Primary Genital Herpes Infection
Primary or first genital HSV infections may be mild and unnoticed, but should lesions develop, the severity is generally greater than in recurrences.
Some people also have flu-like symptoms with fever, headache and muscular aches and pains. Symptoms tend to be more severe in women than in men.
Following the initial infection, immunity develops but does not fully protect against further episodes . Where immunity is deficient, for example, in those living with HIV/AIDS, both initial and recurrent infections tend to occur more frequently and to be more pronounced.
What Treatments Are Available For Genital Herpes
The treatment for genital herpes varies between an initial outbreak and a recurrent attack. If you are suffering from a primary infection of genital herpes then it is likely you will be prescribed an antiviral medication, for example, Aciclovir 400mg tablets.
Aciclovir works by preventing the herpes simplex virus from multiplying. Aciclovir, and other antivirals, are unable to completely eradicate the infection from the body. The dose of Aciclovir when treating genital herpes is typically one 400mg tablet, five times a day after your inital outbreak. You will need to take Aciclovir for at least five days or longer depending on whether new blisters are still forming when you start treatment. For subsequent outbreaks of genital herpes, you only need to take one Aciclovir 400mg tablet, three times a day for five days. Other antiviral medications used to treat genital herpes include Valaciclovir, which works in a similar way to Aciclovir.
Lidocaine 5% ointment is an anaesthetic ointment used to know the area of genital herpes to relieve the pain and irritation of blistering during the outbreak. It does not treat the infection itself, however, it helps to relieve the symptoms whilst the outbreak clears on its own.
Recurrent outbreaks may require a course of Aciclovir however, if your symptoms are mild, you may wish to use some self-help techniques to ease the symptoms. These can include:
Transmission Of Genital Herpes
Direct skin-to-skin contact spreads HSV infection most easily. Thus, sexual contact, including oro-genital contact, is the most common way to transmit genital HSV infection. The virus can be shed in saliva and genital secretions from individuals, even if they have no symptoms, especially in the days and weeks following a clinical episode. The amount shed during active lesions is 100 to 1000 times greater. Minor injury helps spread the virus, especially into the skin. Vertical transmission or auto inoculation may also occur. Because HSV dies quickly with drying at room temperature, spread from objects like bath towels is unusual.
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Antiviral Medicine Can Be Taken Daily
For some people, taking an antiviral medicine every day works best because they have:
A partner who doesnt have the virus
Even if you treat an outbreak, you can have new outbreaks. Some people have several outbreaks a year. If you have six or more outbreaks a year, your dermatologist may recommend taking an antiviral medicine every day.
Taken daily, this medicine can reduce how often you have an outbreak. Studies show its safe to take daily and can reduce outbreaks by 70% to 80%.
A partner who doesnt have the virus
If your partner doesnt have the virus that causes genital herpes, taking an antiviral medicine every day can decrease the risk of passing the virus to your sexual partner.
Even when taking medicine, you can still give your partner the virus. You can reduce this risk by skipping sex when you have sores and wearing a condom when you dont.
If you decide to take medicine daily, youll likely take it every day for at least one year. At the end of one year, your dermatologist should re-evaluate you to see if you still need to take an antiviral every day.
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A Word About The Shingles Vaccine
If you are age 60 or over and have not had shingles, talk to your doctor about getting the shingles vaccine. Not only will it reduce your risk of developing shingles, but if you do develop shingles, youll be more likely to have a mild case. And, just as important, youll be much less likely to develop PHN if youve had the vaccine.
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Herpes And Chest Pain: Some Important Information
So, does herpes cause chest pain? The herpes simplex virus or HSV can open the door for many other medical conditions. It is very important that if you have been diagnosed, you are in regular contact with a medical professional with regards to your condition and any changes. If you suspect that you could possibly have contracted or been exposed to the herpes virus, you should get tested immediately.
The short answer to the question of herpes causing chest pain is that yes, it is possible. If you contract herpes and you have an immune disease, there is the possibility that the virus can spread to other organs and parts of your body. In general, people with immune disorders experience the herpes simplex virus more severely than others, with more obvious and persistent symptoms as well as potential complications with internal organs.
