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Oral Herpes | Triggers, Diagnosis & Treatment

Widely known as cold sores or fever blisters, herpes labialis is a common and generally benign viral condition that produces painful and frequently unsightly sores on the lips or adjacent skin. The virus may also cause sores on the bone-bearing tissues such as the gums and the roof of the mouth.

In the U.S., up to 60 percent of children are exposed to the virus by late puberty and nearly 90 percent of adults carry the virus by age sixty. Only about 40 percent of those infected experience outbreaks of oral herpes.

If you are in relatively good health, oral herpes is a self-limiting annoyance. Even left untreated, it runs its course in about seven to 14 days. And while it may affect merely the quality of life in those who are otherwise healthy, the condition can be dangerous among infants, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised by conditions such as HIV/AIDS, leukemia or organ transplantation.


Dentists and medical professionals refer to the causative virus as herpes simplex type 1, which is one among more than 80 known herpes viruses. Although far less dangerous than other herpes viruses, herpes simplex type 1 shares an important similarity with them: Once the infection enters the body, it persists for life, frequently in a latent form.

The infection spreads to others by oral contact. In the presence of active sores, the virus is likely to be shed into saliva. So it is important to avoid oral contact. This means:

  • No kissing or other forms of skin contact with people.
  • No sharing of food, drink or dining and kitchen implements.
  • No sharing of dental implements such as toothbrushes and dental floss.
  • No sharing of towels.
  • Individuals with an active herpetic sore or those who are recovering from an outbreak should avoid close contact with infants and those who are immunosuppressed.


Certain conditions can trigger an outbreak of cold sores. They include:

  • Stress – whether emotional or physical
  • Pain
  • Surgery
  • Fever
  • Irritants such as exposure to sun, wind and cold
  • Lack of sleep
  • Menstruation
  • Immunosuppression

What to expect

After the initial infection, the virus travels along the trigeminal nerve (with several branches in the upper and lower face) to a collection of nerve cells in the brain known as trigeminal ganglion, where it remains dormant until reactivation. Once activated, the virus travels down the nerve and leads to the development of a cold sore or series of lesions at the site of initial entry inside the mouth.

Development and healing of these sores goes through six stages over the course of seven to 14 days:

  • The prodrome, where there is a prickling, tingling or itching sensation, but no visible sore.
  • Swelling, slight redness and pain. Eating and drinking become difficult.
  • The eruption of a blister or cluster of blisters.
  • The breakdown of the blisters into shallow, yellowish ulcers.
  • The emergence of a hard, irregular crust, with cracking and some bleeding.
  • The condition recedes to a residue of slight swelling and redness and heals without scarring.

Seeking Professional Care

There is general agreement in both the medical and dental communities that compared to medical doctors, dentists are more likely to encounter patients with oral herpes, and thus are better able to diagnose the condition.

Also, since they may develop following routine dental procedures, dentists are in a position to offset the condition by prescribing preventive medications such as creams or pills before proceeding with treatment. These drugs are started 24 hours before dental treatment and continued for two days afterwards.

Diagnosis: When and if to Biopsy

Diagnosis of oral herpes is straightforward and frequently based on visible signs or reported symptoms. However, when the patient is compromised or diagnosis is in question, a diagnostic smear or biopsy may be performed for confirmation.

Intraoral Herpes or Canker Sores?

Intraoral herpes may be confused with canker sores. Both conditions have small, painful lesions that resolve on their own in seven to 14 days. But there are notable differences:

  • Intraoral herpes affects bone-bearing tissues of the roof of the mouth and the gums, while canker sores appear on soft, movable tissue – on the insides of the lips or cheek and the back of the throat.
  • Herpes sores start off as little bumps which break apart and leave small ulcers. Canker sores are sores from the outset.
  • Canker sores are larger than herpes sores and are slower to heal.
  • Herpes sores tend to reappear in the same place, while canker sores occur in different areas within the mouth.


Topical application of ice, alcohol or lip balms may relieve the symptoms of cold sores.

A cold sore outbreak may be pre-empted or aborted by application of Peniclovir (Denavir), an antiviral prescription cream, or Docosanol (Abreva), an over-the-counter cream, early during the onset of symptoms. Both are easy to apply. (Note: Patients must be sure to wash their hands after applying these or any topical herpes medication.)

Oral antiviral medications are typically reserved for those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores and those who are immunocompromised. For maximal efficacy, these medications also should be started during the prodrome, or within 24 hours of an outbreak.

Topical anesthetics such as lidocaine or agents such as Kaopectate that coat the gums and roof of the mouth may be used to treat the symptoms of intraoral herpes. Pain-relieving medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) are also helpful. Frequent, severe recurrences may benefit from prescription oral antivirals.

An Oral Cancer Connection?

While the human papillomavirus and a couple strains of herpes virus are now regarded as possible contributors to certain types of oral cancer, we have no clear evidence that oral herpes has a causal connection to oral cancer.

Herpes Is Slowly Retreating, but the Infection Remains Common

The prevalence of both genital and oral herpes simplex virus infections has declined steadily since 2000. Still, roughly half of middle-aged Americans are infected.

HSV-1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores around the mouth and face, and sometimes genital sores. HSV-2, genital herpes, is sexually transmitted, and causes sores around the genitals, buttocks and anus. HSV-2 can sometimes cause mouth sores as well.

Both types of herpes are transmitted by direct contact with an infected person; some infected people have no symptoms.

Oral herpes is usually acquired early in childhood or adolescence from nonsexual contact with saliva. It can be spread to the genitals through oral sex. Genital herpes is spread by vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person.

