Category Archives: Herpes Info

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What Does Herpes Sores Look Like

Herpes is a condition that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can be transmitted through the saliva or through sexual contact. The causative agent enters the body through cuts or cracks in the skin or mucosal surfaces. The virus can attack and reproduce in the nervous system. It can remain inactive until it is triggered by a stressful incident, another infection and/ or trauma. It is a common infection although some people who get infected are not aware that they have it because they do not manifest any or some of the usual signs and symptoms. The most common manifestations of this infection are fever, body aches, weight loss, blisters or lesions and swollen lymph nodes. So now you may be wondering, what does herpes look like?

Herpes pictures of oral herpes which is caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 will show a solitary oral lesion or blister. At times it may appear as a clustered lesion with associated pain. They are usually referred to as cold sores. Although these blisters are often seen on the lips or around the lips, they may also affect areas such as the cheeks, nose and/ or even the chin. These symptoms do not manifest in all patients with oral herpes. At times, these lesions are mistaken for acne or pimples, a cut or small crack in the skin, an insect bite or even chapped lips. In some cases the lesions do not progress to its blister like appearance, they simply appear as tiny bumps on the skin and are reddish in appearance.

Genital herpes pictures on the other hand will show ulcerations that are small and are fluid filled. These lesions crust over and eventually scab looking like small healed cuts with reddish and swollen skin surrounding it. The infected individual may then experience tingling, itching or sometimes a burning sensation on the affected part of the vagina or penis, the anal area, testicles or the scrotum. For the males, indicators of a genital herpes infection will be seen on the foreskin or the head of the penis, on the shaft and anywhere in the pubic area. For females, it appears on the labia and in the region where pubic hair grows.

It is very important that you check with your physician as soon as you notice any of the signs and symptoms of herpes whether oral or genital. And this is especially true if you are one who enjoys more than one sexual partner. Physical assessment is always the first step but in cases wherein the symptoms are no longer present, a blood test may be done to determine the presence of the causative agent. But this test is only possible after 3 months from exposure. Although there is no cure for this infection, antivirals may be given to lessen the extent of the outbreak and prevent the reproduction of the herpes virus.

herpes picture
Herpes Simplex on Body Picture

What is Orofacial Herpes?

Orofacial Herpes is a condition brought about by the infection of herpes simplex virus of HSV. It is characterized by lesions that appear in different areas of the mouth and face. In common language they are referred to as fever blisters or cold sores. The virus is very contagious and can pass on to another by direct contact with the skin lesions as mentioned. The virus is of type 1 and type 2 kind and in studies it has been shown that HSV type 1 is responsible for the outbreaks present in the mouth, lips, nose and the face. When a patient is exposed to the virus, the first week will exhibit sores and will last for almost a month. It is a mistake to consider a person healed once the outbreak heals up because of the nature of the virus itself. The virus seeks out the nerve endings of our body. Once it reached the nerves it travels down to the ganglia and stays there for a lifetime. This means that orofacial herpes is incurable. It will lay dormant in that position until a trigger is set to unleash it once more.

It must be borne in mind that the virus becomes overwhelming and presents itself as blisters or sores especially when the immune system is down or not performing optimally. Therefore, research has suggested that when an individual is stressed it would more likely open a window for the orofacial herpes virus to manifest itself. The immune system should be maintained so as to keep the virus at bay and always in check. Other factors which are also believed to effect the appearance of herpes are menstruation , pregnancy, excessive sunlight exposure, UV lamp exposure, physical stress and other emotional concerns that can lead to fatigue.

As of the present time, there are no known cures for orofacial herpes but that does not mean that you should live in fear if ever you have been infected with this ailment. Certain life adjustments must be done when herpes comes to your life. Do not attempt to pop the blisters or sores as they might lead to further infection. If you suddenly touch the sore unintentionally, just wash your hands immediately with soap and water. There are some antiviral medications available for orofacial herpes which can greatly reduce the prevalence of sores and its duration. It is suggested however, that an early application of medication is pertinent to achieve the desired effects. Some of the more common treatments are aciclovir, valaciclovir, famciclovir and penciclovir. Take note that the best way to manage your herpes is to always keep your body in tiptop shape so that the immune system is strong enough to curb the virus particles from reappearing. Eventhough herpes is a lifetime ailment, with proper care and maintenance you can still live a life that is less cumbersome had you not known of any information about this disease. You do not have to feel sorry about yourself, you can do something about it, just get up and start healing your body now

How Long Will a Herpes Outbreak Last?

