A viral disease, Herpes is caused by the virus called Herpes simplex. Alternatively known as HSV, Herpes Simplex Virus is of two types – HSV-1 and HSV-2. While HSV-1 is responsible for causing cold sore, fever blisters, and mouth ulcers, HSV-2 is responsible for genital herpes outbreaks. These ulcers and blisters get healed over a short period of time approximately two to four weeks.
Herpes Simplex Causes
A contagious virus, Herpes simplex virus generally passes from one person to the other upon direct contact. Children often carry the HSV-1 virus for the rest of their life upon coming in contact with an infected adult. The infection can happen between people upon kissing, sharing same utensils or sharing lip balm. Moreover, if a patient is experiencing an outbreak and indulges in sexual activities, it is possible he may infect the other person by genital herpes.
HSV-2 spreads through various form of sexual contact. If a person suffering from HSV-2 virus and is sexually active, there are high chances that the other person can get infected. While HSV-2 infections are spread through herpes sore, this is not the case with HSV-1.
Herpes Simplex Risk Factor
Regardless of age, a person can get infected with herpes virus. A person’s probability of acquiring this disease depends on his exposure to the infection. People who participate in risky sexual behavior are at a greater risk of acquiring this disease. Risk factors of HSV-2 include:
- Being a female
- Having weak immune system
- Multiple sex partners
- Having another sexually transmitted infection
A child is exposed to the risk of acquiring this disease if his mother has an outbreak of genital herpes at the time of birth.
Herpes Simplex Diagnosis
The doctor can help you diagnose this virus with a physical exam. The physician will check the patient for sores and ask details about the symptoms that a person may be experiencing. The patient should also undergo an HSV testing to confirm the diagnosis. Swab sample of fluid is used for the testing job.
Herpes Simplex Treatment
No permanent cure is available with the medical science of this virus and the treatment offered by the doctor aims at getting rid of the outbreaks and sores. The doctor may prescribe you one of the following medications, which can be taken orally, applied topically or administered by injection:
In certain conditions, it is also possible that the sores may get treated themselves without any need for treatment; however, if no improvement is seen in the patient it is advised to consult a doctor.
How to Prevent Herpes Simplex
People can take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected. If you are experiencing an outbreak, avoid physical contact with a healthy person. Do not share your things, clothing, accessory, makeup and lip balms. Wash your hands thoroughly if they come in contact with the sores. Pregnant women should take medicines to avoid infecting their baby.
Cold sores or fever blisters caused by herpes virus are harmless. While there is no effective treatment for treating the rashes, they heal themselves up without leaving any mark. If a trigger factor is found, it is possible to prevent repeated attacks.