What's in this article?
What Is Herpes Simplex?
The herpes simplex virus, also known as HSV, is an infection that causes herpes. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals or mouth. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1, also known as oral herpes, can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face. HSV-2 is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks.
What Causes Herpes Simplex?
The herpes simplex virus is a contagious virus that can be passed from person to person through direct contact. Children will often contract HSV-1 from early contact with an infected adult. They then carry the virus with them for the rest of their life.
Infection with HSV-1 can happen from general interactions such as eating from the same utensils, sharing lip balm, or kissing. The virus spreads more quickly when an infected person is experiencing an outbreak. Additionally, it is possible to get genital herpes from HSV-1 if the individual has had cold sores and performed sexual activities during that time.
HSV-2 is contracted through forms of sexual contact with a person who has HSV-2. It is estimated that around 20 percent of sexually active adults within the United States have been infected with HSV-2, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). (AAD) While HSV-2 infections are spread by coming into contact with a herpes sore, the AAD reports that most people get HSV-1 from an infected person who is asymptomatic, or does not have sores.
What Are the Symptoms of Herpes Simplex?
Symptoms of herpes simplex virus typically appear as a blister or as multiple blisters on or around affected areas usually the mouth, genitals, or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender sores.
How to treat Herpes Simplex?
Although there is no cure for herpes, treatments can relieve the symptoms. Medication can decrease the pain related to an outbreak and can shorten healing time. They can also decrease the total number of outbreaks. Drugs including Famvir, Zovirax, and Valtrex are among the drugs used to treat the symptoms of herpes. Warm baths may relieve the pain associated with genital sores.