For those that have been trying to find answers to the question, “How Long Will a Herpes Outbreak Last?” You’ll discover that the answer will be determined by the person who is infected. It’s important to realize that every person that has contracted this virus will be different. They will have a different lifestyle, different nutritional habits, and they will take care of themselves in a different way, which will all be the determining factor when it comes to how long a herpes outbreak will actually last. Here you will discover some additional information that will help you in determining the duration of an outbreak, as well as some of the measures you can take in order to limit the actual outbreak duration itself.

How Long Does a Herpes Outbreak Last?

So, how long does a herpes outbreak last? You should realize that if you have just contracted herpes, the first outbreak will typically be the longest, and the worst. This is an outbreak that can last anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks. As a person tends to gain in age, these outbreaks will often be reduced and they will typically not last as long. However, this information is based on the type of nutrition a person gets, their sleeping habits, and their overall stress level. Each of these areas will be a determining factor on how long these particular outbreaks will last, and how severe they’ll be as a result.

For those that have already been through their initial herpes outbreak, additional outbreaks will only last between 5 and 13 days. Typically, the outbreak will start with tenderness or a rash in the groin area. They may also suffer from flulike symptoms such as body aches, a headache, or a fever that may seem to be extremely persistent. In a day or so, sores will begin to appear which will normally be in the form of blisters or sores that are typically the size of a small coin. These blisters and sores will be located in and around the genital and anal areas of the body. At this point the blisters will begin to burst and eventually scab over. Once this process has taken place, they will begin to heal.

Length of Herpes Outbreak

As stated before, this process can happen over a 13 day period, but this will all depend on the individual. When it comes to managing these outbreaks, it’ll be important to get the proper sleep, lower your stress level, maintain a proper diet, and keep your hygiene at peak levels. Prescription medication has been proven to reduce the length of outbreak time as well. It’s important to realize that this process is not life-threatening; however, it can be an emotional roller coaster that causes extreme embarrassment, shame, depression, and anxiety. Although this is true, you’ll need to maintain focus and understand that there are treatments available that can help you gain the control you need.

So, if you’ve been trying to answer the question, “How Long Will a Herpes Outbreak Last?” The information that has been provided above will help you when it comes to understanding the length of herpes outbreak, and how you have the ability to control how severe they are when they come, and how long they’ll last.

What are the Best Prescription Medications for Herpes?

Herpes or genital herpes is a life-changing virus. It may be one of the most embarrassing situations in an individual’s life. However, it is not something to be ashamed of. The number of individuals getting infected by herpes simplex virus keeps on increasing every year. The herpes virus can be easily transmitted by sexual contact. At present, there is no cure available for this disease. The newest development in the research for the cure in for this disease is the a herpes vaccine. Unfortunately, it will only work on patients that don’t have the disease yet. For patients with recurring cases and symptoms, prescription medications for Herpes are available but they do not actually cure the disease but relieves the patient by reducing the uncomfortable symptoms brought by the infection.

Although herpes is still incurable, different types of treatment are available for infected patients. Antiviral therapy is given to most patients who have primary and recurrent infection. Some treatments are also safe during pregnancy. Drug treatments available today aids in reducing the frequency of recurring symptoms and can help shorten the duration of infection. Antivirals help reduce recurrences but unfortunately, it also eliminates asymptomatic viral shedding that also spread the virus. Prescription medication for herpes are Acyclovir, Valacyclovir also known as Valtrex and Famciclovir or Famvir are good examples of antiviral drugs that are used to treat this disease. Valtrex are tablets that can be taken two to three times daily to treat genital herpes. Acyclovir treats herpes’ infections of the lip, skin and genitals, chickenpox and herpes zoster or shingles. It does not cure these infections but reduces the pain and itching and promotes healing. Famvir or Famciclovir is an oral antiviral prescription medication. It is the only oral prescription that can be use to treat genitals. Generic Valtrex and Acyclovir Zovirax are available for generic prescriptions. These medications can be taken in two ways: episodic treatment and suppressive treatment. Episodic treatment is taking the medication when an outbreak occurs while the suppressive treatment is a daily or maintenance treatment.

Choosing the Best Prescription Medications for Herpes depends on the patient. Each condition and symptoms vary depending on the condition of the patient and the state of the virus infection. The severity of herpes infected patient will be determined by the physician before giving the right medication. It means that these medications can’t be taken without the advice of a physician since your body may show undesirable side effects if a medication treatment is taken without the test being conducted. Aside from medication, getting adequate rest, eating a healthy diet, and reducing stress may help in reducing outbreaks. An individual who is affected and have recurring outbreak symptoms of herpes virus should avoid any sexual contact. Not only it can transmit the infection on another party, it can also worsen the condition. Abstinence from sex is also an important practice to remember in order to prevent the transmission of the infection.