According to PDRHealth, HSV can also spread and affect multiple organs in people with immune disorders. The esophagus, lung, or liver are frequent sites of involvement. Sores in the esophagus can lead to weight loss, difficult or painful swallowing, or chest pain. Fever and yellowing of the eyes may occur if the liver is affected, and symptoms of pneumonia may be present with lung involvement. Women who acquire a primary herpes infection during late pregnancy can also develop more severe symptoms and complications.
Facts And Statistics About Herpes
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimated two-thirds of the global population under 50 years old are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 .
- Estimates for HSV-1 prevalence in the U.S. among people aged 049 years are 178 million women and 142 million men .
- In total, about 75 percent or more of the American adult population has the HSV-1 virus that usually causes oral herpes , and about 20 percent to 30 percent have HSV-2 that usually causes genital herpes.
- Men and women are affected by HSV-1 about equally. Roughly 6 million women in the U.S. become infected with HSV-1 each year, along with 5 million men.
- Slightly more women than men are affected by genital herpes, whether from HSV-1 or HSV-2. Middle-aged women are most likely to acquire genital herpes.
- Transmission of HSV most often occurs without symptoms, so its estimated that 85 percent of people with genital herpes dont know it. Many dont have any symptoms at all after the initial infection, and only about 15 percent ever receive a HSV-2 infection diagnosis in their lifetimes.
- Most primary oral/facial HSV infections are caused by HSV-1 however, facial infection by HSV-2 is increasingly becoming common.
- Less children are becoming infected with HSV-1 than in the past in high-income countries, mostly due to better hygiene and living conditions.
- After someone comes into contact with an active herpes outbreak on another person, the incubation period takes about one week.
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Recurrent Episodes Of Genital Herpes
Recurrences are usually less painful and shorter in duration than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, episodes usually become less frequent and may eventually stop altogether. Infections caused by HSV1 are less likely to recur in the genital area than infections caused by HSV2.
Recurrences may be triggered by:
- no apparent reason noted.
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
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Home Care Measures For Genital Herpes
First, simple self-care may be enough to relieve most discomfort caused by genital herpes. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, can help ease the pain of herpes symptoms. Doctors sometimes recommend soaking the affected area in warm water. But the area should be kept dry most of the time. If toweling off after bathing is uncomfortable, try using a hair dryer. Then put on cotton underwear. Cotton absorbs moisture better than synthetic fabric does.
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How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Herpes Simplex
During an outbreak, a dermatologist often can diagnose herpes simplex by looking at the sores. To confirm that a patient has herpes simplex, a dermatologist may take a swab from a sore and send this swab to a laboratory.
When sores are not present, other medical tests, such as blood tests, can find the herpes simplex virus.
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What Can I Do For The Pain
To help with the pain of shingles, your doctor might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine. This could include acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also help.
If shingles causes severe pain, your doctor might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.
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How To Alleviate Lower Back Pain
- Since lower back pain is associated with swelling, applying a cold compress on your back will help in mitigating the soreness youre experiencing. Aside from easing the pain, it relaxes the muscles by loosening the skin tissues.
- Just because you are having lower back pain doesnt mean that you have to sit or lay all day and do nothing. Keeping yourself moving by doing your regular daily activities will help in mitigating backaches.
- Do some stretching. Regular exercise can help in extending your legs, which also promotes movement and mitigates back pain.
When you are diagnosed with herpes, ensure that you are doing your best to remain healthy. That way, you can prevent episodes of outbreaks. Preventing outbreaks also prevents you from having to experience the symptoms associated with the infection, which also includes lower back pain.
Only eat nutritious foods and strengthen your immune system by exercising regularly and taking care of your body. These methods do not only bolster your health but also reduces your risk of acquiring other infections or illnesses.
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What Happens During An Outbreak
Genital herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. You catch it by having intimate contact with someone who has the virus.
In between episodes, most people donât know they have been infected by it. The virus remains in your nervous system and can be reactivated from time to time to give you symptoms. Outbreaks can occur in the genital area if the first infection was in the genitals. They cause crops of small painful blisters in the genital area and back passage . Herpes can also cause recurrent cold sores if the primary infection was around the mouth.
No one knows why outbreaks occur, although sunlight, physical illness, excess alcohol, and stress are all thought to be trigger factors. They often do become less frequent over time.
