Information on the Herpes Simplex Virus
Herpes Simplex

Herpes Simplex

Herpes is a disease caused by a virus. There are different types of herpes caused by different strains of the same virus. Herpes is contagious and can be spread to others by contact with the sores. There is no cure for herpes but there are many treatments available.

What is Herpes Simplex?

What is herpes simplex? The term herpes simplex refers to the virus that causes herpes. Herpes is one of the most painful viral diseases and also the most common of all STDs. Since there is currently no cure for the herpes simplex virus, information is very important to ensure proper treatment and less spreading of the disease.

There are two types of herpes; Herpes simplex 1 which affects the mouth area causing painful cold sores and herpes simplex 2, or genital herpes. The virus that causes herpes remains in certain nerve cells of the body and never goes away. Often the virus lies dormant for long periods of time and may sometimes become active during stress or times when the immune system is weak.

How Do You Recognize The Herpes Simplex Virus?

There are different signs and symptoms of the herpes simplex virus. The most common sign of genital herpes is bumps, blisters or sores on the genital area. The most common sign of herpes type 1 is cold sores on or around the mouth.

Often herpes simplex 1 may occur in children which can cause them great discomfort. In addition to the treatment your doctor prescribes, you may choose to give your child Tylenol to ease pain and discomfort. Aspirin should not be used for children with viral infections.

Herpes simplex type 2 occurs most often in sexually active adults and teens, usually those with multiple partners and who do not use protection. You should always protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases as much as possible to reduce your chances of contracting diseases such as herpes.

Herpes can also cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. People often feel itching, tingling and burning in the area where the outbreak occurs. Once the blisters form, they are most often painful and sometimes still itchy. They will go for a period of about a week usually before they burst and scab over. Genital herpes lesions are usually worse the first 5 days and then gradually the pain and discomfort decreases.

Treatment For HSV

There is currently no cure or vaccine for herpes. The only option at this point is effective antiviral treatment. Research on HSV has grown a lot over the years and many new treatments are available. Treatments include:

  • Pills
  • Creams
  • Herbal medicines
  • Vitamins and nutrients

Doctor prescribed pills and creams such as Zovirax and Valtrex are antiviral medications that attack the virus while it is active, reducing the size of the outbreak and helping it to clear up faster. Valtrex is even known to sometimes reduce the occurrences of outbreaks.

Acyclovir is also known to reduce side effects that come with herpes outbreaks such as headaches and nausea.

There are over-the-counter medications for cold sores. Some people find these effective and some do not. You should consult your doctor before attempting to treat yourself in this way and before giving over-the-counter cold sore medication to children.

Many people choose to try herbal remedies and medicines to help ease the discomfort of herpes outbreaks. Many people have found that changing there lifestyles and eating habits can reduce the amount of outbreaks they have or even prevent outbreaks all together.

Many vitamins and nutrients are thought to help ease herpes symptoms. Zinc is believed to help reduce outbreaks and lessen them when they do occur.

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