Herpes Might Not Have Any Symptoms
You or your partner may not have any herpes symptoms that you can see or feel, or the signs of herpes may be so mild you dont even notice them. Sometimes people confuse herpes symptoms with other things, like pimples, ingrown hairs, and the flu.
Herpes symptoms come and go, but that doesnt mean the infection goes away or that you cant spread it to other people. Once you have herpes, it stays in your body for life.
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 That Spot A Pimple Or A Cold Sore
Acne is the most common skin condition in teens and young adults in the United States, and its increasingly common among women in their thirties, forties, and fifties. It can cause a range of blemishes variously known as blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules , cysts, and nodules, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Acne is sometimes confused with oral herpes because of the way a breakout looks. Although oral herpes sores usually appear as small, clear blisters filled with fluid, in some instances they can look more like the reddened skin and pimples associated with acne. However, herpes is typically associated with more itchiness and pain than acne.
And whereas oral herpes sores are usually found on the mouth, lips, chin, cheeks, or nose, acne can break out on any area of the face as well as on the neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
Acne is caused by excess skin oil, clogged pores, and bacteria not the herpes virus. Hormones, stress, certain medicines, and sometimes diet can trigger or worsen acne outbreaks. While a single pimple may clear up in a few days, a larger acne outbreak may last for weeks to months.
Acne is not contagious, and topical and oral medication can help heal pimples, stop new pimples from forming, and prevent scars. To avoid scarring, don’t squeeze or pop pimples.
Also Check: What Medication Is Used For Genital Herpes
Choose The Right Moment To Chat
One of the hardest aspects of telling someone you have genital herpes is choosing the right moment. Perfect, distraction-free one-on-one conversations rarely play out like they do in the movies, meaning you might need to improvise a little in this category.
If you need to tell a romantic and potential sexual partner that you have herpes, its essential that you do this before you have any sexual contact. Herpes can spread easily, and theres a real risk of transmission even if you arent experiencing an outbreak.
Generally, the best time to explain to your partner that you have herpes is when you start to think that sexual contact is on the horizon. After a date, your partner might invite you to their home, sending an obvious signal that theyre open to the idea of escalating the relationship.
Once youre alone and comfortable, its generally the best time to get the herpes conversation out of the way. In the next sections, weve provided some techniques that you can use to help make the conversation a little more manageable.
You May Like: What Medication Is Used To Treat Herpes
How To Know If You Have Herpes
This article was medically reviewed by Lacy Windham, MD. Dr. Windham is a board certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist in Tennessee. She attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and completed her residency at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2010, where she was awarded the Most Outstanding Resident in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Most Outstanding Resident in Oncology, and Most Outstanding Resident Overall.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 834,911 times.
Research shows that around 1 out of every 6 people has some form of herpes.XTrustworthy SourceCenters for Disease Control and PreventionMain public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human ServicesGo to source The herpes simplex viruses are the viruses responsible for oral and genital herpes infections, and they can cause sores, itching, painful urination, and vaginal discharge. Although doctors can treat symptoms, ease pain, and reduce the possibility of spreading the virus, herpes cannot be cured. Studies show that you can find out if you have herpes by examining high risk behaviors, recognizing the symptoms, and getting tested by a medical professional.XTrustworthy SourceFamilyDoctor.orgFamily-focused medical advice site run by the American Academy of Family DoctorsGo to source
You May Like: Is Genital Herpes An Autoimmune Disease
Herpes Is More Dangerous Than You Think
The fall in immunity in autumn is conducive to developing herpes. Most of us consider it a trivial ailment, more of a cosmetic problem than a medical problem. And yet it is not so, because the infection can spread from the mouth to the intimate organs. It is dangerous not only for pregnant women. Here is a list of herpes related questions that we should know the answers to.