Even when there are no symptoms, the herpes virus continues to live in the body and can be reactivated to cause outbreaks. There is no cure for herpes, but antiviral medicines can help to reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks of both oral and genital herpes.

According to a report published on Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, 48 percent of Americans aged 14 to 49 are infected with HSV-1, down from 59 percent in 2000.

About half of women in this age group are infected; 45 percent of men are infected. The older a person is, the more likely he or she is to be infected.

Almost 60 percent of people ages 40 to 49 are infected with HSV-1. Rates are higher among Mexican-Americans, blacks and Asian-Americans than among non-Hispanic whites.

HSV-2, the sexually transmitted form, infects 12 percent of Americans aged 14 to 49, down from 18 percent in 2000. The prevalence is 16 percent in women and 8 percent in men.

According to the lead author, Geraldine McQuillan, senior infectious disease epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been no studies firmly establishing why women are infected with HSV-2 at almost twice the rate of men.

But scientists share a general belief that anatomical differences account for the higher rate in women.

About one in five Americans ages 40 to 49 are infected with HSV-2. The rates are lowest among Asian-Americans and highest among blacks.

Rates are falling because people are using latex condoms, informing sex partners about diagnoses, and abstaining from sexual activity when lesions are present, Dr. McQuillan said.

“There’s a real decline in new infections, and we’re seeing a decline in prevalence of two of the most common human viruses,” she said.

Understanding Oral Herpes: Primary (acute) Herpetic Gingivostomatitis

There are many different types of herpes virus.

Don’t have time to read this article? We get it. Download the Diagnosing Vesicular Ulcerative Conditions checklist to get the key information and images from this article plus all the other conditions we cover in the Dentist’s Guide to Oral Pathology.


HSV1 and 2 are the ones that we’ll focus on.   Around 12% of patients exposed to the herpes virus are symptomatic.  Here are histological and clinical pictures to help you diagnose and treat HSV1 and HSV2.

Additionally, you have your Zoster Virus, Epstein-barr virus associated with mononucleosis, and some lymphomas. You’ve got Cytomegalovirus, again mono-like syndrome, Roseola which is associated with Heck’s disease, and then something that more recently has been described is Kaposi sarcoma (KS) which is actually related to the presence of HHV-8.

Primary (acute) Herpetic Gingivostomatitis

There are many different subtypes of herpes and it has a broad range of conditions associated with each specific subtype. So herpes virus infection that we’re going to talk about is primary or acute herpetic gingivostomatitis.

So this is Herpes Simplex HSV. So primary herpetic gingivostomatitis is the primary infection when you’re initially exposed to the virus.

Most people will not have this manifestation. About 12% of patients exposed to the virus are symptomatic and this is an abrupt onset with systemic symptoms.

Primary (acute) Herpetic Gingivostomatitis Symptoms

Patients will have fever chills and anorexia, be very tired, may have cervical lymphadenopathy, be in a lot of pain, oftentimes can’t eat or drink, and this is usually self-limiting. Thankfully, within two weeks the patients will feel a lot better.  

Primary (acute) Herpetic Gingivostomatitis Diagnosis

What we see orally are several tiny vesicles. This is a vesicular ulcerative condition so you’re going to see vesicles and then the vesicles will break apart and become ulcerations.

You’re also going to see diffuse involvement of the gingiva, usually they’re very swollen and very painful. The vesicles and ulcers are filled with live virus so if you touch a vesicle and then touch somebody else’s skin or your eye you can transfer herpes virus.

Herpes virus of the eye can cause blindness, so it’s very important to be self-aware of and counsel your patients so they don’t auto-inoculate others.

Oral Herpes Pictures

To the left is a more involved example of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis.

You’re seeing a little bit of vesicular ulcerative area around the teeth and then diffuse gingival enlargement looks almost necrotic towards the patients left rear molar. This is very painful.  

On the right are typical herpes-like ulcerations. Primary gingival herpetic gingivostomatitis can occur on moveable mucosa.

Oral Herpes Histology


A bolus or a vesicle is a small fluid filled lesion and within the epithelium you see a small layer of parakeratin left on the top.

When we take a closer look into this vesicle, we see there’s some atypical cells which have a characteristic appearance when they’re infected with herpes.

There’s nuclear molding. They all mold together, and there’s chromatin pushed to the periphery so looks like an empty cell.

Oral Herpes Biopsy

When you take a biopsy and you’re not sure of herpes,  if you don’t take a biopsy within the first day or so you might get a false negative. You have to biopsy the live virus. That’s what’s going after the cells. So you have to biopsy these lesions at the vesicle stage. 

Diagnosis for primary herpetic gingivitis can be made clinically. The patient will have no history of herpes virus infection or anything similar to what they’re presenting and a possible contact person.

Primary (acute) Herpetic Gingivostomatitis Treatment

Caution the patient about auto-inoculation and spreading it to other people, especially the eyes. The treatment for these patients would be supportive care as far as nutrition, hydration, and NSAIDs as needed.

Don’t use aspirin.

Viscous lidocaine is OK, but make sure parents know that children should not be swallowing this because it can cause toxicity.

Resolution is usually achieved within 7-10 days. Sometimes, if you catch this early, patients will be prescribed antivirals, but usually after two or three days they have been shown that antiviral administration doesn’t  have an effect on the resolution.

Other Vesicular Ulcerative Conditions

Read our previous articles on treating Pemphigus Vulgaris, understanding Erythema Multiforme and the EM-TEN Spectrum, and how to diagnose Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid.

Vesicular Ulcerative Conditions

Download the Diagnosing Vesicular Ulcerative Conditions checklist to get all the key information and images from this article.

Learn More about Oral Pathology

Want more? Get information about our online Oral Pathology and Radiology programs for full-time, practicing dentists.