Recurrent episodes of genital herpes generally donât last as long as the first outbreak. They are sometimes preceded by itching or tingling in the genital area. Recurrent outbreaks usually last about 7-10 days, shorter than the primary infection which can last up to two weeks. They are also often milder than a primary infection but as R35506 found, the shallow ulcers left when the blisters break can still be quite painful.
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Asymptomatic Shedding Of Herpes Virus
Intermittent shedding of HSV from genital skin may occur without symptoms or with unrecognised minor symptoms. The frequency of asymptomatic shedding is more common in those with type 2 genital herpes and in those who have been infected recently. Shedding is most likely to occur in the week before or after a recurrence.
The amount shed from active lesions is much greater than between episodes. This is when the infection is most likely to be passed on, and sexual contact should, therefore, be avoided. One study of couples who avoided sexual contact during recurrences found that, over 12 months, only 1 out of 10 passed the virus on to their partner. In that study, condoms were not used. Using condoms may reduce the risk of infection even further.
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Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
Herpes simplex virus type 2 spreads through sexual contact and is a type of sexually transmitted infection .
Both types of HSV develop as a result of direct contact with the virus.
HSV-1 most commonly spreads through oral-to-oral contact, which can be with sores, saliva, or the area around the mouth. Transmission may also occur due to sharing lip balm, a toothbrush, or any other product that has come into contact with HSV.
People have a much higher risk of contracting HSV-1 if they come into contact with someone who has an active outbreak of symptoms. In some cases, it is also possible for people to transmit HSV-1 during sexual activity.
Transmission of HSV-2
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Lifestyle And Nutritional Support For Phn
Some people have found that eliminating coffee and other acidic and neuro-stimulant foods, beverages, and medications has helped in both decreasing PHN and outbreaks. Other lifestyle modifications, including meditation, guided imagery, yoga, breathing exercises, and moderate aerobic exercise can help. Better nutrition can also help people manage their overall health, deal with infection and other physical stresses, and just feel better. Proper and sufficient hydration, increased intake of essential fatty acids and good oils, and consuming fruits and vegetables with anti-oxidant properties can lead to a stronger immune system and better overall health.
The healthier a persons mind and body, the better they are able to cope with infections, and other physical issues. This seems obvious, but its one of those things that we sometimes need to remind ourselves. There are also some experts who say that the neuralgia, like many other aspects of herpesvirus infections, gets better by itself with time.
The good news is that with time and taking good care of yourself, most people find that neuralgia, like other aspects of Herpes infections, gets better, with fewer and milder occurrences. So thats something to look forward to! More tips on how to improve your physical and emotional well-being to support a healthy and strong immune system can be found on the Living With Herpes and Health & Wellness pages of HerpeSite.
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How Long Does Nerve Pain Last After Shingles
Only approximately 9-15% of patients who get shingles develop Postherpetic Neuralgia. For those few patients who develop PHN, the length of time that it lasts usually varies. The majority of PHN patients have discomfort that lasts one to two months. About one-third of Postherpetic Neuralgia patients have symptoms that last around three months, and about one-fifth have symptoms that last a year or longer. Researchers are unsure what triggers the herpes zoster virus to re-emerge even after years of lying dormant. The virus may be obtained during youth, but it does not flare into shingles until years down the line. When the pain of shingles lingers long after the rash heals, it is considered Postherpetic Neuralgia. The bout of shingles damages the nerves. This means that the nerve damage caused by shingles affects a fully functioning nervous system. The damaged nerve will send random pain signals to the brain, which thereby causes a burning, throbbing sensation. Over time, the nerves of the skin calm, but due to the existing nerve damage, the pain can persist for years, even for the rest of the persons lifetime.
You Can Only Get Genital Herpes If Your Partner Has An Active Infection With Sores Right Wrong
A person can be exposed to the virus and pass it to someone else without ever having symptoms. It happens more often than youd think. Thats because the virus can exist in genital fluids even without any ulcers. This is called âasymptomatic shedding of virus.â Although there is a lot more active virus when there are sores, asymptomatic shedding is probably how most people get herpes. Whats more, only one out of four people who tests positive for genital herpes actually knows that they have the virus. Thats a lot of people. Combine the two and you have many people unknowingly infecting others.
As with the couple above, many people who learn they have genital herpes are shocked. They tell me that they didnt see any sores on their partner or that their partner had never ever had any ulcers, ever . This is common and true, because people can have genital herpes and not know it.
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