How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last
If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.
If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.
Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes
Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.
Valacyclovir Tablets Are Used In Adults:
- to treat cold sores
- to treat shingles
- to treat or control genital herpes outbreaks in adults with normal immune systems
- to control genital herpes outbreaks in adults infected with the human immunodeficiency virus with CD4 + cell count greater than 100 cells/mm3
- with safer sex practices to lower the chances of spreading genital herpes to uninfected partners. Even with safer sex practices, it is still possible to spread genital herpes. Valacyclovir tablets used daily with the following safer sex practices can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.
- Do not have sexual contact with your partner when you have any symptom or outbreak of genital herpes.
- Use a condom made of latex or polyurethane whenever you have sexual contact.
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How Do Genital Herpes And Oral Herpes Spread
A herpes infection spreads through skin-to-skin contact. A person with a herpes infection can transmit the virus to another person even if they do not have an active outbreak or any herpes symptoms. This is called asymptomatic shedding. In other words, the virus can be transmitted from the skin surface even if the skin appears completely normal. However, the greatest spread risk is when there are active sores and visible symptoms.
HSV-1 usually spreads through kissing or oral sex. HSV-2 is usually transmitted through sexual contact .
Rarely, pregnant women with herpes infections can pass the virus to their babies during delivery.
Once a person becomes infected with the herpes virus, it never leaves the body. However, both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can lie dormant in neurons for years after the initial outbreak. They can periodically become reactivated and cause symptoms or spread to other people through saliva and other body secretions.
Oral Herpes Poses A Risk Beyond Cold Sores
Dating when you have a cold sore can embarrassing. But embarrassment shouldnt stop you from telling a sexual partner if you feel one coming on or there is one hidden behind your lip.
Even if youre on the mend, cold sores are highly contagious and may do more than just transmit the infection to your partner. It may increase your risk of a sexually transmitted disease .
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Precautions About Sharing Kitchenware
Youre unlikely to get herpes from sharing a drink, a straw, or a glass.
But youll want to avoid sharing objects with someone who may have another infection, such as a cold, the flu, or strep throat.
Heres how you can help protect yourself from getting an infection:
- Ask for a clean glass if you get a dirty glass at a restaurant, cafeteria, or anywhere where dishware is shared, such as at your workplace.
- Clean any surface you plan to use before preparing food in case bacteria or viruses are present.
- Dont mix chopping boards by chopping or preparing raw meat on the same board as vegetables or other foods that dont need to be cooked.
- Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat before you touch any other surfaces or foods, especially if youre sick.
- Thoroughly clean any surface you used to prepare raw meat or other food that might be carrying bacteria or viruses.
Can You Get Herpes From The Toilet Seat
Last, but definitely not least, on the scale of weird things that you heard about herpes as a kid: Can you get herpes from a particularly grody bathroom experience?
Herpes is most commonly transmitted through contact with open sores or infected bodily fluids. If the virus was left on a toilet seat, and it was kept at a very specific temperature, then immediate contact could result in developing herpes.
However, It is highly unlikely to contract herpes from a dry inanimate object.
The Center for Disease Control states, You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools, or from touching objects around you such as silverware, soap, or towels.
So, safe to say, dont think twice about getting comfortable in the wiz palace because UTIs are totally a thing, and you should never hold back the need to pee.
Though we have established that it is very unlikely, HSV-2 would be the strand of herpes most likely to be contracted during your potty time. Due to the location of exposure, this would be considered genital herpes.
Common Genital Herpes Symptoms
- Itching or burning in the genital area
These symptoms seem to be pretty apparent or noticeable, but two out of every three people with genital herpes are unaware that they possess the virus at all. Many people with genital herpes experience no symptoms. When symp-toms are not apparent, is when viruses are most likely to be spread.
How Common are Genital Herpes Anyways?
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How Can I Prevent Genital Herpes
If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting genital herpes:
- Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who does not have herpes.
- Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.
Be aware that not all herpes sores occur in areas that a condom can cover. Also, the skin can release the virus from areas that do not have a visible herpes sore. For these reasons, condoms may not fully protect you from getting herpes.
