HSV-1: Cold Sores
Most people are actually contaminated by herpes in early child years. This may sound alarming, but it is because if you have had the chicken pox you technically have the herpes virus. That’s right; it is in the same virus family. There are other strands (genital herpes) that cause flu symptoms and such. These illnesses will “go away” by hiding within the cells and lying dormant until they are reactivated. This is why herpes of any kind is actually extremely contagious and common.
HSV-1 causes cold sores, or fever blisters that appear on the face near the nose or mouth; however they can be spread to other parts of the body including the eyes. Cold Sores appear in little groups and sometimes resemble pimples. These blisters will be filled with fluid and might hurt or burn at a touch. The sore itself will rupture, scab over and then begin to heal. The area surrounding the sore may become red or swollen and look like a normal skin or sun rash. After the outbreak heals it goes away for an unpredictable amount of time.
Because the virus is lying dormant. Scientists have found that the “dormant malware” that is the virus hiding may be replicating at a lower level which will cause damage later on in life. For this reason, much of the herpes virus returns even if an infected person has not had an outbreak for years or decades. It is always there. Certain things may bring out an outbreak, but the number one factor is your immune system.
Like many conditions, cold sores can be brought on by stress. When our bodies encounter stress, our immune system seems to be lowered as the mental effect of the anxiety takes a toll on the body. Cold sore outbreaks arise from the same virus as genital herpes behaving in a similar fashion; just on a different part of the body.
HSV-2 Genital Herpes
Genital herpes outbreaks can unfortunately cause pain and discomfort for those who are suffering with them. It is difficult to begin treating these because you need to be aware of how many are people you have slept with so you can call them about the herpes outbreaks as well. It is important to keep the area cleansed and clean. Make sure you are not using any soaps with fragrance or harsh chemicals on the area. You want to make sure you are keeping the area clean but do not apply anything topically because this will further irritate your situation. The best thing to use is Dove sensitive soap, no fragrance or anything.
Genital herpes can look similar to acne. An acne outbreak has the same small pus filled skin eruptions but herpes is far worse. Make sure you choose your hair care and skin care wisely with your skin in mind. With outbreaks, you always want to do your best the treat them as you want to go to the party.
How common is genital herpes?
Every year thousands of Americans, young and old, contract the herpes virus. This is because there is such a high chance of contracting the virus from skin to skin contact. There is a better method because trying to eliminate is not going to get you as far. It will be difficult to continue to adopt these measures and to fight the disease.
How is genital herpes contracted?
The infection is spread from lesion to lesion since they are mucosal surfaces; The HSV-1 can also both cause the disease or rather the symptoms. So what are the symptoms? The symptoms can be anywhere from small bumps to larger bumps.
What are the Complications of Genital Herpes?
This virus causes harmful skin on the genitals as well. It can become very severe and if so, the HIV virus may be able to make way. Herpes causes ulcers on the genitals that can be painful. They can be severe and persist in certain people’s cases. If your immune system is not up to par, you are a target. This is similar to those infected with HIV. Both the HSV 1 & 2 causes these complications and can have more severe side effects such as encephalitis.
This is the inflammation of the brain. It can also cause infections of different areas, even the eyes, where you can be blinded. Most people that have genital herpes are concerned it will change their health or sex life and relationships. Many are so embarrassed because of the things that cause it. If there is a less severe alternative it can be taken as well. For the genital herpes outbreaks, it is necessary to let your partner know so they can protect themselves from the outbreaks. As soon as an outbreak is taken care of you are still contagious.
Even if you do not have an outbreak present you are always still contagious. The virus will never leave your body and you will continue to have outbreaks it just depends how frequently.
Is there a link between genital herpes and HIV?
Ulcers on the genitals are an unfortunate health condition. These outbreaks can make it easier to contract HIV and other immune system impairing diseases. With continued research, scientists try to find out ways to combat both of these viruses. The risk of transmitting herpes during childbirth is a real health concern.
If there are ulcers or active outbreaks of the virus on the mother, the baby is at risk for contracting the disease due to skin to skin contact. There is medication the mother can take to almost ensure that she will not transmit the disease. The terrible disease that is herpes should not be passed on to the next generation. It would be so unfair to pass it on to your child.
Why do I need to tell my partner?
You MUST tell your partner about your herpes. Even if you don’t have an outbreak and don’t believe you could pass it along, what if you did? How bad would you feel? That relationship would pretty much be over. If you want to continue to be sexually active you need to be honest with your partner. They have the right to know because it is their body and health that is involved as well.
When you have genital herpes, it is difficult to deal with it emotionally. If you are going to continue to see someone then it is very important to tell them the truth so that you can move on. If you are still dealing with the outbreaks it will be difficult to hide them from your partner. They will eventually find out and it will be an issue. It could drive them away and if it’s someone you really want to be with it could ruin your relationship.
There is no reason to become depressed, though. Once you have contracted it, the damage is already done. There is no use dwelling. Accept yourself for who you are, and begin to move past it. Eventually you will come in contact with someone who will not leave because you have herpes. You might just have to wait longer than anticipated.
The better way to deal with things, instead of ruining your relationship by breaking the trust, is to be open and honest. The first thing you want to tell them is how common it is. So many people have it and if you begin to talk numbers, though it will be overwhelming to hear, they will begin to understand the outbreaks.