Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease that can affect any sexually active individual. The bad news is that most people carrying the virus don't display any symptoms. Even without showing any indicators of the condition, herpes can still spread from one person to another. Below are some of the questions that people want to know about the disease.
What is Herpes?
Herpes is an infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 (herpes type 1, or oral herpes) and HSV-2 (herpes type 2, or genital herpes). The virus affects the anal region, external genitalia and the skin in other parts of the body. Herpes type 1 causes sores around the mouth and lips (sometimes called fever blisters or cold sores). Herpes type 2 usually causes sores around the genitals or rectum. It is a long term condition, and some people don't even know they have the virus.
What are the Symptoms of Herpes?
As stated before, a person might not show any visible symptoms of herpes and still have the virus. An even without any symptoms, the person can still spread the virus to others. Symptoms of herpes 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. One of the common symptoms of a herpes outbreak is developing multiple blisters in the genital area. These blisters can become painful sores.
In men, the blisters often appear on the penis, anus, thighs, buttocks, and scrotum. In women, the blisters are found on the vagina, buttocks, thighs, anus, and vulva. Some women might also suffer from vaginal discharge.
Both men and women will feel pain and have a hard time urinating. There are some people with herpes who complain of pain while defecating. Herpes can also have flu-like symptoms that include joint pain, headache, fever, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes. The first outbreak usually occurs within 2 days to 2 weeks of being infected. During this time, people may experience symptoms like decreased appetite, fever, swollen glands, Muscle aches. The second outbreak can appear weeks or months later. It is usually less severe and goes away sooner than the first outbreak.
What are the Causes of Herpes?
When the herpes simplex virus is found on the surface of the skin of the infected person, it can be passed to another person through the moist skin around the genitals, anus or mouth. It can also spread to another person through other areas of the skin.
Infection can happen when a person had unprotected sex, shared sex toys, had genital contact with someone with herpes, or had oral sex with a person. Keep in mind that the virus can be spread before the blister shows up, when it is already visible, and when the blister is fully healed.
How Do You Know You Have Herpes?
Most people with herpes don't know they have it. If your partner developed symptoms of the STD, then you should consult a doctor right away. The doctor can diagnose herpes by looking at the symptoms. It is important, to be honest with the doctor, and find out if you should be tested for herpes or any other STDs. It is important to recognize herpes symptoms and learn more about herpes. Watch for symptoms about 2 weeks after sexual contact. General flu symptoms are signs of the infection. You can refer to the herpes symptoms we listed on the last part to check further if you have been affected.
Can Herpes Be Cured?
The bad news is that there is no cure for herpes. The good news is that there are medicines that can prevent or limit the outbreaks. Herpes medications also reduce the risk of passing the virus to your sex partner. But it is advisable to refrain from having unprotected sex if you know you have the virus.
What are the Possible Treatments for Herpes?
Treatment for herpes focuses on getting rid of the sores, as well as preventing further outbreaks. Medication can help decrease the pain related to an outbreak and can shorten healing time. It is also possible that the sores disappear over time even without treatment. The doctor can prescribe medications that reduce the frequency and intensity of the outbreaks.
Also, mentally support is also helpful. You can check some herpes support groups and forums to get advice and support from people who are experiencing the same with you.
These are the things that you need to know about herpes. If you or your partner develops any sores in the genital area, be sure to consult a doctor right away. It is also recommended not to have sexual activity with other people during an outbreak. That way you lower the risk of spreading the virus to others.