What Are The Different Types Of Herpes
There are two types of herpes simplex virus: HSV I and HSV II. HSV I commonly causes oral herpes, or cold sores. This virus can show up as an upper respiratory tract infection during early childhood. HSV II is the cause of most cases of genital herpes. However, it is possible for HSV I to cause genital herpes and HSV II to cause oral herpes.
Clinicians cannot tell the difference between the two types by physical examination alone, but there are differences between the two viruses. For example, genital herpes caused by HSV II is much more likely to recur. This diagnosis can be helpful in establishing a health care plan.
Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Many people who have genital herpes may not be aware they have the infection, because they may not have any symptoms.
The first episode of herpes can cause considerable pain and distress. Symptoms of the first episode may include:
- flu-like symptoms such as feeling unwell, headaches and pains in the back and legs, with or without enlarged glands in the groin
- small blisters around the genitals these break open to form shallow, painful ulcers, which scab over and heal after one to two weeks
- small cracks in the skin with or without an itch or tingling
- redness or a distinct rash
- some people also have considerable pain and swelling in the genital area, and hence may have additional pain and difficulty passing urine.
What Are The Signs Of Herpes In Children
The herpes virus can be spread to babies and children if they are kissed by someone that is infected and has active cold sores. Although rare, it is also possible to spread herpes to a child or infant by touch if a person touches their cold sore and then touches the baby or child.
Precautions can be taken to protect infants and other children from getting the virus. Avoid kissing children if you have a cold sore and ask other people not to as well. Wash your hands frequently if you have a cold sore and you are around children.
Recommended Reading: Can You Test Positive For Herpes Without An Outbreak
Who Gets Genital Herpes
Anyone can get genital herpes. It usually is spread by having sex with someone who has herpes. You can get genital herpes from having oral sex with someone who has cold sores. Herpes also can be spread from one part of your body to another, such as from your genitals to your fingers, then to your eyes or other parts of your body. It also can be spread from a mother to her baby when she gives birth.
If you have herpes, you can spread the virus to other people whether or not you have open sores.
Donât Miss: How To Cure Herpes Simplex 2 Naturally
What If I Am Pregnant
It is important to tell your obstetrician that you or a partner have had genital herpes, so that they can monitor you for symptoms and manage your pregnancy safely. There is a risk you can pass the virus on to your baby if you have a vaginal delivery during a first attack of genital herpes. If this happens you may be recommended to have a caesarean delivery.
You May Like: Can You Get Tested For Herpes Simplex 1
What Causes Genital Herpes
Eight species of viruses in the herpesvirus family are currently known to infect humans, but only two of them cause genital herpes. The most common cause is herpes simplex virus type 2.
It is also a cause of genital herpes, the herpes simplex virus type 1, well known because it is the main cause of the disease in the parts of the body located above the shoulders such as the face, eyes and mouth.
Sometimes we confuse the causes of genital herpes with the triggers. Stress, prolonged exposure to the sun, and wearing clothes that are too tight on the body are all factors that can cause herpes outbreaks in people infected with the virus, but they are not the real cause.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that causes infected sores or blisters.
Its caused by the herpes simplex virus which can be passed on through close genital contact.
You can reduce your chances of getting genital herpes by using condoms or dental dams during sex.
If you think you have symptoms of genital herpes you should see a healthcare worker, they can take a swab from a blister and test to confirm if its caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Treatment can help with herpes outbreaks, but the virus cannot be cured and will remain in the body. This means that blisters normally come back once in a while.
Donât Miss: How To Test Herpes Simplex 1
How To Relieve The Pain And Discomfort
You can make herpes sores dry up faster and stop the tingling and burning sensation by applying DermburoTM compresses for ten minutes, three to four times a day, as soon as the sores appear. When the sores have scabbed over, use a lip balm to prevent the discomfort of split and cracked lips and promote healing.
In the case of severe pain, you can take ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen. Ibuprofen and naproxen are thought to be more effective, as they reduce inflammation. Generally, topical analgesics are not recommended to soothe the pain of sores. Their effect is short-lived, and prolonged use can trigger an allergic reaction. Its better to relieve the pain by applying an ice pack for a few minutes, as often as necessary.