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Herpes Simplex Virus (Cold Sores) in Children

Not what you’re looking for?

What are cold sores in children?

Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth caused by the herpes
simplex virus. They are sometimes called fever blisters. 

What causes cold sores in a child?

The most common strain of the virus that causes cold sores is herpes simplex virus 1. The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears. 

Once a child is infected with the herpes simplex virus, the virus becomes inactive (dormant) for long periods of time. It can then become active at any time and cause cold sores. The cold sores usually don’t last longer than 2 weeks. Hot sun, cold wind, illness, or a weak immune system can cause cold sores to occur.

Which children are at risk for cold sores?

A child is more at risk for cold sores if he or she lives with someone infected with the herpes simplex virus.

What are the symptoms of cold sores in a child?

Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. Some children don’t have symptoms with the first infection of herpes simplex virus. In other cases, a child may have severe flu-like symptoms and ulcers in and around the mouth. When cold sores come back after the first infection, symptoms are usually not as severe. The most common symptoms of cold sores include:

  • A small blister or group of blisters on the lips and mouth that get bigger, leak fluid, then crust over
  • Tingling, itching, and irritation of the lips and mouth
  • Soreness of the lips and mouth that may last from 3 to 7 days

The symptoms of cold sores can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How are cold sores diagnosed in a child?

The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose your child by looking at the sores. Your child may also have tests, such as:   

  • Skin scrapings. The sores are gently scraped to remove tiny samples. The samples are examined to look for the virus.
  • Blood tests. These are to check for signs of virus in the blood.

How are cold sores treated in a child?

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

The herpes simplex virus infection
that causes cold sores can’t be cured, but treatment may help ease some cold sore
symptoms. Treatment may include antiviral medicine and other types of prescription
medicines. These medicines work best if started as soon as possible after the first sign
of a herpes infection or recurrence. Talk with your child’s healthcare providers about
the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines. Cold sores usually
don’t scar. They last 10 to 14 days.

What are possible complications of cold sores in a child?

In most children, cold sores don’t cause serious illness. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). This is a serious illness and needs to be treated right away. It can lead to long-term problems of the brain.

Cold sores in a newborn baby can cause serious illness and death. This may be the case even when treated with medicine.

How can I help prevent cold sores in my child?

If someone in your household has
herpes simplex, you can protect your child by making sure he or she is not exposed. Keep
in mind that the virus may be in saliva even when there are no cold sores. Tell your
child not to kiss, share cups or utensils, or share washcloths or towels with the
person. Tell your child not to touch a cold sore.

If your child has a cold sore, make sure he or she does not:

  • Touch or rub the cold sore
  • Share cups or eating utensils
  • Share wash cloths or towels
  • Kiss others

The healthcare provider may advise keeping your child home from school during the first infection of herpes simplex virus.

How can I help my child manage cold sores?

Sun protection can help prevent future cold sore breakouts. Put
sunscreen on your child’s face and lips. Apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen. And
have him or her wear a hat with a brim.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Call the healthcare provider if your child has:

  • Symptoms that don’t get better, or get
  • New symptoms
  • Symptoms that don’t go away within 2 weeks

Key points about cold sores in children

  • Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus.
  • The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears. 
  • Symptoms include a small blister or group of blisters on the lips and mouth that enlarge, leak fluid, then crust over.
  • In most children, cold sores do not cause serious illness. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). This is a serious illness and needs to be treated right away.
  • If your child has a cold sore, make sure he or she does not kiss, share cups or utensils, share washcloths or towels, or touch the cold sore.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

Not what you’re looking for?

Nongenital Herpes Simplex Virus – American Family Physician

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8. Mayeaux EJ Jr. Herpes simplex. In: Usatine RP, Smith MA, Chumley H, Mayeaux EJ Jr, Tysinger J, eds. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2009:517.

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Mouth Sores (Viral Herpes): Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Viruses are tiny germs that can cause mouth sores as well as other illnesses. Some mouth sores are caused by the herpes virus. This is one of the germs that cause cold sores or fever blisters. It is not caused by sexual activity nor related to it. If your doctor has diagnosed your child with mouth sores, there are several important things you should know.

Possible Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever that comes on suddenly
  • Child is very grouchy or has no energy
  • Small mouth sores and fluid-filled blisters that may be on the tongue and roof of the mouth.
  • Swollen gums that may bleed.
  • Severe mouth pain
  • Will not eat or drink or poor appetite

How to Care for Your Child

  • Mouth sores can last from 7 to 10 days. They should heal without leaving a scar.  
  • Keep your child home from school or childcare if he has a fever above 100 degrees F. Your child should be free of fever for 24 hours before going back to school.
  • For children under 1 year of age, give formula or Pedialyte®.
  • For children over 1 year of age, give lots of liquids such as water, milk and popsicles (Picture 1). Avoid fruit juices that are high in acid such as orange juice. Juices that are high in acid may irritate the child’s mouth sores.
  • Give soft foods often, but do not force your child to eat. Your child may have less appetite with mouth sores, but it is important to make sure the child keeps taking liquids.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medicines to soothe the mouth sores or reduce the swelling.
  • Your doctor may suggest acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) for pain or fever. Read the label carefully and make sure you are giving your child the right dose. Ibuprofen should not be given to children that are younger than 6 months old unless the child’s doctor says to use it.
  • Do not give your child aspirin or products that contain aspirin.

How to Protect Others

Most viruses are spread by contact through droplets carried in the air from someone who is infected coughing or sneezing. Contact with saliva from the mouths of others can also spread the virus.

