Sunday, July 14, 2024

What Can Trigger An Outbreak Of Herpes

What Typically Triggers Cold Sore Outbreaks

Why Herpes Flare Up

If you were diagnosed with the herpes simplex virus, especially type 1 , cold sore outbreaks may be common. While the virus may remain dormant during certain periods, when its triggered, you can expect to see cold sores.

While some people believe that food can trigger cold sore outbreaks, environmental factors are more likely to trigger an outbreak than anything else.

Exposure to hot sun, cold wind, a cold, or other illness is usually the cause of an unexpected cold sore outbreak. Fluctuating hormones might also be to blame.

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.

Genital Herpes Is Spread By Skin

The virus can be spread when someone with HSV has an episode or an outbreak characterised by having a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split . It can also be spread between episodes, when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present called asymptomatic viral shedding.

During viral shedding the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact, or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.

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How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed

Healthcare providers may diagnose herpes simplex based on how the sores look. Your provider may take a sample from the sore. Laboratory analysis of the sample can confirm or rule out the herpes virus.

If you dont have sores, your healthcare provider can use a blood test to check for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibody, a marker showing youve been exposed to the virus. The blood test doesnt show an active infection . But it informs your provider whether youve been exposed to the herpes virus in the past. If this is your first infection, you may not test positive for herpes if there hasnt been enough time for your body to develop antibodies. The HSV-1and HSV-2 antibody test may be repeated in eight to 12 weeks.

Herpes And Moldy Food

Herpes (Herpes Simplex)

Molds and other fungi produce substances called mycotoxins that can weaken the immune system and have other detrimental effects on human health.

Weakening of the immune system is a trigger for herpes outbreaks in people infected with the virus.

For this reason, one way to avoid the harmful effects of mycotoxins in nutrition is to avoid the ingestion of moldy food.

To avoid the ingestion of mycotoxins that could come from the consumption of meat and milk, more than 100 countries have joined the initiative to regulate the limits of mycotoxin content in animal feed.

The FDA has implemented several inspection programs for industries producing animal feed since 1985. Among the products that are subject to inspection are corn, tree nuts, cottonseed and peanuts.

Bread is very prone to mold if you place it in a plastic bag because this type of bag, besides preserving it, contributes to the growth of molds.

Remember that the diet for herpes sufferers has special requirements that, besides helping you avoid outbreaks, will help you to be healthy.

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The Science Behind Recurring Cold Sores

Cold sores can be a tricky condition to manage, since many people who are infected with the cold sore virus dont show symptoms. 1 Whats more, even if you dont have the classic oozing blisters and tingling, your infected body fluids can still spread cold sores to other people.2

Regardless of whether or not you show symptoms, catching the cold sore virus can become a long-term ordeal. Once youve been infected by the HSV-1 or HSV-2 virusthe herpes simplex virus that causes cold soresthe virus will lie dormant in your cells and can be triggered by a number of factors. 3 When the dormant virus is triggered, its common for cold sores to appear in the same place as previous cold sores, since the dormant virus lives in the skins nerve cells. This phenomenon is why recurring cold sores that appear in the same place are a common symptom for many people. 4

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Support And Advice For Genital Herpes

If you have just found out you have genital herpes, you may feel shocked and may have a lot of questions. It may help you to gather as much information as you can about herpes. This can help you to make fully informed decisions about your treatment, safe sex and preventing further recurrences. Talking to a counsellor about your concerns may also help.

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Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy

You may be offered antiviral treatment:

  • to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
  • from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
  • from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy

Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.

Risks Of Untreated Herpes

Dr. Max Gomez: Herpes Vaccine

Herpes is a virus that will remain in your body for the rest of your life once you are infected. You won’t always have symptoms of your infection, but not knowing or acknowledging that you carry the virus can put you and others at risk.

You can transmit the herpes virus to others even when you don’t have symptoms, so it’s important to find out why you have symptoms like blisters and changes in discharge. Knowing your diagnosis can help you take steps to prevent transmission.

An untreated flare-up of herpes can be painful and uncomfortable, and could also lead to more serious complications such as:

  • More frequent and severe outbreaks
  • Lesions in other areas
  • Increased risk of HIV

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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex

Preventing HSV-1

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.

Preventing HSV-2

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.

Why Do Genital Herpes Outbreaks Occur

Everyone reacts differently to infection with HSV-2 , the most common virus that causes genital herpes. Many people develop no symptoms at all.

Some men and women develop mild symptoms that go unnoticed for the most part. Others develop extremely painful outbreaks with numerous herpetic sores. There are some known triggers for genital herpes symptoms:

  • Friction during sexual intercourse irritates the skin and exacerbates symptoms. Using water-based lubricants can help reduce skin irritation.
  • Although it is known that sunlight and the common cold trigger oral herpes outbreaks, there is no evidence that they trigger outbreaks of genital herpes.
  • Hormonal changes in women during the menstrual cycle can trigger an outbreak of genital herpes.
  • People with weak immune systems and are more likely to suffer frequent herpes outbreaks.
  • Herpes outbreaks are more common following illness, trauma, or surgery.