Where Can You Get Herpes?

Herpes, for those who are not utterly familiar with the disease, only knows one thing about it – it is a form of a sexually transmitted disease – or a disease which you can get by having sexual intercourse with another person who has it. Without proper understanding about where you can get Herpes, one may be led to believe that a partner have been unfaithful that’s why the disease was diagnosed. It can lead to the destruction of a relationship, or it can be cause of dishonesty for the suffering partner. Thus, adequate information about herpes needs to be known especially for those who are suffering from the disease and for their respective partners.

It is also important to note that there are a lot of misconceptions about Herpes. A lot of people think that there is only one type of herpes virus, so it is important to stress that there are two types of herpes – oral herpes simplex, which is caused by a virus known as HSV-1, while the other type is the genital herpes simplex, caused by the HSV2 virus. The method through which these viruses are spread or passed on is different. For HSV1, for instance, contact with a cold sore from an infected person is enough to transmit the virus, especially, when it is in its active state.

Going back to the issue of where you can get herpes: there are instances where one already has the herpes virus, but the virus is dormant and has not shown any manifestations. Thus, your partner may have been a carrier of the virus even before the two of you met; it’s just that the outbreak manifested late. So this means that all along, your partner was also unaware that he or she is already carrying the virus inside her. In this case, the partner is required to be as understanding and open minded as possible; otherwise it can lead to bad consequences.

It is also possible that a person carrying a dormant herpes virus would be passing it to his or her partner, and the secondary carrier is the one who manifests the outbreak first. If not diagnosed properly, the partner carrying the dormant virus may think that his or her partner has done something bad, without understanding that the virus really came from the dormant carrier. There is a blood test that can determine whether a person is a primary or secondary carrier of the virus, and this can greatly clarify a lot of information between partners.

There are actually a lot more people who carries the herpes virus without even knowing it, unless an outbreak occurs. Thus, it is very important to know where you can get herpes, how it can be transmitted, and how to identify if you are a carrier even if you have not experienced an outbreak. Through proper information awareness and dissemination, the spread of this infection can greatly be decreased, and more support can be given to people who are currently suffering from the disease.

Do Condoms Protect 100% From Herpes?

Condoms play an important role in the reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted disease or STD like HIV, AIDS and herpes. Although it appears that condoms are generally considered as a birth control method, using condoms are extensively recommended to prevent the spread and transmission herpes simplex virus. Studies shown that using it during sexual intercourse significantly reduce the risk of infection being transmitted. Laboratory results shows that herpes virus do not go through latex condoms. Even if studies shows that condoms are useful prevention for herpes, many people are still asking, Do condoms protect 100% from herpes? The answer in short is no. Although condoms can prevent the spread and transmission of herpes, it cannot be 100% accurate. Herpes simplex virus can be transmitted through skin contact. Condoms cannot guarantee 100% prevention because herpes lesions may occur in areas that is not covered by condoms. They don’t guarantee full safety but it is the most available form of herpes protection. The use of condom during sexual intercourse is decided by both partners. During the intercourse, there is a possibility that the condom will be damaged or even break, in this case, skin contact with the infected area is highly possible. If the infected party is concern about his or her partner, condom can give you a relief but it is not surely safe.

Do condoms protect 100% from herpes? You can just stop asking this question. Condoms will only cover a part of the genitals and infections may be present on the other area not covered by it. Herpes are mostly transmitted by individuals who are not aware that they are infected. Self- awareness is very important. Herpes brings out dynamic changes in a couple’s sex life, such as abstaining from sexual intercourse. Yes, normally, the best way to prevent the spread and transmission of herpes is to avoid any kinds of sexual contact. Avoiding sexual contact when symptoms are present will be a great help since herpes outbreaks occur only about a maximum of three-five times a year. Most couple sees it as a minor inconvenience only. Genital herpes does not automatically mean abstinence from sex. Intimate relationship is still possible even with herpes. Love is the most important thing in a relationship after all.

Can Genital Herpes Cause Other Health Problems?

In some people inflicted with genital herpes, symptoms might never show up, but there are cases wherein the symptoms become severe, thus other complications arise, specifically if the sores or herpes blisters show in various areas of the body. This article attempts to answer the question – can genital herpes cause other problems?

Genital herpes can be passed on through direct contact herpes infection, such as contact with herpes sore or blister, typically through sexual contact such as oral, vaginal or anal intercourse. The herpes virus may also be passed on even when the symptoms do not manifest and be dormant for a long period of time before you can even get to notice any signs of the ailment.

