Thursday, June 13, 2024

How Often Do Herpes Break Out

What You Need To Know

Why Do So Many People Have Herpes?
  • Herpes simplex virus , also known as genital herpes, is most likely to be spread when an infected person is having an outbreak, but it can also be transmitted without any symptoms being present.
  • Medications can help reduce your symptoms, speed up the healing of an outbreak and make you less contagious.
  • If you know you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, cesarean section may be recommended.

If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs

No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.

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How Do You Know If You Have Genital Herpes

The only way to know if you have genital herpes is by amedical exam. Your health care provider can examineyou and test for it. Lab samples are taken from a sore,blister, or blood. Your health care provider may ask totest you for other infections at the same time.

Tell current and most recent sex partners of your herpes infection.

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There Are 2 Herpes Simplex Viruses That Can Cause Infection

  • One causes most genital herpes.
  • The other virus can also cause genital herpes but more often causes blisters of the mouth and lips.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 1 out of 6 people ages 14 to 49have genital herpes.

Women are more easily infected with herpes than men.

What Are Signs Of Genital Herpes In Women

Herpes on Back Pictures  18 Photos &  Images / illnessee.com

Women who have the herpes virus may have nooutbreaks or signs of infection. Many do not know theyhave the virus. Once you are infected, the virus staysin your nerve cells for life. When the virus is not active,there is no sign of infection. When the virus becomesactive, a herpes outbreak occurs. Some womenmay not have any outbreaks or may have only oneoutbreak, while others may have multiple outbreaks.

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Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes

There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can, however, prevent or shorten outbreaks during the period of time the person takes the medication.11 In addition, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can reduce the likelihood of transmission to partners.11

There is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. Candidate vaccines are in clinical trials.

Is Herpes Simplex Related To Herpes Zoster

Herpes simplex and the varicella-zoster virus are related, but they arent the same. VZV causes chickenpox and shingles.

Like HSV-1 and HSV-2, shingles can cause a painful, blistering rash. The shingles rash usually shows up on the back, side, abdomen , neck and face. It is often only on half of your body, following the pattern of your nerves. See your healthcare provider if you have a new rash and suspect you may have shingles.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Herpes simplex is a virus. Once you have herpes, its a lifelong condition. A herpes infection can lead to outbreaks , but youll also have times when you have no symptoms. The main sign of herpes is sores that appear on the infected skin. Some people choose not to treat herpes, especially if symptoms are mild. Others take antiviral medications to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/17/2022.

References

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Break It Down For Me Jenelle

Utterly confused? Heres the deal:

  • If you have an oral HSV2 infection, you probably wont ever experience an outbreak or visual symptoms.
  • If you have a genital HSV1 infection, you might experience one outbreak per year.
  • If you have a genital HSV2 or an oral HSV1 infection, the number of outbreaks you experience and their severity will largely depend upon how healthy you keep your immune system. Some folks experience fairly severe and somewhat frequent outbreaks, and others dont.
  • The longer you have an HSV infection, the fewer outbreaks youre likely to have.

Remember: there are exceptions to every rule. One of those exceptions? If you have a compromised immune system, you are likely to experience more outbreaks than the average person in any of the categories previously mentioned.

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How Long Do Herpes Outbreaks Last

When you hear the word herpes, the image that comes to mind is probably one of a sore at the edge of your lip that crops up every time you have a cold or a fever. But herpes is a little more complicated that that. Believe it or not, most people who have herpes have absolutely no idea. Thats because, for the most part, the virus can be entirely asymptomatic. Usually the first infection when it comes to oral herpes happens sometime during childhood and not from sexual contact, and the symptoms are a lot more like a cold. In severe cases, the initial outbreak can involve a fever, swollen lymph nodes, swollen gums, and sores in your mouth, throat, or on your tongue. An initial herpes outbreak lasts around 14 days but can take up to six weeks for sores to fully heal .

While oral herpes is most commonly caused by herpes simplex virus 1 , genital herpes is more frequently cause by herpes simplex virus 2 .

Much like oral herpes, an initial genital herpes infection can last a lot longer than subsequent outbreaks and may be accompanied by fever and other whole-body symptoms and some symptoms may persist for weeks. Recurrent genital herpes outbreaks cause symptoms like itching, redness, and irritation in the genital area, but like oral herpes, genital herpes can also be asymptomatic . A genital herpes outbreak may begin with pain in the genitals and shooting pains or tingling in your legs, hips, or butt. These symptoms usually occur before you can see any blisters or lesions .

Pay Attention To What You Eat

ASHA reports that some people believe foods containing the amino acid arginine, such as legumes and whole grains, can contribute to outbreaks. A few older studies, conducted in 1981 and 1987, showed a possible connection, but ASHA states there is no clinical evidence to support these studies. However, because triggers may vary based on the individual, keep track of the foods you eat to determine if there is a connection.

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How Do I Know If I Have Genital Herpes

Most people with genital herpes have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms. Mild symptoms may go unnoticed or be mistaken for other skin conditions like a pimple or ingrown hair. Because of this, most people do not know they have a herpes infection.

Herpes sores usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. This is known as having an outbreak. The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take a week or more to heal. Flu-like symptoms also may occur during the first outbreak.

People who experience an initial outbreak of herpes can have repeated outbreaks, especially if they have HSV-2. However, repeat outbreaks are usually shorter and less severe than the first outbreak. Although genital herpes is a lifelong infection, the number of outbreaks may decrease over time.

Ask a healthcare provider to examine you if:

  • You notice any symptoms or
  • Your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD.