To protect others:

  • Avoid close contact with your child’s face or mouth such as by kissing or hugging until the sore is healed.
  • Wash your hands after touching your child’s face or mouth.
  • Be sure to wash your child’s bottles, pacifier, eating utensils and cups in hot soapy water.
  • Do not let other children use your child’s bottle or pacifier or touch things that may have come in contact with the mouth sore.
  • Soak any washable toys in a bleach solution for 2 minutes. (Mix 2 tablespoons of household bleach in one quart of water.) Rinse well with plain water and air-dry.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child’s doctor if your child:

  • Has a fever over 101 degrees F for more than 7 days.
  • Stops drinking liquids.
  • Gets even fussier.
  • Has any sign of dehydration (stops crying tears; has very little urine; has dry, cracked lips; acts very tired or lazy).

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your child’s doctor or nurse.

Mouth Sores (PDF)

HH-I-197 9/98, Revised 10/17 Copyright 1998, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Canker sore vs Oral herpes – Differences. / How to tell them apart.

– What’s the difference between them (or are they the same thing)? | How to tell these lesions apart by appearance, location and symptoms.

Canker vs.

Canker vs.

Differentiating between herpetic and aphthous oral lesions.

Of all of the different kinds of mouth ulcers that are commonly mistaken for canker sores (formally referred to as recurrent minor aphthous ulcers), the type that’s most frequently confused is the recurring intraoral herpes lesion. This page explains how to tell these two apart.

Note: The term “intraoral” used here indicates that the herpes sores in question form inside the mouth, as opposed to those types of herpetic lesions (like cold sores) that form outside of it (like on the lips or nearby facial skin). Learn more about distinguishing cold sores.

Are canker sores the same as herpes?

No, they are not. Canker sores are not caused by the herpes virus but instead by a person’s own immune system’s response. For specific details:


How can you tell the two apart?

There are some very distinct differences between herpes and aphthous lesions, and they are very easy to take notice of and identify. The remainder of this page explains what to look for.

A) Canker sores and oral herpes form in different locations.

Compare: Intraoral herpes

Herpes lesions form on keratinized oral tissues. These are the “tougher,” firmer type of gum tissue found in the mouth.

Keratinized tissues are sometimes described as being bone-bearing, meaning that they’re tightly bound as a covering over the bony structures that lie underneath them.

Keratinized oral tissues include: (See Frame 1 of our animated graphic.)

a) The skin covering the hard palate. – This is the most likely location for intraoral herpetic lesions to form.

b) Attached gingiva. – This term refers to the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth and covers over the portion of the jawbone that encases them.

Canker sores vs. Oral Herpes.

Oral herpes (Slide 1) and canker sores (Slide 2) form in different locations.

Compare: Canker sores

In comparison, aphthous ulcers form on the mouth’s non-keratinized tissues. These are the softer, more fragile type of skin surfaces.

When you touch them, they move around freely. And for this reason, dentists commonly refer to them as “loose” tissue.

Non-keratinized oral tissues include: (See Frame 2 of our animated graphic. )

  • a) The inside lining of the cheeks or lips.
  • b) The underside of the tongue.
  • c) The floor of the mouth.
  • d) In the back of the mouth, near the tonsils.
  • e) The soft palate.

(Locations listed in order of likelihood of canker sore formation.)

▲ Section references – Neville, Scully, Mortazavi, Dunlap


FYI – You should be able to base most of your differentiation process just on the location of the sore alone.

There can be exceptions. But not usually with the type of common run-of-the-mill lesions you’re most likely to encounter.


B) The early stages of canker and herpes sores look different.

Compare: Intraoral herpes

Herpetic sores first appear as a group of tiny vesicles (blisters).

  • Each one is usually no more than about 1/25 of an inch (1mm) across.
  • In our animated graphic below, you can actually see a vesicle in the lower right corner that hasn’t yet burst.


Compare: Canker sores

  • These lesions first appear as a reddened area (a macule) on the surface of the mouth’s lining that has an associated tingling, burning or itching sensation.
  • It then transforms into an ulceration that may become as large as 1/4 of an inch.


FYI – Blister formation is a primary key in differentiating between aphthous and herpetic lesions.

  • If you see tiny blisters form, you don’t have a canker sore. However, if you don’t see them it doesn’t absolutely rule out herpes.
  • That’s because after herpetic blisters form they tend to burst fairly quickly, possibly before you’ve had a chance to actually notice them.


Oral Herpes vs. Canker sores.

The shape of intraoral herpes (Slide 1) is entirely different than a canker sore (Slide 2).

C) The shape of the ulcerations is different.

Compare: Intraoral herpes

Each of the tiny individual areas where a blister has ruptured will coalesce (join together) to form a larger sore.

This gives the outline form of the combined ulceration a scalloped or lobed shape. (See Frame 1 of our animated graphic.)

Compare: Canker sores

With aphthous lesions, the outline of the ulcerated area is usually round or ovoid, and surrounded by a smooth, regular (not jagged) red border. (See Frame 2 of our animated graphic.)

FYI – The general rule of thumb when distinguishing between the two is:

  • Round or ovoid lesions = canker.
  • Irregular shapes = herpes.


D) Distribution in the mouth.

In the case where you’ve had the same type of mouth sore before, the location where your current one has formed can help you to make a distinction between the two types of lesions.

  • Oral herpes tends to recur in the same general area as before.
  • In comparison, aphthous ulcers don’t necessarily show this same correlation. They often appear in entirely different areas each time.


FYI – Location, location, location:

  • If it’s always pretty much the same = herpes.
  • If it’s more variable = canker.


E) Accompanying symptoms outside the mouth.

Compare: Intraoral herpes

With herpes, a person may experience malaise (bodily weakness or discomfort), fever, joint pain or swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Although, these symptoms may be slight enough that you don’t really notice them.