If your sex partner has/have genital herpes, you can lower your risk of getting it if:
- Your partner takes an anti-herpes medicine every day. This is something your partner should discuss with his or her healthcare provider.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex
You can reduce your risk of contracting HSV-1 by avoiding physical contact with someone who has a cold sore. People can still spread HSV-1 when cold sores arent present, but its less likely.
If someone has an active HSV-1 infection, avoid:
- Sharing utensils, cups, lip balms or other personal care products.
- Touching the skin near their mouth.
If youre sexually active, you can take these steps to protect yourself and others from the herpes virus and other STIs:
- Be monogamous with one sexual partner or limit your number of partners.
- Get tested for STIs and complete any prescribed treatment.
- Tell your sexual partners if you have genital herpes so they can get tested.
- Use condoms during intercourse and dental dams during oral sex.
Wash your hands often if you have an outbreak or are around someone with symptoms.
If your sexual partner has genital herpes, these actions can lower your risk of getting the virus:
- Dont have sex when your partner has active symptoms. Condoms may not cover all sores, so you may still get the virus.
- Make sure your partner takes antiviral medication as prescribed.
- Wait to have sex until scabs fall off active lesions.
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How Common Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimated that there were 572,000 new genital herpes infections in the United States in a single year.1 Nationwide, 11.9 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection .2 However, the prevalence of genital herpes infection is higher than that because an increasing number of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. 3 Oral HSV-1 infection is typically acquired in childhood because the prevalence of oral HSV-1 infection has declined in recent decades, people may have become more susceptible to contracting a genital herpes infection from HSV-1. 4
HSV-2 infection is more common among women than among men the percentages of those infected during 2015-2016 were 15.9% versus 8.2% respectively, among 14 to 49 year olds. 2 This is possibly because genital infection is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men during penile-vaginal sex. 5 HSV-2 infection is more common among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites . 2 A previous analysis found that these disparities, exist even among persons with similar numbers of lifetime sexual partners. Most infected persons may be unaware of their infection in the United States, an estimated 87.4% of 14 to 49 year olds infected with HSV-2 have never received a clinical diagnosis. 6
The age-adjusted percentage of persons in the United States infected with HSV-2 decreased from 18.0% in 19992000 to 12.1% in 2015-2016. 2
Complications Associated With Cold Sores
The initial contraction of herpes simplex can cause more severe symptoms and complications, as your body hasnt built up a defense to the virus yet. Complications are rare, but can occur, especially in young children. Call your doctor immediately if youre experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- high or persistent fever
- red, irritated eyes with or without discharge
Complications are more likely to occur in people who have eczema or a condition that weakens their immune system, such as cancer or AIDS. If you do have any of these conditions, contact your doctor if you think youve contracted the herpes simplex virus.
Theres no cure for cold sores, but some people with the herpes simplex virus rarely have outbreaks. When cold sores do develop, there are several ways to treat them.
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How Is Herpes Spread
HSV-1 is usually passed from person to person by kissing. HSV-1 can also spread from the mouth to the genitals during oral sex . If this happens, it becomes a case of genital herpes.
HSV-2 cannot survive long on a non-living surface, so there is no real risk of getting it from a toilet seat or hot tub, for example.
Can Genital Herpes Be Prevented
The only way to prevent genital herpes and other STDs is abstinence. This means not having sex . If someone decides to have sex, using a latex condom every time can prevent most STDs.
But condoms canât always prevent the spread of genital herpes. This is because the virus may be in the skin near the genitals .
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Can I Treat Herpes Simplex At Home
Avoiding known triggers, such as illness or stress, can help reduce how often you have herpes outbreaks.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-1 ?
- Over-the-counter creams such as L-lysine, benzocaine or docosanol .
- Applying ice to blisters or sores.
How can I ease my symptoms during an outbreak of HSV-2 ?
- Apply an ice pack to your genitals. Wrap the ice pack in a washcloth or apply it over your underwear.
- Keep your genitals dry. Wear cotton or other nonsynthetic underpants and avoid tight-fitting clothes. Moist sores take longer to heal.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain.
- Topical 1% or 2% lidocaine may be used as a topical analgesic.
