What is Herpes Whitlow?

Category: Herpes Types | 0 Comments


Herpes Whitlow is caused by the viral entity known as herpes simplex. It comes in two forms: type 1 and type 2. It occurs normally to persons who have been exposed to the virus via an exposed contact to an area of skin having an outbreak. In the past it has been observed commonly among dental and medical healthcare professionals who because of the nature of their job is exposed to people with herpes in the mouth. It is very common on the fingers or thumbs. Some of the symptoms of herpes whitlow include swelling, reddening and tenderness of the skin. Some patients have exhibited the same in nail cuticle. When an outbreak happens it is accompanied by fever and some swollen lymph nodes. The outbreak starts with very few clear vesicles then gradually forms a lump and merge together into one cloudy cluster. As stated earlier herpes whitlow is commonly located in the digits specifically the thumb, index finger and other. When these digits are exposed to the virus the first two weeks or so will be characterized by burning and tingling sensation. After a one or two weeks swelling occurs to the fingerss and then the blisters appear. Healing will occur after the lapse of additional two weeks.

This infection can be very painful and can appear to more than one finger. In studies it has been shown that about sixty percent of those who contract herpes of this kind are infected with Herpes simplex virus type 1. The remaining statistic is left to the type 2 virus. It was considered an occupational risk during the late 50’s because health care workers at that time were not required to used gloves at all times. The effects of herpes whitlow can be leave a patient disabled so proper care is advised. There are over the counter medicines available that will help lessen the impact of herpes whitlow. Another aspect of herpes whitlow that must be taken into account is the possibility of infecting other parts of the body. With this in mind, a simple hygienic procedure is in order. When you accidentally or intentionally touch a blister, wash your hands quickly with soap and water, this will prevent the further spread of the virus to other parts of the body.

There has been several treatments suggested for herpes whitlow but most of them address only the painful symptoms that are associated with it. Some painkillers are recommended to help alleviate the suffering. At its inception, a ready ice pack will support the reduction of the swelling and ease up the pain as well. Consult your doctor immediately for some oral antiviral medications to curb the painful blisters or outbreaks. Some topical antiviral treatment is also available to speed up the healing process. If you fancy homeopathic treatments look for an oral spray that will also help. In all instances, do not pop the blister to avoid shredding the virus and passing it on to unsuspecting individuals. Keep a well rounded hygienic practice and do not share common household items like towels, utensils and others of similar import.

Related posts:

  1. What is Orofacial Herpes?
  2. What Is HSV-1?
  3. Are Cold Sores Actually Herpes?

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