Remember, not everyone has the same triggers.

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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.

How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby

Herpes Pictures and Cold Sores Pictures

Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11

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What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic

The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:

  • ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
  • use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing

The test cannot:

  • be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
  • tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from

Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you’re infected with the herpes virus.

Who Might Get Herpes Simplex

People of any age can contract herpes simplex. You are more likely to get the virus if you:

  • Were assigned female at birth.
  • Have had multiple sex partners.
  • Started having sex at a young age.
  • Have a history of any sexually transmitted infection .
  • Have a weakened immune system.
  • Dont use condoms for intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.

Who gets HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes?

Anyone can get HSV-1. Most people contract HSV-1 during childhood. It spreads when an adult who has the virus has close contact with a child, such as when a family member kisses a child.

Who gets HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes?

Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms or dental dams.

People assigned female at birth are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black people who were AFAB are especially vulnerable, with an estimated 1 in 2 people AFAB between the ages of 14 and 49 infected with HSV-2.

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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.

Genital Herpes: The Painful Facts About A Tricky Virus

Protecting Against Herpes

There are two main types of herpes simplex virus infections, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Generally speaking, HSV-1 is responsible for those annoying cold sores that can pop up during times of stress or lack of sleep. Genital sores are usually caused by HSV-2. Many people dont realize that HSV-1 can cause genital ulcers as well, though these tend to be less severe and less likely to recur.

It can take as little as a few days and up to a week after a person has been exposed before any herpes symptoms appear. First, there will be redness and tingling, followed by small painful bumps that progress to fluid-filled “blisters.” Eventually, these burst to form shallow skin ulcers which then crust over, with gradual healing over a couple weeks. An initial genital herpes infection can be very painful, also cause fever, body aches and fatigue. Recurrent outbreaks tend to cause less severe symptoms. Rarely a genital herpes infection can cause inflammation of the membrane that covers the brain .

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Are Cold Sores Contagious

Oral herpes is contagious to others who do not have it.

The virus is spread from person to person by kissing, by close contact with herpes lesions, or from saliva even when sores are not present. Infected saliva is a common means of virus transmission. The contagious period is highest when people have active blisters or moist sores. Once the blisters have dried and crusted over , the risk of contagion is significantly lessened. HSV can also be spread through personal items that are contaminated with the virus, such as lipstick, utensils, and razors. Despite popular myth, catching herpes from surfaces, towels, or washcloths is a very low risk, since the virus does not usually survive long on dry surfaces.

Why Genital Herpes Comes Back

Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body.

It will not spread in your body to cause blisters elsewhere. It stays in a nearby nerve and causes blisters in the same area.

If you can, avoid things that trigger your symptoms.

Triggers can include:

  • surgery on your genital area
  • a weakened immune system for example, from having chemotherapy for cancer

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Symptoms Of Herpes Discharge

The primary symptoms of HSV-1 infection are burning and stinging of the cold sores caused by the virus. In HSV-2, many symptoms can appear with a flare-up, like:

A herpes infection in active stages can cause several symptoms, and the first infection is usually the most severe. A few symptoms can cause noticeable discharge.

What Happens If Herpes Goes Untreated

Is this herpes? First ever outbreak

The first outbreak of genital herpes can be the most severe and can cause complications such as vaginal yeast infections, urinating problems, and meningitis.

Treatment may not be necessary for subsequent outbreaks, but anyone experiencing very regular or severe outbreaks should speak with a doctor about preventive treatment.

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Transmission Of Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease spread by skin-to-skin contact. The risk of infection is highest during outbreak periods when there are visible sores and lesions. However, genital herpes can also be transmitted when there are no visible symptoms. Most new cases of genital herpes infection do not cause symptoms, and many people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes.

To help prevent genital herpes transmission:

  • Use a condom for sexual intercourse.
  • Use a dental dam for oral sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners.
  • Be aware that nonoxynol-9, the chemical spermicide used in gel and foam contraceptive products and some lubricated condoms, does not protect against STDs.

What Is The Difference Between Genital Herpes And Genital Warts

Both genital herpes and genital warts are STIs, are spread through skin-to-skin contact, and are caused by a virus. But the viruses that cause genital herpes and genital warts are different:

  • Herpes simplex virus is the virus that causes genital herpes.
  • Human papillomavirus is the virus that causes genital warts.

There is no cure for either genital herpes or genital warts. But, different medicines can help manage the symptoms of herpes and treat the complications of HPV infections that can cause genital warts.

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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 .

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