Shedding Frequency And Demographics
The percentages of positive eye swabs in men and women were nearly identical . However, men had a higher proportion of positive mouth swabs than did women . Thirty-four percent of the tear samples and 35% of the assayed saliva samples from African Americans were positive for HSV-1 DNA. The white subjects had 37.3% and 47.0% positive tear and saliva samples, respectively. African-American women had significantly fewer positive saliva samples than did white women , but a significantly higher frequency of shedding in tears . By contrast, white men had a significantly higher percentage of HSV-1 shedding in tears than did African-American men . Shedding in saliva was similar in both groups . Familial relationships had no apparent influence on viral shedding among relatives in this study. A more detailed epidemiologic study of factors involved in HSV-1 shedding, their stability, and their correlation with serum antibodies will be conducted in the future.
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What Is Neonatal Herpes
Neonatal herpes can be a very serious infection. Babies generally contract the virus from their birthing parent during childbirth even if the parent doesnt have active lesions. They may also get HSV-1 if an adult with an active cold sore kisses them. Breastfeeding babies can also get HSV-1 from the breast if there are lesions present. But babies cant get herpes from breast milk, so its safe to pump and feed.
Herpes simplex can be more dangerous for young babies because they dont have a fully developed immune system. But most babies with neonatal herpes can recover fully with treatment.
The dangers of neonatal herpes are much higher if the infection spreads to the babys organs. If youre pregnant and have herpes, speak with your healthcare provider about how to lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.
What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes
Herpes symptoms can range from mild to severe. In some cases, individuals have herpes with no visible signs or symptoms. In this case, they may pass it to a partner without ever realizing that they had it. Oral herpes manifests through cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth. You may also feel a tingling sensation with these sores.
Less commonly, HSV-1 can cause ocular herpes in the eye, which may lead to blindness. Rarely, herpes can transfer to the brain, a condition known as herpes encephalitis.
Genital herpes causes small blisters on the genitals, buttocks, or thighs. These look like pimples when they first appear. The lesions then break open, causing painful sores that will scab over in a few weeks. The first outbreak typically takes longer to heal than subsequent outbreaks.
The first occurrence of both genital and oral herpes is the worst. The lesions are often accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes or fever.
After an outbreak, the virus will lie dormant for a period of time. When it becomes active again, it enters a stage known as shedding. When the virus is shedding, its most susceptible to transmission. Active lesions are a sure sign that herpes is shedding. However, the virus may shed without the presence of sores, making it possible to unknowingly spread herpes.
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Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes
If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner about their risk. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.
You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your health, sex life, and relationships. While herpes is not curable, it is important to know that it is manageable with medicine. Daily suppressive therapy can lower your risk of spreading the virus to others. Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns and treatment options.
A genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships. Knowing how to talk to sexual partners about STDs is important.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Valacyclovir Tablets
Kidney failure and nervous system problems are not common, but can be serious in some patients taking valacyclovir tablets. Nervous system problems include aggressive behavior, unsteady movement, shaky movements, confusion, speech problems, hallucinations , seizures and coma.
Kidney failure and nervous system problems have happened in patients who already have kidney disease and in elderly patients whose kidneys do not work well due to age. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems before taking valacyclovir tablets.
Common side effects of valacyclovir tablets in adults include headache, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and dizziness. Side effects in HIV-infected adults include headache, tiredness and rash. These side effects usually are mild and do not cause patients to stop taking valacyclovir tablets.
Other less common side effects in adults include painful periods in women, joint pain, depression, low blood cell counts and changes in tests that measure how well the liver and kidneys work. The most common side effect seen in children < 18 years of age was headache.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop any side effects that concern you. These are not all the side effects of valacyclovir tablets. For more information ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
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How Is Genital Herpes Spread
- Saliva from a partner with an oral herpes infection
- Genital fluids from a partner with a genital herpes infection
- Skin in the oral area of a partner with oral herpes or
- Skin in the genital area of a partner with genital herpes.
You also can get genital herpes from a sex partner who does not have a visible sore or is unaware of their infection. It is also possible to get genital herpes if you receive oral sex from a partner with oral herpes.
You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools. You also will not get it from touching objects, such as silverware, soap, or towels.
If you have more questions about herpes, consider discussing your concerns with a healthcare provider.