Herpes Simplex Virus consists of two types; HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 occurs around the mouth, and is usually in the form of cold sores. On the other hand, HSV-2 occurs most often near the genitals, and it is also called genital herpes. HSV-1 spreads through oral contact by the sharing of toothbrushes and other accessories. Elsewhere, HSV-2 is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), and it mainly spreads through sexual intercourse. A person who gets this disease can be asymptomatic or can have mild symptoms of herpes. The first attack of herpes causes cold sores, which bleeds out after a few days and then it heals. It lasts for a few weeks after the virus settles in the nervous system and is inactive. It remains inactive until it is triggered by something which makes it active.
Management and Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus
There is no cure for Herpes. It remains in the body inactively until it is triggered by something. Commonly, it is triggered by stress, illness, diet and surgery. The breakouts vary from person to person. People with herpes experience about four breakouts annually. The first breakout is the most painful and takes long time to heal. The healing and pain decrease with each breakout. Home-based remedies can be used to reduce the discomfort. Over the counter, medicines like benzocaine and L-lysine can be used to treat the blisters. Furthermore, ice can also be applied to the blisters. Finally, it is recommended to stay away from things that can trigger outbreaks like stress.
A dermatologist diagnoses herpes by looking at the sores. The provider can take a swab from sore and send it to the lab. In the absence of swab, blood tests can be done. The sores often heal without any treatment, and many people choose to treat herpes because it can relieve symptoms and shorten the outbreak. Antiviral medicine can be used to treat it which reduces the itching and burning. The medications prescribed by the doctors for both types of the viruses usually include acyclovir, famciclovir and Valacyclovir. These medicines can reduce the frequency of outbreaks and help to reduce the spread of infection.
Prevention of Herpes Simplex Virus
The best way to avoid the infection is the avoidance of vaginal or oral sex. However, if you’re sexually active, it is advised that you use a latex condom or be in a relationship with a partner who doesn’t have STD. Whereby, if you’re in a relationship with a partner who has STD, you can lower the risk by making your partner take anti-herpes medication every day or by avoiding sexual intercourse. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before having sexual contact with a partner who has herpes to avoid passing it on to the infant.
To avoid the spread of oral herpes, do not kiss or have oral sex with someone who has sores. Also, it is advised that you should not share items like silverware, cups, towels and lip balms. The spread can also be prevented if you wash your hands after touching a sore.