You May Like: Is Herpes Medication Covered By Insurance
Is Herpes Simplex Related To Herpes Zoster
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.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Protect Against Herpes
What Increases Your Risk
Things that increase your risk of getting genital herpes include:
- Having more than one sex partner.
- Having a high-risk partner or partners .
- Having unprotected sexual contact .
- Starting sexual activity at a young age. The younger people are when they start having sex, the greater their risk is of getting genital herpes.
- Having a weakened immune system.
- Being a woman. Women are more likely than men to become infected when exposed to genital herpes. And their symptoms tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. Women also are at a greater risk of having complications from a genital herpes infection.
Having herpes, especially if you have open sores, also increases your risk for becoming infected with HIV if you are exposed to HIV.
Any child with genital herpes needs to be evaluated by a doctor to see if it is the result of sexual abuse. For more information, see the topic Child Abuse and Neglect.
Also Check: How To Relieve Herpes Sores
Get Rid Of Cold Sores Overnight
Unfortunately, I suffer from cold sores from time to time. They are embarrassing and you just want them to go away as soon as possible. Abreva tends to be fairly expensive for even a very little amount, but it is a potent medication. Unfortunately, this will not get rid of cold sores entirely. You still have to go through the whole torturous .
Read Also: What Stores Carry Herp B Gone
Dos And Donts For Herpes Outbreaks
Before going into the treatment options for herpes, its important to note a few important dos and donts to keep in mind when an outbreak occurs.
Things you should or should not do when you have an oral herpes outbreak include:
- Do wash your hands after any time you touch a sore.
- Do get rid of your toothbrush and start using a new one.
- Do protect your lips with lip balm.
- Do take steps to reduce stress, which can worsen outbreaks.
- Dont share cups, utensils, towels, or lip balms.
- Dont kiss while a sore is present.
- Dont try to pop or drain cold sores.
Things you should or should not do when you have a genital herpes outbreak include:
- Do wash your hands after any time you touch a sore.
- Do take steps to reduce stress, which can worsen outbreaks.
- Do wear cotton underwear and loose clothing.
- Do keep your genital area clean and dry except when showering.
- Dont take baths or use hot tubs.
- Dont have sex since the virus has a higher risk of transmission.
- Dont try to pop or drain genital sores.
How Long Do Herpes Outbreaks Last
The symptoms of herpes outbreaks can take up to a week to appear after contracting the infection. Once the herpes simplex virus becomes active, it begins to multiply, eventually coming to the surface of the skin along the nerve paths. Due to the nature of the bodyâs neural pathways, recurrences of genital herpes may not always present in the same place â although they will remain in the same area.
Genital herpes usually starts off with redness in the affected area, which is followed by small bumps that progress into fluid-filled blisters. Over time, the blisters will burst and become shallow skin ulcers which will then crust over, healing gradually within a couple of weeks.
The initial genital herpes flare-up is often the most painful, causing fever, fatigue and body aches. It is not uncommon for the first infection to last up to three weeks.
However, subsequent outbreaks tend to present fewer and less intense symptoms, and the frequency of break-outs can vary. A typical herpes outbreak will last between one to two weeks. Some individuals go weeks or months between flare-ups, while others potentially endure back-to-back episodes.
Recommended Reading: Can I Live With Herpes
Differences Between Oral And Genital Herpes Outbreaks
The location of the sores is the main difference between the two types of herpes. Oral herpes sores generally develop on the mouth and lips, usually at the border of the lip where it meets the skin of the face.
Genital herpes sores can occur in a wider variety of locations depending on where the virus entered the body. These locations may include:
- For women and men:
Is It Possible To Prevent Cold Sores
The best way to prevent a herpes simplex infection is to avoid physical contact with someone else’s cold sores. Items that touch the lips but cannot be washed or sanitized, such as lipstick or lip balm, should not be shared. During an outbreak, frequent hand washing and sanitizing with 60% ethanol-based hand sanitizer will help reduce the spread of the virus to other parts of the body or to other people. Wash hands immediately after applying topical treatments to a cold sore. L-lysine and other supplements have not been shown to consistently reduce outbreaks.
