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.
Herpes Simplex Vs Chickenpox
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
Getty Images / AlesVeluscek
With the chickenpox, note that each blister in this photo has its own red base and is not clustered in a group like HSV.
And, unlike HSV, a chickenpox rash can leave behind scars after it heals.
Atypical Healing Of Genital Herpes Sores
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
This picture shows herpes lesions after some of the blisters have broken open. Typically, you will see a whitish or yellowish crust forming on the ulcers.
With that said, crusting may not be all that apparent. Because the skin of the and is moist, there may be minimal crusting. Instead, there may be a whitish film covering or surrounding the open sores.
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How To Treat And Prevent Herpes
Once you have herpes, youll always have it. Theres no cure for herpes. But there are medicines that can prevent or shorten the outbreaks, as well as make it less likely that you will pass it on to intimate partners, notes the CDC. Still, if you have herpes, whether you take medication or not, you should tell anyone you have sex with, so that they know the risk.
Using latex condoms correctly every time you have sex can reduce your risk of transmitting or becoming infected with genital herpes, but condoms do not offer 100 percent protection.
If you have herpes, you should avoid having sex while you have lesions or other symptoms of the virus .
Symptoms of genital herpes can be mild or severe. Your doctor or healthcare provider may diagnose herpes just by looking at any sores that you have, or by taking a sample from a sore and testing it, per the CDC.
If you are pregnant, you can pass on herpes to your fetus during pregnancy, or to your infant during childbirth or just afterward. Herpes in newborns is a serious, sometimes fatal condition, according to the CDC. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, its important to tell your doctor if you have a history of genital herpes.
Recent Research On Genital Herpes Treatment And Prevention
Everyone states the primary preventive measure against genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases is abstinence or at the very minimum the course of following safe sex practices.
One recent Canadian study tested polyurethane condoms that were coated with silver nanoparaticles and found positive results. The presence of the silver on the condoms inhibited HSV 1 and 2 and some other bacterial and fungal infections. The silver coating bonded with the polyurethane and was not washed away with water. This was reported in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.
Acknowledging that HSV-2 as an indicator of immune system deficiency suggests a connection with HIV . French researchers in Banqui, Africa tested the possibility that medication to treat genital herpes, among infected women, but possibly with no visible symptoms could be a step towards preventing HIV infections.
Recognizing that strains of HSV-2 are developing resistance to antiviral medications, other sources are being investigated to find alternative substances which can effectively treat HSV-2. A Korean study reported examining a range of marine plants and animals, such as algae, mollusks, sponges, echinoderms, etc., as possible sources for these chemicals.
You can easily see that genital herpes is a global concern. Seeking to prevent and treat it effectively has been a priority for several decades. Determining which approach to a preventive vaccine is an ongoing process in many countries.
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When To See A Doctor
People should see their doctor if they think they might have herpes, or if they have any symptoms of herpes. Getting tested for herpes is also important to rule out other sexually transmitted infections.
People can visit their doctor or a sexual health clinic for a test. If people have any sores or blisters present, a healthcare provider will use a swab to take a sample from the sores. The sample will indicate whether or not the sores are due to a herpes infection.
Some people may be concerned that they have the herpes virus but no symptoms. In such cases, a doctor might be able to order a blood test to check for the virus in a persons blood. However, the
What Is Neonatal Herpes
Neonatal herpes can be a very serious infection. Babies generally contract the virus from their birthing parent during childbirth even if the parent doesnt have active lesions. They may also get HSV-1 if an adult with an active cold sore kisses them. Breastfeeding babies can also get HSV-1 from the breast if there are lesions present. But babies cant get herpes from breast milk, so its safe to pump and feed.
Herpes simplex can be more dangerous for young babies because they dont have a fully developed immune system. But most babies with neonatal herpes can recover fully with treatment.
The dangers of neonatal herpes are much higher if the infection spreads to the babys organs. If youre pregnant and have herpes, speak with your healthcare provider about how to lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.
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Get Rid Of Cold Sores Overnight
Unfortunately, I suffer from cold sores from time to time. They are embarrassing and you just want them to go away as soon as possible. Abreva tends to be fairly expensive for even a very little amount, but it is a potent medication. Unfortunately, this will not get rid of cold sores entirely. You still have to go through the whole torturous .
How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores Fast
Cold sores generally clear up on their own, without any medical intervention, within two to four weeks. But there are things you can do to speed the healing process. Several antiviral medications are available, which can shorten healing time. Antiviral drugs prescribed for cold sores include valacyclovir , acyclovir , famciclovir and penciclovir . If you get frequent, recurrent cold sore breakouts, your healthcare provider might recommend that you regularly take an antiviral drug, such as valacyclovir, to suppress them.
Effective treatment for cold sores
Peace of mind and the prescription treatment you need without the uncomfortable trips to the pharmacy.
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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.
Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex
There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.
What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?
For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.
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How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Herpes Simplex
Some people feel distressed or embarrassed about their herpes simplex infection. Its important to understand that the herpes virus is common. For most people, herpes doesnt significantly interfere with daily life.
To cope with negative feelings, you may consider:
- Connecting with others through support groups or online forums.
- Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
- Speaking with a therapist.
Can It Lie Dormant
The herpes virus can lie dormant in the body for years before people experience any symptoms.
After people have the first outbreak of herpes, the virus then lies dormant in the nervous system. Any further outbreaks are due to the virus reactivating, which causes symptoms to appear.