Shutterstock See the gallery 7
- The female reproductive age has increased by two years. This could have health implications
American scientists analyzed data on the age at which women became pregnant over the past decades. It turned out that the date
- The last days before childbirth symptoms, well-being, ailments
The last days before birth can be difficult for a pregnant woman. Waiting for the birth of a child is accompanied by many emotions, both positive and
- Hormonal contraception and its effectiveness
The effectiveness of hormonal contraception is estimated at over 99%. Sometimes, however, a woman becomes pregnant despite taking the pills. It is not enough
Herpes Disclosure Is Necessary
Although it can seem overwhelming to do, telling partners about a genital herpes diagnosis is necessary. Although the risk can be managed, the fact remains that there is always a risk of giving it to your partner. Although herpes seems blown out of proportion in the public eye compared to what it really is, partners should still be informed.
Herpesyl is a 100% natural blend that targets and eliminates herpes virus in the body.
Positive Singles is a safe, supportive community to meet others with HSV! Dating profiles, blogs, support groups, and active discussion. Avoid the awkward herpes talk.
Fortunately, things like antiviral medication and condom use can mitigate that risk. Antivirals and condom use can bring the rate of transmission rates by 75%, according to studies done by Valtrex . And according to the CDC, 1 in every 6 Americans between 14 and 49 has genital herpes .
Those are just two research-backed talking points you can use in your discussion about a herpes diagnosis. Combine factual information like this with a calm mindset to make your talk go well, using the pointers below.
You May Like: Can I Donate Blood If I Have Herpes
What Causes Or Triggers A Recurrence
You may not always be able to tell when youre having a herpes outbreak. However, some common early warning signs that signal an impending attack, can include tingling, itching, and pain. This can happen 1 or 2 days before blisters start to show.
If you have HSV-2, you might have four or five outbreaks a year. How often outbreaks occur varies a lot from person to person. Outbreaks may also decrease over time.
People with HSV-1 tend to have fewer outbreaks.
In time, some people can pinpoint things that trigger an outbreak, such as:
/ 7 Can Herpes Be Treated
If the woman is not pregnant, she can afford to wait out herpes. When she is expecting a baby, she should seek the advice of a gynecologist. Perhaps he or she will decide to undergo pharmacological treatment, especially if it is already in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This will reduce the risk of your baby becoming infected. Herpes in the intimate areas can also be an indication to abandon natural childbirth in favor of caesarean section. If a pregnant womans partner has herpes, he should wash his hands after touching his face and cover the cold sores with a plaster to reduce the risk of passing the infection to the mother-to-be.
Also Check: What To Take For Herpes Outbreak
How Is Genital Herpes Treated
Herpes has no cure. But antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks during the time you take the medicine. Also, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can lower your chance of spreading the infection to your partner.
Your doctor will either give you antiviral medicine to take right after getting outbreak symptoms or to take regularly to try to stop outbreaks from happening. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
During outbreaks, you can take the following steps to speed healing and prevent spreading herpes to other parts of your body or to other people:
- Keep sores clean and dry.
- Try not to touch the sores.
- Wash your hands after any contact with the sores.
- Avoid all sexual contact from the time you first notice symptoms until the sores have healed.
/ 7 What Is Herpes In Pregnancy
When a pregnant woman gets cold sores in the first trimester of pregnancy, there is a risk of miscarriage. It affects almost every tenth patient says Dr. Ewa Kurowska, obstetrician gynecologist. During the second trimester, neurological complications such as hydrocephalus and encephalitis may develop. In the third trimester, the expectant mother must take into account the risk of premature birth. The risk is even four times higher than in the case of healthy patients adds Dr. Kurowska. It is worth remembering that the risk of infecting a child is greater in the case of primary herpes. When a woman was ill before, her body developed antibodies that partially protect her and the baby.
Also Check: Home Remedies For Herpes Simplex 2
How Are Oral Herpes Simplex Virus Infections Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will examine you and carefully look at your blisters. He may ask if you have other medical conditions. He will also need to know when the sores started, along with your other symptoms. You may also need any of the following:
- Fluid sample: A sample is taken from the affected area and checked under the microscope or sent for other testing.
- Blood tests: Your blood is tested for antibodies and to see if you have been exposed to HSV. The tests may also show if you have developed antibodies from exposure to HSV.
- Biopsy: This is a procedure used to remove a small piece of tissue from the ulcer. This sample is then sent to the lab for tests.