To prevent future outbreaks:
You May Like: Why Do I Keep Getting Genital Herpes Outbreaks
How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Herpes Simplex
Some people feel distressed or embarrassed about their herpes simplex infection. Its important to understand that the herpes virus is common. For most people, herpes doesnt significantly interfere with daily life.
To cope with negative feelings, you may consider:
- Connecting with others through support groups or online forums.
- Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
- Speaking with a therapist.
How To Treat A Cold Sore
Chilly sores are small, blister-like, fluid-filled lesions that often seem across the border of the lips. In addition they could seem on different areas of your face, corresponding to your chin or nostril. Chilly sores are brought on by a virus known as herpes simplex . Theyre quite common and in addition very contagious.
Although theyre known as chilly sores, they dont have anything to do with having a chilly. You catch a chilly sore by coming into shut contact with somebody who has a chilly sore, corresponding to by kissing. Additionally, not everybody who comes into contact with the virus will get a chilly sore. For these individuals, the virus simply by no means turns into energetic. However the majority of people who find themselves uncovered to a chilly sore may have some type of response. It might be that they get one chilly sore and by no means have one other. Or they might have chilly sore outbreaks a number of instances a yr.
As a result of chilly sores are brought on by a virus, you can not remedy them. Fortunately, there are therapies and medicines that may assist handle outbreaks once you get them.
Donât Miss: How To Cope With Herpes
Don’t Miss: When Do Herpes Outbreaks Occur
Things To Know About Genital Herpes
- Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus that infects genital areas.
- Herpes simplex virus is the cause of genital herpes.
- Genital herpes causes lesions in the form of blisters or groups of small ulcers on and around the genitals in both men and women.
- There is no cure for genital herpes, but medications are available that can treat outbreaks, minimize the symptoms, and decrease recurrences.
- Genital herpes is highly contagious. Carriers can transmit the disease without having any symptoms of an active infection.
- Signs of genital herpes develop within 3-7 days after contact with an infected person.
- Most people with genital herpes have recurring outbreaks.
Prevention Of Genital Herpes
The best protection against STIs is to always use barrier protection such as condoms, female condoms and dams . Because herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact, condoms will reduce the risk of transmission, but it will not protect sexual partners completely as condoms do not cover the entire genitals.
Using lubricant with a condom during sex will also reduce the risk of trauma to the genital skin. This has been shown to reduce HSV transmission, especially in the first six months of a sexual relationship. Silicone-based lubricants are recommended.
Remember that herpes transmission can occur when symptoms are present , but may also occur even if there are no genital symptoms through asymptomatic viral shedding.
For people who have frequent episodes of genital herpes, antiviral medication, taken daily, helps to reduce transmission of herpes to a sexual partner.
You May Like: How To Treat Herpes In Men
What You Need To Know
- 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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Some people never develop symptoms. They dont know they have the herpes virus that causes genital herpes. They may unknowingly infect others. You can have the herpes virus for years and not have symptoms, so its hard to know when or from whom you got it.
When symptoms occur, theyre usually worse during the first outbreak or flare-up . Symptoms typically appear within two to 20 days after infection. Active symptoms may last up to four weeks.
You may experience:
Don’t Miss: Can Herpes Virus Cause Nerve Pain
How Herpes Is Treated
There is no cure for herpes.
- The health care provider may prescribe antiviral medicine to help speed up the healing process. It also shortens the time when the virus can spread from the herpes sores.
- Pain may be treated with medicine such as Tylenol or Motrin or by applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel to the affected area.
- If sores are in the mouth, avoid foods high in acid, like citrus fruits and juices.
- The infected area should be kept clean and dry.
- Wash hands often and avoid touching the sores to prevent spreading the virus.
- It is important to stay healthy by getting enough rest, having proper nutrition and exercise and managing stress well.
Types Of Antiviral Drugs
There are three oral antivirals recommended for the treatment of oral or genital herpes:
|Famvir, 250 mg||Twice daily|
Preventing genital herpes recurrence is important as it reduces the risk of HIV. According to the CDC, having an active genital herpes infection increases the risk of HIV by 200% to 300%.
Recommended Reading: Is Turmeric Good For Herpes