Compare: Canker sores

None of the above symptoms are typical. In fact, the most common set of events is one where a lesion has formed but otherwise you feel completely normal.

FYI – If you’ve been sick, or even just a little under the weather, think herpes outbreak.


F) Other tip-offs.

The formation of a canker sore is sometimes preceded by some type of traumatic act, like biting or scraping the soft lining of your mouth.

In comparison, intraoral herpes lesions are often triggered by some type of traumatic event, with dental work frequently being the cause. As examples:

  • Receiving a dental injection (getting a “shot”).
  • Having some type of periodontal (gum) procedure performed in the area of the breakout.


FYI – The majority of reference sources used to create this page (see links above) specifically cite the above two dental procedures as the classic triggering event for intraoral herpes.


G) Healing time frames.

Both types of ulcerations can be expected to heal on their own within a 1 to 2 week time period.

Persistent sores require evaluation.

Mouth sores that persist for longer than two weeks may still be canker or intraoral herpes lesions. But this delay suggests that complicating factors are involved and closer evaluation is needed so appropriate treatment can be started.

  • The delay might be due to some persistent source of mechanical irritation (like a broken tooth or sharp denture edge).
  • Biopsy evaluation may be needed so the lesion can be differentiated from other types of mouth sores (including squamous cell carcinoma).
  • With herpes, people having a compromised immune system (such as that due to HIV/AIDS, leukemia or taking organ-transplant medications) may experience persistent ulcerations (that may even spread). In these cases, the use of antiviral drugs is likely indicated.
  • Persistent canker ulcerations, or frequent or severe outbreaks, can be a symptom of an undiagnosed underlying medical condition See the list.. Or, the lesion may be a different form of aphthous ulcer (major aphthae How they differ.).


FYI – If the course of the ulceration you’ve been monitoring begins to stray from the expected norm, it requires evaluation by your dentist.

The hope is that the problem they discover is easily resolved. For example, possibly a rough tooth or denture flange just needs to be polished down.

But in some instances, they may find a serious situation that without treatment might have led to a severely extended or complicated healing process, or possibly even a life-threatening event.

▲ Section references – Primary reference sources for this entire page: Neville, Scully, Mortazavi, Dunlap

H) Contagiousness.

While not a factor that you would hope would be one by which these two types of mouth sores are differentiated, herpetic lesions are contagious whereas canker sores are not.

Compare: Intraoral herpes

The causative infectious agent for herpetic lesions is the herpes virus. And it proliferates within the sores that it forms. Therefore, due to the potential for viral transmission from lesions, intraoral herpes is contagious.

Compare: Canker sore.

Canker sore formation is due to the response of your own body’s immune system to the presence of antigens (foreign molecules). There’s no infectious agent to spread. Therefore, canker sores are not contagious.

More details: Why canker sores aren’t contagious.    The biology of canker sore formation.

FYI – If someone you’ve been in close contact with during the period when you had sores later on develops the same type of lesions for the first time, think herpes.



 Page references sources: 

Dunlap CL, et al. A guide to common oral lesions.

Mortazavi H, et al. Diagnostic Features of Common Oral Ulcerative Lesions: An Updated Decision Tree.

Neville BW, et al. Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. Chapter: Allergies and Immunologic Diseases.

Scully C, et al. Oral medicine — Update for the dental practitioner Aphthous and other common ulcers.

All reference sources for topic Canker Sores.

90,000 Link between herpes simplex virus and an increased risk of contracting and transmitting HIV

HIV can affect the immune system’s ability to fight infections. This makes the human body more susceptible to various diseases that can occur in HIV-negative patients. But people living with uncontrolled HIV or AIDS suffer from these diseases much more often and are more difficult to tolerate. One of these diseases is herpes. A detailed article with data from several studies was published by the online magazine Very well Health.

Herpes and HIV

Herpes is an extremely common viral disease. It refers to infections caused by two different types of herpes simplex virus (HSV): HSV-1 or HSV-2. Although HSV-1 was formerly called oral herpes and HSV-2 is genital herpes, theoretically any type of virus can infect any area.

Symptoms of a herpes infection include one or more painful blisters on the affected area that open and develop into sores.Genital herpes can also cause pain when urinating or having intercourse. These symptoms usually go away within a few weeks, but they can recur.

Herpes is more serious in people with uncontrolled HIV: outbreaks last longer, larger or atypical lesions appear that may be resistant to standard treatment.

Complications associated with the herpes virus

There is limited evidence that infection with the HSV-2 virus can accelerate the progression of HIV.Patients living with HIV and those infected with HSV can also have complex, long-lasting ulcers in a wide variety of locations.

Link between herpes simplex virus and an increased risk of HIV infection

Herpes infections can increase the risk of getting or transmitting HIV through sexual contact. Studies have estimated that people with genital herpes are five to seven times more likely to get HIV. And people living with HIV who have active genital herpes tend to have a higher viral load.

Ulcers and changes in immune cells on the skin can be an easy route for HIV infection. Since immune changes in the skin can occur even in the absence of ulcers, the risk of contracting HIV is higher not only with active ulcerative lesions, but also when a person with herpes has no symptoms.

Diagnostics of herpes

Herpes is often diagnosed based on the appearance of ulcers. However, there are also two types of herpes diagnostic tests. Tests for the presence of the virus in ulcers include viral culture and molecular tests for HSV viral DNA.These tests have the risk of false negative results if the ulcer is sampled at the wrong time.

Type-specific blood tests check for HSV antibodies in the blood. This test can lead to false positive results in people with asymptomatic infection.

