplex?

It is common to get Herpes Simplex 1 as a baby from skin to skin contact. The adult does not have to have an active cold sore to spread the virus to the child.

Herpes Simplex 2 is generally transmitted through sexual contact. Individuals are at higher risk if they have had multiple sexual partners, are female, are immunocompromised, have a history of sexual transmitted infections, or had sex for the first time at a young age.

What causes Herpes Simplex?

Herpes Simplex is transmitted through close skin to skin contact. The virus can be spread, even when a blister or “sore” is not present on the skin. This virus can shed without any symptoms. Therefore, kissing, touching skin, sharing personal hygiene products can spread this virus.

Does Herpes Simplex stay in your body forever?

This virus never leaves your body once you are infected. It travels to the nerves where it lays inactive. It can come reactivated and you can have an outbreak due to any physical or emotional stress on the body such as sun exposure, illness orfever.

How is it diagnosed?

Herpes Simplex is a clinical diagnosis; however, we can culture the fluid in the blister to confirm.

How is it treated?

Antiviral medications can treat herpes simplex, however if cold sores are recurring you may be a candidate for prophylaxis treatment to prevent an outbreak.

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