Herpes is a broad problem affecting nearly 10 million Indians a year and more so globally. Herpes appears in many parts of the patient’s body but is commonly known to occur in the genitals or the mouth area. Herpes is caused by the HSV or otherwise known as Heper Simplex Virus, which can have varied effects on a person’s body.
The symptoms are the most challenging part of herpes. In many cases, the symptoms are so mild that patients do not even know they have herpes and ignore many facts as a result. On the other hand, reduced or absent symptoms causes the patient to think they have some other condition, which could be cured by regular home remedies.
But Herpes, in the earlier stages or advanced stages, is harmful, and a doctor’s attention is needed immediately.
Causes of Herpes
The first and most crucial understanding when it comes to herpes is the Herpes Simplex virus and its contagious nature. Meaning the virus could be transmitted or passed from person to person with direct contact. In some of the severe cases, hchildren are profoundly affected, as they often contract the virus at an early stage through an infected adult, and they tend to carry the virus on them or the rest of their lives.
There are ideally two types of the Herpes Simplex virus that causes herpes. They are categorised in numbers, HSV-1 & HSV-2.
HSV 1 virus can be transmitted or passed on through general interaction; it need not even be direct interaction at times. For instance, kissing or eating from the same utensils or for that matter, also sharing a lip balm can cause the HSV-1 virus to be passed on.
The HSV-1 virus is known to spread quickly, especially when the infected person is experiencing an outbreak. Some astonishing data suggests that about 30 to 95% adults are tested positive for the HSV-1 virus, although the understanding is that there may not be an outbreak in many of the patients. On the other hand, there are still chances of a person contracting herpes through the HSV-1 virus when there is oral sex involved, and the person who performed has cold blisters at the time. There is also the knowledge that most people get herpes from HSV-1 from an infected person who could be asymptomatic or one who may not have blisters.
Herpes contracted through sexual contact is usually caused by the HSV-2 virus. There are studies which suggest about 20% of sexually active people are infected with HSV-2. The HSV-2 virus is spread through contact with a herpes sore.
In general, HSV could affect anyone, regardless of their age, while the risk is entirely based on the level of exposure the said infection.
A lack of use when it comes to protections such as condoms could put a person at risk when it comes to contracting sexually transmitted HSV. Other reasons such as –
- Sexual activities with multiple partners
- Having sex while at a younger age
- Females are at high risk
- Carrying another sexually transmitted infection
- Weak immune system
- Pregnant women having an outbreak of genital herpes during childbirth
These above factors could put a person at high risk when it comes to contracting the HSV which causes herpes.
In many cases, the doctors suggest there are no symptoms whatsoever the person may have herpes. In many other cases, the symptoms are so mild, they could easily ben ignore by the patient, with regularly thinking of it as a skin condition of sorts. Although these symptoms may sometimes not show up well, it is imperative or the patient to visit the doctor in case of doubt about themselves.
Here are some of the general symptoms experienced by people with herpes –
- Genital blisters that could be painful
- Lesions in the anus, buttocks or thighs
- Pain while urinating
- Vaginal discharge
- Lumps on the groin that are tender.
- Flu-like symptoms, including body aches, fever, headache.
- The constant outbreak of blisters.
A simple physical examination conducted by the doctor, especially after looking at the blisters could reveal if there is an outbreak of herpes. The doctors may not conclude just looking at the lesions at times, and in this case, the fluid from the sore would be tested for herpes. Blood tests, as well as other tests on the fluids from the blister, could also be done to understand it better and diagnose.
How can it be prevented or avoided?
It’s better to avoid having sex with a person who might have the virus. Safe sex is essential, which not only is restricted to using protection but having a check on your partner for herpes. When in the case there are no symptoms, still the disease could spread.
Partners need to be open with each other about the disease and reveal if they have it with the other. Blisters are a prominent symptom. Avoid sex when there are blisters present, as this help spread herpes faster than anything.
There is no known cure for herpes, although doctors treat it with medicines. It is easier for doctors to diagnose Herpes if there are blisters present.
Medicine such as acyclovir or valacyclovir is used by doctors to treat herpes virus. These medicines are known to speed up the process of healing as well as reduce the pain that herpes blisters cause to the patients. These medications can be used for both primary outbreaks as well as a recurrent one.
Questions to ask your doctor
– Which is the best treatment for herpes you have?
– Is it ok to have unprotected sex if there are no blisters?
– Best ways to prevent herpes outbreaks –
– What are the treatment options if a baby has herpes?
– Side effects of suggested treatment
– Can I live a healthy life with herpes?
– Will herpes aid the development of any other diseases?
– Will I give herpes to someone even if I don’t have an outbreak?
Herpes is a severe disease on many counts. Having a sexually transmitted and spreadable illness with you could have adverse physical and psychological effects on a person. Treat herpes, especially if there are blisters as soon as possible and following the doctor’s treatment methods and instructions are vital for faster recovery.
[ Also Read: Herpes Here is How Homeopathy Can Help You ]
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