Currently, there are no available vaccines to prevent the spread of herpes. Herpes and its symptoms are managed through the use of antiviral drugs such as vacyclovir. Along with the awareness of the causes, prevention and cure of herpes, special attention should also be given to another important concern related to genital herpes – can genital herpes cause other problems?

In healthy adults, genital herpes does not really cause other serious permanent health complications aside from the painful blister or sores. But there are times that the following complications may manifest:

Contracting other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you have genital herpes, you are actually at high risk of contracting or transmitting other sexually transmitted diseases such as the AIDS virus.

Proctitis. In males, genital herpes infection could bring about inflammation of the rectum’s mucous lining, more specifically in males who engage to sexual intercourse with another male.

Meningitis. In very rare occasions, genital herpes infection may bring cause the inflammation of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and the brain. Meningitis is a life-threatening disorder specifically when these happen: drowsiness, blurriness of vision and photophobia, bulging on the baby’s head and seizures.

Urinary bladder retention. In females, having infected with genital herpes can lead to having difficulties with the urinary system including urine retention.

Newborn Infection. A female who have an open herpes blister or sore may transmit the virus to her newborn baby as the infant passes through the mother’s birth canal. Pregnant women who are experiencing their first herpes breakout during the period of delivery are the most at high risk of spreading the virus to their babies. Genital herpes infection may lead to mortality of the newborn, blindness or brain damage.

When an individual has genital herpes, other internal organs such as the liver, lungs and the joints could suffer complications. This especially likely to occur in patients who have dysfunctional immune systems such as those who have HIV, cancer or diabetes and people who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Can genital herpes cause other problems? To avoid the above mentioned complications, you may want to recall once more that the virus causing herpes survives in the mucus and may affect any other parts of the body where mucus is present.

Dealing With Herpes And Pregnancy

If you are a woman and you have herpes, probably one of your biggest worries is the possibility of having a baby in the future or not. Do not worry – yes, you can still have a baby even if you acquire herpes. However, herpes and pregnancy requires extra precautionary measures to avoid spreading the infection to your future baby. There are different information that you have to learn regarding the protection of your baby, depending on the stage of your pregnancy. This guide will help you learn the basics. Remember to inform your doctor and your midwife about your condition if you are planning to have a baby.

Herpes and Pregnancy In Different Stages
1. Acquiring herpes before pregnancy will allow your body to develop antibodies against the herpes simplex virus, so your future baby should be fine. These antibodies will pass the immunity to the future baby, and he or she will be safe even if you have sore outbreaks during the late stage of your pregnancy. However, your doctor and your midwife should regularly check on your symptoms, just to be safe.

2. Getting infected by herpes during the first trimester of your pregnancy could be risky for your baby. In soma cases, it would eventually lead to miscarriage, although most women are able to get past through this stage and deliver their baby just fine. Inform your doctor about any outbreaks during this period, so that he or she can refer you to a specialist who can monitor you and your baby’s condition, and prescribe pregnancy-safe medicine that will help speed up the healing process of the sores.

3. Infection acquired during your late pregnancy is the most dangerous period for your baby, especially if you get infected during the last six weeks of your pregnancy. Your body does not have enough time to make antibodies to be passed on to your child. Because of this, a vaginal birth is dangerous because the herpes simplex virus can be passed on to the child, especially if you have open sores. In the even that your baby catches herpes when you give birth, it can still be controlled. Your baby will most likely recover easily if the herpes only infects the skin, mouth or eyes. However, in rare cases, it infects the nervous system which can have lasting effects on the child.

Remember to regularly visit your doctor of you have herpes and pregnancy is part of your plan. Being cautious can help prevent the transmission of the virus to your baby. Your doctor can also decide for you if vaginal birth is safe for the child, or if you have to go through cesarean delivery. In most cases, it is only necessary if your first herpes attack happened during your pregnancy. If not, the doctor or midwife can allow you to have vaginal birth, because the chance of virus during transmission is low. However, if breakouts occur during labor, your doctor might help you speed up labor to prevent infecting the baby

What Are The Best Over The Counter Medications for Herpes?

Over-the-counter or OTC are medicines that can be sold directly to the consumer. These are medicines you can buy even without the prescription from a physician. Over-the-counter drugs are used to treat conditions that don’t need professional advice from a physician. You can also buy them online, drugstore or in a local health food store. Efficiency of some has not been proven. Most of them are safe and can be easily tolerated by human body. Some of the over-the-counter medicines are ineffective and some are also dangerous. Over-the-counter medicines for herpes are available and mostly work for those who are affected by cold sores. These medications have been proven to lessen the itching and pain caused by herpes outbreak. Other medications sold over-the-counter are only for immediate pain relief such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Best over the counter medications for herpes comes in the form of ointments, daily supplements and oil.