How to protect yourself and your partner

To reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV with HSV, experts recommend the following:

  • Use condoms during vaginal, anal and oral sex;
  • to reduce the number of sexual partners;
  • If possible, abstain from sex during herpes outbreaks;
  • regularly get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

STI Prevention – Yurgamysh Central District Hospital

All about prevention: 11 myths about preventing sexually transmitted infections

Thanks to new technologies, it has become easier for enemies to go on a frivolous date , but sex is still a risky business , and the level of our sex education is too low . Word of mouth stories and opinions have given rise to a host of myths about prevention from diseases , sexually transmitted diseases . We understand , which of them are close to reality , and which should be thrown away along with other superstitions .

According to statistics, in the United States alone, more than 2 million people are infected with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In Russia in 2017, 234 thousand people became victims of STIs. In 70% of cases, doctors diagnosed chlamydia, a disease that proceeds without obvious symptoms, often leading to chronic inflammation of the genitals, infertility and impotence.At the same time, 28,600 new cases of syphilis were recorded in Russia, 16,300 cases of gonorrhea, 70,500 patients with trichomoniasis, 85,800 HIV-infected. In total, there are already almost 850 thousand HIV patients in our country.

What can you get infected during sex?

The causative agents of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be 22 different bacteria, 8 viruses, 3 protozoa, 1 fungi, 2 ectoparasites (these are parasites that live on the skin).

STIs today include :

  1. “Good old” classic venereal diseases:

– syphilis,

– gonorrhea,

– donovanosis,

– chancre,

– venereal lymphogranulomatosis.

  1. “New” infections, predominantly sexually transmitted:

– chlamydia,

– trichomoniasis,

– mycoplasmosis.

  1. In addition, as a result of sexual contact, you can “earn” viruses:

– HIV,

– hepatitis B and C,

– cytomegalovirus infection,

– genital herpes,

– human papillomavirus infections,

– genital molluscum contagiosum.

  1. Pubic lice (lice) and scabies are parasitic infections.

There are also changes in the hierarchy of diseases. The ureaplasmosis , known to many, was recently excluded from the list, since its pathogens can live peacefully in the genital tract without causing the development of diseases. Bacterial vaginosis ( gardnerellosis ) is attributed to conditions accompanied by microflora disorders, candidiasis – to diseases caused by malfunctions of general and local immunity.

Of the diseases listed above, are considered curable: all “old” venereal diseases, as well as chlamydia, trichomoniasis, molluscum contagiosum, head lice and scabies.Their danger increases mainly with late diagnosis, chronic course and the development of complications, so they cannot be started.

Viral STIs (except for molluscum contagiosum) are considered incurable . Their therapy is aimed at eliminating the manifestations of diseases and achieving remission. The causative agent of the disease remains in the body and, when immunity is weakened, causes an exacerbation.

For sex to be safe, you need to know exactly when there is a real danger to health, and when you can relax.

Myth 1: if the sexual partner does not have signs of sexual infection , you can not defend yourself.

Symptoms may not be present. Genital infections can proceed latent : cause a disease, but without vivid symptoms. Chlamydia is prone to such a course — this infection is often accidentally found during examination for chronic inflammatory processes of the genital organs, infertility, spontaneous miscarriages, kidney disease and sexual dysfunction.

Some STIs, such as trichomoniasis, HIV, human papillomavirus and cytomegalovirus infection, can exist as a carriage , in which the pathogen settles in the body, does not cause disease, but can be transmitted to other people.

The most frequent manifestations of diseases , sexually transmitted : vaginal discharge in women and urethra in men, itching, burning and scratching in the genital area, redness, rashes and ulcers on the genitals, lips and in the cavity mouth.But sometimes the symptoms of STIs are similar to other diseases.

AIDS can be hidden under the guise of an ordinary ARVI, genital herpes can only bother you with a slight itching in the intimate area, a syphilitic ulcer can simply not be noticed. The only manifestation of chronic chlamydia can be conjunctivitis and liarthritis, which, at first glance, have nothing to do with sex.

The patient himself may not suspect , that he is contagious for his sexual partner . Latent infections and carriage are revealed only during examination .

Therefore, unsafe sex should be an excuse for examination, and not for bragging to friends in a bar.

Standard diagnostic complex includes :

– blood test for HIV,

– blood test for syphilis (RW),

– blood test for viral hepatitis B and C (HBsAg and Anti HCV),

– blood test for herpes (IgM, IgG),

– blood test for chlamydia IgA, IgG, IgM,

– multiprime (PCR diagnostics): Mycoplasmahominis, Mycoplasmagenitalium, Ureaplasmaspp.(they can cause disease in large numbers), Chlamydiatrachomatis (PCR), Trichomonas (PCR), Neisseriygonorrhea (PCR), herpes (PCR), HPV (PCR),

– florocenosis of the fungus Candida (Candida): albicans, glabrata, krusei, parapsilosis, tropicalis (PCR),

– florocenosis of the bacterial flora of the vagina (Bacteria, Lactobacillusspp., Gardnerellavaginalis, Atopobiumvaginae, Enterobacteriaceae, Streptococcusspp., Staphylococcusspp) (PCR, for women),

– normal smear on flora from the urethra and rectum in men, from the urethra, cervical canal and rectum in women.

Myth 2: You can get a genital infection only with vaginal sex and not with oral and anal

This myth has nothing to do with reality. The causative agents of viral infections are found in all biological fluids of a sick person. Most of them are in blood, semen and vaginal secretions, less in saliva, urine and sweat.

Microbial and parasitic STIs affect not only the genitals . If you have not carefully checked , what exactly you are putting in your mouth , and have not provided protection , , then the causative agents of trichomoniasis can be found in your mouth and cause the development of pharyngitis .

If your partner has a gonococcal genital infection, you risk getting gonococcal sore throat as a result of a blow job or cunnilingus, or proctitis — rectal inflammation — after anal sex.