Symptoms are usually less severe during repeat outbreaks. Sores also clear up more quickly, often within 37 days. This is due to the antibodies the body produces to fight the first outbreak of herpes. The body can then use these antibodies to respond more quickly to future outbreaks.
There is currently no cure for herpes. Even if a person stops experiencing symptoms, the virus will remain inside their body.
It is also important to point out that herpes is transmissible even when no sores or other symptoms are present. For this reason, early prevention is advisable.
Condoms and dental dams do not offer complete protection against the herpes virus, as herpes can live on areas around the genitals. However, these methods do reduce the likelihood of contracting the infection or passing it on.
A person who has herpes can also take other steps to reduce the chance of passing it on to a sexual partner. Such steps include telling their sexual partner that they have herpes before having sex.
Both people can then take additional steps to reduce the likelihood of transmission. These steps may include:
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What Should You Do If You Have Herpes
Herpes is contagious at all stages. It is most contagious when blisters burst and release their fluid.
If you have herpes, you should take precautions to avoid its spread to other parts of your body and to other people. Here is what you should do.
- Use protection such as condoms and dental dams during sex .
During an outbreak:
- refrain from sexual activity
- Avoid touching the infected region
- Avoid deep kissing
- Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, soaps and cosmetics with others.
- Wash your hands with mild soap or clean them with alcohol-based sanitizer before touching yourself or others.
- Starting antiviral medications at the onset of an outbreak can reduce the intensity of symptoms by about 70 percent
You can resume sexual activity once the outbreak resolves.
Remember, genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease . Sores may be painful or may cause you discomfort. However, the disease is not deadly and rarely causes serious complications. Therefore, do not panic if you are diagnosed with it. There is no cure for herpes but certain over the counter and prescription medications from a doctor can help reduce the severity of symptoms and cause the sores to heal faster. Practice safer sex to the reduce risk of contracting herpes.
For any additional concerns about herpes, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.
How Long After Herpes Outbreak Is It Still Contagious
For oral herpes, cold sores are usually contagious for up to 15 days and are generally no longer contagious once all symptoms have cleared, which includes the blister itself and any scabbing.
Someone carrying genital herpes should wait until 7 days after the sore heals to begin engaging in sexual activity, as the herpes virus can spread from sores not covered by a condom.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What happens if I dont treat a cold sore?
- What are the side effects of antiviral medications?
- How can I reduce the risk of future outbreaks?
- Whats the best way to prevent getting another STI?
- How can I protect my partner from getting genital herpes?
- Should I lookout for signs of complications?
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Herpes Simplex
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.
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.
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How Long After A Herpes Outbreak Is It Still Contagious
You are most contagious right before, and during an outbreak, when the viral load is at its highest. It can take a few weeks for sores to completely heal, and for the virus to become dormant. When the virus lays dormant in your body, there is a much lower chance of passing herpes on to sexual partners. Because of the nature of the virus, itâs not possible to know whether you are contagious or not. Even after an outbreak has healed, there is no way to know if another one is on the way. If it is, you will be contagious. If your outbreaks follow a pattern of when they appear, you may have an indication as to whether or not an outbreak is likely. However, this is not accurate. Although you may not be displaying symptoms, you may be contagious. Over time, a person who has had herpes for a long time is less contagious than a person who has recently been infected.
Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.
How Long Does A Genital Herpes Outbreak Last
Herpes outbreaks usually last for about 1-2 weeks, although the first flare-up after infection may last between 2-4 weeks. In most cases, symptoms will go away on their own without treatment, however, the duration of the outbreak depends on how quickly the body can combat it and whether or not antiviral medications are taken to speed recovery.
As a general rule, the first outbreak tends to be the most severe and longest-lasting, with the second outbreak and subsequent outbreaks after that diminishing in severity and duration. In some cases, flare-ups may pass within a few days.
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Is There A Way To Prevent Getting Herpes
You can protect yourself and your partner by taking steps to prevent an outbreak of herpes. Some things that you can do include:
-If you already have herpes, dont have sex until the outbreak is completely gone, even with a condom.
-Try to learn the signs of an impending outbreak, such as itching, tingling and burning, and stop having sex as soon as you notice.
-If you wear contact lenses, dont wet your lenses with your saliva. This could spread your herpes infection to your eyes.
-Dont have sex with your partner until your herpes sores are completely healed.
-Always tell your partner if you are infected with the herpes virus before you have sex. Even though it can be embarrassing and difficult, herpes is very common, and telling your partner will help keep the infection from spreading.
High Risk Factors For Genital Herpes
Most people get infected by having sex with someone who is shedding the herpes virus either during an outbreak or an asymptomatic period. People who are unaware about their herpes infection play an important role in the transmission of this disease.
Genital Herpes is extremely widespread because it is so contagious. Carriers can transmit the disease without having any symptoms of an active infection. Almost 90% of those infected, fail to recognize the symptoms or have no symptoms at all. The highest rates of infection are seen usually among the poor, those with less education, those addicted to cocaine or similar drugs and those with many sexual partners.
There are various reasons why so many people with herpes are undiagnosed. Many people never experience symptoms, and those that do may be too embarrassed to get tested due to the stigma of having a STD. But even those who go for a test may not get an accurate diagnosis. Antibodies to the virus sometimes takes months to develop in an infected persons body, so tests taken soon after infection may produce negative results.
Genital herpes infections usually do not cause serious health problems in healthy adults. However, in persons with weak immune systems, the genital herpes outbreaks can be unusually severe and long lasting.
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