Herpes simplex is the name of virus that causes infectious sores on your body. Shortly called as HSV, herpes simplex affects any part of your body, but often it causes painful sores on your mouth, lips and genitals. HSV can be broadly divided into two types. HSV-1 is responsible for causing blisters on the face and mouth and hence called as oral herpes. This type of blisters is called by other names like fever blisters or cold sores. HSV-2 also called as genital herpes can affect your genitals causing sores on private parts.
Risk Factors :
- Herpes simplex can affect any person, ranging from children to adult and elderly people.
- A person with weakened immunity can get easily infected with HSV-1.
- People having multiple sex partners and that too without taking any precaution can get infected with HSV-2.
- Women who do vaginal douching are at risk of getting this infection.
- Pregnant women can transfer this infection to her baby.
Herpes simplex virus is marked by sores or blisters on the affected part of the body. HSV-1 can cause painful lesions on your mouth, lips and inside the oral cavity. Painful blisters can cause difficulty to eat or drink and even talk. Swollen lymph nodes, mild fever, headache and tiredness are some of the general symptoms caused by HSV.
In case you are infected with HSV-2 or genital herpes it can cause itching and irritation and pain during urination. Genital area becomes swollen and red spots may develop on it. There are people who are asymptomatic (without any symptoms) but still infected with HSV.
- Herpes simplex virus type 1 can spread through oral secretions and HSV-2 through sexual contact. Kissing the infected person can transfer the virus to you without your knowledge.
- Virus will not cause any blisters as soon as it enters the body. It can remain dormant without causing any symptoms.
- Having fever or any other general illness makes one prone to develop Herpes infection. People with weakened immunity or those undergoing chemotherapy can get viral infection.
- HSV is contagious and can easily spread from one person to another. Once a person gets infected with HSV the virus can remain dormant in his body for long term.
- HSV-2 can easily spread through sexual contact with the infected person. About 20% of sexually active professionals are infected with HSV-2 and they spread the virus to others through sex.
Your doctor would check for the symptoms of blisters or sores in your face and oral cavity, if you are infected with HSV-1. Culture of saliva is done on the lab to detect presence of herpes simplex. If needed, your doctor may conduct DNA/PCR test to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment is based on the intensity of symptoms. Antiviral medications like Zovirax or Famvir or valacyclovir is given. Most of the symptoms would get relieved after taking drugs. Complete the course of medication as instructed by your doctor.
Gargle salt water for every 3-4 hours to get relief from symptoms of inflammation of oral cavity. Avoid eating spicy and oily foods since it can worsen the symptoms. Abstain from sexual activity once you are diagnosed with virus. You can still spread the infection to others through sex even if the symptoms are cured. Sitting in warm bath can give great relief from pain caused by genital sores.
Once you get herpes virus infection the virus would remain in the body dormant in the nerve cells, without causing any symptoms. When the conditions are favorable it can again cause outbreak. Fever, menstruation and heightened stress can trigger the virus to start the infection.
Pictures of Herpes Simplex :
Images, Pics, Photos of Herpes Simplex
- HSV cannot be cured completely, but you can prevent getting the symptoms, by following certain precautions.
- Avoid sharing anything with infected person.
- Practice good oral hygiene.
- Instruct your children to wash hands thoroughly before eating. Do not send your child to school if he has been infected.
- Avoid having sex with multiple partners and strangers. Abstain yourself from sexual activity in any form until the infection is cured completely.