Contact of any biological fluid with mucous membranes, be it the mucous membrane of the vagina, urethra, rectum or oral cavity, is fraught with infection. Anal and oral sex are the most dangerous in terms of infection. In the first case, microcracks in the rectal mucosa contribute to the penetration of the virus into the body, in this case the partner making the penetration is less at risk. In the second infection, trauma and gum disease contribute — both of you are equally at risk.During a blowjob, the mucous membrane of the penis can be traumatized by the partner’s teeth — it is not necessary to bite for this, only “rubbing” is enough.

Oral and anal sex can be dangerous for both partners. You can protect yourself using barrier contraception.

Myth 3: Sex without penetration and kissing are safe.

Sex without penetration, or external sex, in which partners enjoy rubbing their genitals against the partner’s body without inserting the penis into the vagina, anus or mouth, is also risky, but to a lesser extent than vaginal, anal and oral sex.

The risk of contracting syphilis arises in the event that , if there is a syphilitic ulcer on the skin or genitals of partners .

Its peculiarity is the absence of pain. It can be small enough to go unnoticed. The bottom of such an ulcer is literally “teeming” with pathogens. A small scratch, abrasion, abrasion of the skin, and contact with germs will be enough to catch syphilis.

As for kissing , during them you can get infected :

– syphilis (if the partner has a syphilitic ulcer in the mouth),

– viral hepatitis B and C (isolated cases),

– human papillomavirus infection,

– genital herpes virus,

– cytomegalovirus infection,

– gonorrhea (with gonococcal sore throat or pharyngitis from a partner).

This applies to all options for external sex : contact of the patient’s biological fluids ( saliva , blood , sperm , sperm contents) with damaged skin or mucous membranes of the other partner is dangerous in terms of infection .

How to reduce the risk of infection ?

– Avoid contact with the genitals, skin and mucous membranes, using latex wipes (they can be made by cutting the condom lengthwise) and a condom.

– Do not wax or wax before sex, as it damages the skin.

Myth 4: circumcision protects a man from genital infections , including HIV , which means , circumcised

Circumcision is an ancient, traditional rite for many peoples, involving the excision of the foreskin to expose the glans penis.In medicine, such an operation is called “circumcision” and is used to treat phimosis (narrowing of the foreskin) and for aesthetic reasons.

The myth of , that circumcision protects against infections , has real ground under it .

The foreskin forms a kind of “bag” in which the head of the penis is located. A huge number of various opportunistic and pathogenic bacteria enter the space between the head and this sac.Together with the secret, they form a smegma. If you do not wash often enough or carefully, the retention of smegma under the foreskin can lead to inflammation of the foreskin of the glans penis — this is called balanoposthitis. If this inflammation is caused by an STI, it is dangerous not only for the carrier, but also for his sexual partner. Circumcision automatically solves the problem of prevention.

Removing the foreskin by more than 60% reduces the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In 2007, the World Health Organization recommended circumcision as a method of preventing HIV infection in African countries during an epidemic of the disease.However, the above is not a reason to urgently circumcise the foreskin.

Circumcisia will not protect you from genital infections .

Firstly, because the partner’s pathogenic viruses and microbes during sex still enter the urethra (urethra), which means that they can “take root” there and cause the development of the disease. Secondly: some infections can be obtained even without contact with the partner’s genitals – just touching his skin is enough.

Myth 5: if you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with mouthwash after oral sex , this will protect you from infection.

Brushing your teeth before sex is even harmful! The risk of infection is increased by scratches on the mucous membrane from a toothbrush – STI pathogens can easily penetrate into them. So it is better to chew gum, use special sprays or antibacterial gargles to breathe freshness on your partner.

Brushing your teeth after oral sex is nothing more than a routine hygiene procedure. During it, a certain amount of viruses and bacteria that have entered the mouth are removed from the body. However, the remaining pathogens are enough to cause the development of the disease, especially if, as a result of fellatio in the mouth of the “receiving” partner, microscopic wounds are formed.

During oral sex, the side , working with the tongue is primarily at risk of contracting gonorrhea , chlamydia , herpes and papillomavirus infection .

If you are unlucky, the first signs of illness will be sore throat and redness, an obsessive cough, and bad breath. With syphilis, a painless sore will appear on the tongue, cheek or palate; with herpes, small bubbles in the palate.In general, the clinical picture will resemble ordinary dental and ENT diseases, but the problem will have to be solved by a venereologist. The danger of oral sex is less for the “passive” participant, but exists if the active partner has already settled in the mouth of the causative agent of the disease.

As for rinsing the mouth and throat: some rinses with antibacterial ingredients do reduce the risk of contracting microbial STIs, especially gonorrhea. Australian scientists have shown that rinsing the mouth and throat with an antiseptic for one minute reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth by half.

Do not brush your teeth before oral sex , after only for reasons of hygiene . But rinsing your mouth and throat after oral sex costs . In some cases it will save you from infection , but , unfortunately , not in all .

Myth 6: urinating and douching after intercourse protects against infections

Douching is a popular and extremely harmful “folk” method of protection against sexually transmitted infections, with which gynecology venereologists have long been waging an unsuccessful war.

Douching is dangerous for women: the vagina is inhabited by beneficial bacteria that create a microclimate that prevents the development of pathogens. Washing out beneficial microflora disrupts the biocenosis of the vagina and weakens the natural defense against genital infections. Pathogens trapped in the genital tract, together with sperm, freely penetrate into the uterus, and this causes the development of complications.

In the male version, female douching is similar to urination after intercourse and instillation ( injections , infusions ) in the urethra of antiseptic solutions . It is generally stupid to talk about the protective role of urination. . No scientific data , confirming the use of this method protection , does not exist .