You May Like: Does This Look Like Herpes
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.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Date If You Have Herpes
/ 7 Can The Disease Be Asymptomatic
It must be remembered that the infection may be asymptomatic initially. You may not be aware of it, but herpes, even invisible to the eye, is a threat to the young mother. Or rather, for a child who can infect. Both forms of herpes are dangerous labial in case of contact with a newborn, and intimate areas during pregnancy.
How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes
Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.
Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and other STDs.
Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or when you got the infection.
Don’t Miss: How To Heal Herpes Outbreak
Recognizing The Signs: The Prodrome
Early in the phase of reactivation , many people experience an itching, tingling, or painful feeling in the area where their recurrent lesions will develop. This sort of warning symptomcalled a prodromeoften comes a day or two before lesions appear. To be on the safe side, its best to assume virus is active during these times.
What Are Some Signs That I Might Have Genital Herpes
Often, its hard to tell by looking. The textbook symptom of genital herpes is a cluster of small fluid-filled blisters that break, forming painful sores that crust and heal during several days. Affected areas include the , scrotum, , vulva, urethra, , thighs, and buttocks.
But many people dont get these sores. Some people have no symptoms at all, while others get symptoms that can be easily mistaken for razor burn, pimples, bug bites, jock itch, hemorrhoids, an ingrown hair, or a vaginal yeast infection.
After youre infected, the symptoms go away, but can flare up from time to time. Luckily, the first outbreak usually is the worst. And some people may have just one or two outbreaks in their lifetime.
Recommended Reading: What To Know About Herpes
What About Pregnancy
A pregnant woman who has genital herpes can passthe virus to her baby. A baby born with herpes might:
- Have brain, skin, or eye problems
If you are pregnant, you should tell your health careprovider if you have herpes. If you show any signs ofherpes during pregnancy, tell your provider. Pregnancycan be managed safely if your health care providerknows about your herpes. Medicines can help babiesborn with herpes if they are treated right away.
When To See A Doctor
Because a person might not have symptoms even if they have herpes, it can be difficult to know when to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Planned Parenthood recommends that a person see a healthcare professional as soon as they notice sores on or around their genitals. Other STIs, such as syphilis, can have similar symptoms but require different treatment. The American Sexual Health Association also recommends seeing a doctor to get a culture of any lesion or cold sore a person notices.
People may wish to take an at-home STI test before seeing a doctor. However, at-home tests should not replace professional diagnosis and treatment.
- applying aloe vera gel to sores
- applying petroleum jelly to the affected areas
- wearing loose clothing to avoid irritation
- refraining from sexual activity, even with protection, until symptoms have gone
- applying a cream or lotion to the urethra before urinating, such as one that contains lidocaine
Some people find that using ice packs help. However, never apply ice directly to the skin wrap it in a cloth first.
Also Check: How To Treat Herpes 2
How Is It Spread
The herpes virus is spread by skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the herpes virus:
- Most often, from herpes sores or blisters
- Less often, from normal looking skin where the virusfirst entered the body
- The herpes virus enters the body through the:
- Lining of the mouth
- Regular skin that has small cracks or cuts
People with a weak immune system can get a herpesinfection more easily. A weak immune system is causedby some diseases and by somemedicines used to treat serious diseases.
People who don’t know they have herpes can still spread the virus to others.
What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:
- Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
- Talk about your illness with your doctor.
If you have herpes, you can still:
- Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
Don’t Miss: Why Herpes Virus Cannot Be Cured
Does A Cold Sore On My Mouth Mean I Have Genital Herpes
No, a cold sore on your mouth usually means you have herpes simplex virus type 1 . You can get HSV-1 by kissing someone or sharing utensils, towels, razors, or lipstick with someone who has HSV-1.
HSV-1 cannot turn into HSV-2 , but you can get a cold sore on your mouth from HSV-2 if you give oral sex to someone with HSV-2. Cold sores caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2 are contagious. You can spread it to other people or other parts of your body if you touch an open sore and then touch another part of your body. That means if you have a cold sore and give oral sex to someone, that person will get the herpes virus on his or her genitals.
Avoid touching your cold sore as much as possible. If you touch your cold sore, wash your hands right away to avoid spreading the infection to other parts of your body or other people.