There are different over-the-counter remedies for herpes. These can be also considered as Best over the counter medications for herpes. Examples are H-balm, H-away and H-prevention, Herp-eeze, Dynamiclear, Tetrasil and Abreva or Docosanol. H-balm is an oil medication for genital and oral herpes. This contains organic essential oils like Melissa or lemon balm essential oil that decrease the length of an outbreak. It can also prevent flare-ups and reduce the impact because it can penetrate into the skin. H-away and H-prevention are natural herpes medicines also made from organic essential oils. It helps to heal blisters faster. Herp-eeze is a herbal daily supplement that comes in tablet form. It is made up of zinc, Vitamin C, lysine, Acerola, Olive leaf and other herbal extracts. Zinc is a topical and internal agent that was found to be useful for herpes. Lysine helps suppress infection from herpes when taken regularly. Vitamin C increase oxygen level in the body that helps boost the immune system. Dynamiclear is also a herbal medicine for herpes in ointment form. It contains St. John’s wart extract and antiseptic ingredients that works in healing wounds and blisters. It also contains copper sulfate which is a sulfuric compound. Sulfur is known to heal all sorts of skin diseases throughout centuries. Tetrasil is made from tetrasilver tetroxide. It cures genital warts while it kills the pathogens by using electric shock and release pathogens as pathogenic oxygen than can kill other viral agents. It also kills germs to prevent skin itching, burning and early symptoms of herpes. Tetrasil therapy works on genital warts by targeting the root while providing comforting relief and faster healing. Abreva is the newest over-the-counter medicine remedy for herpes. It goes beneath the skin to heal from inside out.

Best over the counter medications for herpes are available for all. However, results may vary on each individual. Each patient experiences a different level of symptoms and each one has different level of herpes severity. Although most of these over-the-counter medications have shown promising results, you still have to try which one will be best for your condition.

What’s The Difference Between HSV1 and HSV2?

Two forms of herpes exist: one is the “good herpes” and the other the “bad herpes.” These subjective monikers reflect social perceptions associated with herpes. Unfortunately, these perceptions and the stigma they produce are not based on facts, and they cause unnecessary pain and suffering for people who have genital herpes. To set the facts straight, people should know the real difference between HSV1 and HSV2, between oral and genital herpes, and the causes and symptoms of each kind of infection.

To begin with, the herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the microorganism that causes herpes. There are two major subtypes of HSV, and these are HSV-1 (type 1) and HSV-2 (type 2). HSV-1 is mainly responsible for causing oral herpes, while HSV-2 mainly causes genital herpes. The qualifier “mainly” is there because in some cases (about 20% of all reported cases of herpes), HSV-1 causes genital herpes, and HSV-2 causes oral herpes. This uncharacteristic causation is often the result of oral sex.

HSV-1 and its associated infection, oral herpes, is referred to as the “good herpes” chiefly because it is transmitted non-sexually. Even young children can have oral herpes, and the infection is taken lightly as merely “cold sores” and “fever blisters.” Oral herpes appears as sores usually on the mouth, lips or gums, and sometimes on the tongue, the roof of the mouth, inside the cheeks, or on the face and neck. The sores may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, painful muscles and joints, fatigue and irritability. Over-the-counter medications are used for the fever and pain, and after a few days, the sores heal on their own. They may recur a few weeks, months or years later, and succeeding recurrences are usually less severe than the first outbreak. Over the years, these recurrences decrease in number. Thus, oral herpes is generally benign and not a cause of much worry, although it is highly contagious and non-curable.

More or less the same is true of genital herpes. The main difference between HSV1 and HSV2, and between oral and genital herpes, is the area where the sores appear. HSV-1 sores appear generally on the mouth region, while HSV-2 sores appear mainly on the genital area. Again, it must be made clear that sometimes HSV-1 causes genital sores, and HSV-2 sometimes causes oral sores as well. This only goes to show that the two subtypes are not that different. They also produce the same symptoms during an outbreak: painful or itchy sores, fever, muscle pain and tiredness.

However, social perceptions of oral and genital herpes diverge widely. While people tend to dismiss oral herpes as merely “cold sores,” they generally perceive genital herpes as an altogether different matter. Because it is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), genital herpes is often considered as something bad, “unclean” and a cause for shame and embarrassment. This opinion is unwarranted, given that there is not much difference between HSV1 and HSV2, or between oral and genital herpes, apart from their common infection sites on the human body. The erroneous public perception concerning genital herpes needs to be corrected, so that persons with the disease will not be needlessly tormented by shame or embarrassment nor unfairly treated.