STD symptoms can include an unusual sore, a smelly genital discharge, burning when peeing, or bleeding between periods .

How Often Do Outbreaks Occur

Herpes on Back Pictures  18 Photos &  Images / illnessee.com

Peoples number of outbreaks varies. An individual who has genital HSV-2 has an average number of outbreaks of about four to five annually. An individual who has an oral HSV-1 has an average number of outbreaks, which is less than once annually.

Under normal circumstances, more outbreaks occur amid the first year, and many individuals discover that outbreaks are less frequent and severe with respect to time. The first outbreak is typically the most agonizing and worst outbreak, which happens between 2 to 20 days the moment the individual has had contact with the virus. The injuries often leave between 2 to 3 weeks. Half of those with herpes are not having any more outbreaks the moment they have undergone the first occurrence of the symptoms. This is particularly valid if the infecting herpes was the HSV-1 type. Some individuals just get a few outbreaks, while others get numerous outbreaks. Individuals can have numerous outbreaks successively, one after the other, and for months or even in a year, they may not experience it anymore. Individuals who experience illnesses that debilitate the immune system like HIV and leukemia will probably experience more outbreaks, with symptoms that are really painful and also last for a long time.

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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.

Why Does Outbreak Frequency Vary

Its unclear exactly what triggers a herpes outbreak, although certain factors make them more likely. People without chronic physical and mental health conditions who exercise, practice good nutrition, and get adequate sleep are likely to have fewer herpes outbreaks. Women also usually have more frequent herpes outbreaks than men. Its thought the hormone fluctuations experienced during periods, pregnancy, and menopause may trigger herpes outbreaks.

Antiviral medications, like valacyclovir, can also help reduce the frequency of herpes outbreaks. People on these medications have up to 70-80% fewer outbreaks than they would without the medication. Their outbreaks also tend to be shorter than people who dont take these meds. If youve been previously diagnosed with herpes, Nurx can prescribe oral or genital herpes treatment online and deliver the medication to your door with free shipping. To request herpes treatment from Nurx, get started here.

Nurx offers prescription cold sore and genital herpes treatment for as little as $0 with insurance or $15 per month without insurance.

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Why You Should Go To A Sexual Health Clinic

You can see a GP, but they’ll probably refer you to a sexual health clinic if they think you might have genital herpes.

Sexual health clinics treat problems with the genitals and urine system.

Many sexual health clinics offer a walk-in service, where you do not need an appointment.

They’ll often get test results quicker than GP practices and you do not have to pay a prescription fee for treatment.

What Are The Complications Of Genital Herpes

What is Herpes – How to Get Rid of Herpes

Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5

There are also potential complications for a pregnant woman and her newborn child. See How does herpes infection affect a pregnant woman and her baby? below for information about this.

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When To See A Doctor

If you experience signs of a herpes outbreak, either with cold sores around the mouth or with herpes blisters around the genitals, you should see your doctor.

If it is a first outbreak, a medical provider can give you an accurate diagnosis.

If it is a recurring outbreak, a healthcare provider may be able to prescribe medication to shorten the frequency of outbreaks.

While there is no cure for oral or genital herpes, some prescription and OTC treatments may relieve discomfort.

Other Than The Sores What Are The Signs Of A Herpes Break Out

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I Had Lesions When I Was Evaluated But My Culture Was Negative Does This Mean That I Dont Have Herpes

Not necessarily. Although lesions can be caused by something other than herpes, false negative herpes tests can occur if the samples are not taken appropriately, if there is a long transport time between the clinic and the laboratory, or if cultures were taken late in the course of the lesions. Lesions that occur early in the course of a herpes outbreak are much more likely to have positive cultures than cultures taken after the lesions crust over.

How Does Genital Herpes Spread

Herpes : Herpes Gladiatorum

Herpes can be spread when an infected person has lesions blisters and open sores on their body or when you do not have any symptoms. Taking antiviral medicine can help you reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to your sexual partners. You can also:

  • Inform your sexual partner that you have genital herpes.
  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • Refrain from having sex when you have symptoms.
  • Abstain from performing oral sex if you have blisters or open sores around your mouth.

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Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md

Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at sexualhealthTV.com.

Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.

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.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

You may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  • What is the best treatment for me?
  • What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
  • What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
  • How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
  • Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
  • How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
  • Should I lookout for signs of complications?

Why Do I Get Herpes Outbreaks So Often

Herpes Simplex Virus Treatment / Alynn Alexander, MD

Primary Genital Herpes Outbreak

For people with symptoms, the first outbreak usually occurs in or around the genital area 2 days to 2 weeks after sexual exposure to the virus. The first signs are a tingling sensation in the affected areas and groups of small red bumps that develop into blisters. Over the next 2 to 3 weeks, more blisters can appear and rupture into painful open sores. The lesions eventually dry out, develop a crust, and heal rapidly without leaving a scar. Blisters in moist areas heal more slowly than those in dry areas. The sores may sometimes itch, but itching decreases as they heal.

About 40% of men and 70% of women develop other symptoms during initial outbreaks of genital herpes, such as flu-like discomfort, headache, muscle aches, and fever. Swollen glands may occur in the groin area or neck. Some women may have difficulty urinating and may, occasionally, require a urinary catheter. Women may also experience vaginal discharge.

Recurrent Genital Herpes Outbreak

In general, recurrences are much milder than the initial outbreak. The virus sheds for a much shorter period of time compared to an initial outbreak of 3 weeks. Women may have only minor itching, and the symptoms may be even milder in men.

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