Instillation of antiseptics into the urethra reduces the risk of infection to some extent, but is not suitable for permanent protection. Frequent infusions into the urethra lead to the development of chemical urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and make the body defenseless against genital infections.

Douching is harmful to health, no matter what genitals you have. The infusion of antiseptics into the urethra can only be used occasionally as a means of emergency prevention of STIs. But you shouldn’t hope for full protection.

Myth 7: HIV particles are so small , that they penetrate a condom

The myth is based on the theory of the porous structure of latex, from which condoms are made. The creators of the theory of the “leaky condom” argue that the “pores” of latex are larger than the human immunodeficiency virus, which means that condoms cannot protect against HIV.

Indeed, latex is a colloidal system consisting of polymer globules (balls) and liquid. The balls are not tightly adjacent to each other — small gaps remain between them, which are called “pores”.

The impermeability of the material is ensured by its multilayer structure. The “pores” of one layer are “closed” with globules of the next, which makes latex an insurmountable obstacle even for such tiny biological particles as HIV.

Perhaps , in past centuries , when condoms were made from sheep intestine , a condom as a means of protection against HIV would be useless . Modern latex provide protection in 99% cases .

A condom may “not work” if its expiration date has expired, the rules for its storage are violated: latex can be destroyed by modern times and under the influence of high and low temperatures.

A condom can break or slip off the penis if used improperly, but even then it will remain impermeable to HIV.

However, the Russian market is flooded with substandard counterfeit products made of highly porous rubber , whose real level of protection is far from the declared .

In order not to run into a fake, it is better to purchase condoms in pharmacies and large specialized stores.

Condom is a reliable means of protection against STIs during vaginal, oral, anal and penetration-free sex. The main thing is to follow the rules of its use.

Myth 8: a condom fully protects against all diseases , sexually transmitted diseases

This myth is the opposite of the previous one, but also does not correspond to reality.

The condom covers only part of the genitals . It is effective against infections , concentrated in the area of ​​the urethra and penis in men , vagina and internal genital organs in women , such as such trichomoniasis . However, no condom is able to protect against all diseases , transmitted through sexual intercourse .

Using a condom, you can easily become infected with scabies, pubic lice, molluscum contagiosum, genital herpes, papillomavirus infection or syphilis, especially if the syphilitic ulcer is located on the labia, in the perineum, scrotum.

Myth 9: Spermicides protect against infections during sex

Spermicides — special preparations that are inserted into the vagina before intercourse to destroy sperm and thereby prevent conception.The most famous representative of the group is benzalkonium chloride.

According to some reports, it has the ability to destroy pathogens. In particular, it has a detrimental effect on gonococci, Trichomonas, chlamydia, mycoplasma, spirochetes, herpes viruses and HIV.

It turns out , protection against diseases , sexually transmitted infections with spermicides not myth , but reality . But don’t jump to conclusions .

In the pharmacy network you can find spermicides in the form of vaginal tablets, suppositories, capsules, cream and even tampons. Spermicides in the form of vaginal tablets “dry” and irritate the vaginal mucosa, thereby, on the contrary, increasing its permeability to pathogens of genital infections. As a result, they not only fail to protect, but also contribute to the development of diseases.

If spermicides are to be used to reduce the risk of infection, it is better in the form of a cream or suppositories that have a moisturizing and soothing effect on the vaginal mucosa.At the same time, do not forget that with repeated intercourse, an additional dose of the drug must be administered.

A few more words about lubricants : intensive moisturizing of the skin and mucous membranes reduces friction during intercourse , prevents mucosal trauma and reduces the risk of STI infection .

In addition, there are lubricants containing bactericidal, antiseptic and fungicidal components.Their use is especially indicated for the individual prevention of STIs.

Antiseptic lubricants and spermicides reduce the likelihood of contracting STIs . It makes sense to use spermicides together with a condom in the expectation of protection in case of rupture or slipping .

Myth 10: if there was no ejaculation , it is impossible to get infected

Many sexually transmitted diseases in men are accompanied by the development of urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland).Less commonly, the infection spreads to the seminal vesicles, testicles and their epididymis. The semen released during ejaculation is mixed with the juices of the prostate and urethra and therefore contains a huge amount of infectious agents.

It is logical to assume , that with interrupted sexual intercourse and no contact with sperm , STIs cannot be infected . However, this is not the case .

First, the contents of the urethra and a small amount of semen enter the female genital tract long before ejaculation.Secondly, other biological fluids can be a source of viruses and other microorganisms.

Myth 11: if a woman has sex only with women , her risk of infection is minimal

Homosexual female couples take the same risk, no matter what you fantasize. During intercourse, vaginal discharge, saliva and blood particles get onto sex toys, skin and mucous membranes. It doesn’t matter how the infectious agent is introduced into the body — through the penis, fingers, tongue, dildo or other sex toy.The result will be the same: the development of the disease.

To contract herpes and human papillomavirus infection, oral caresses, hugs and kisses are enough, so no one has canceled the rules of sex hygiene for female couples.

It is impossible to protect against infections , sexually transmitted , for all 100% impossible . The only effective way complete sexual abstinence , but such sacrifices are not worth making . Monogamy with a proven partner helps to maintain health and live an active sex life ; compulsory use of condoms and latex wipes ; as well as lubricants and spermicides .

And we must not forget about prophylactic examinations for the purpose of early diagnosis of diseases . Possibly , with the development of tolerance to free sexual relations in society, the request to check and present a certificate will become more and more commonplace .

90,000 Genital herpes!

1. What is genital herpes?

Genital herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus has two types. The first type ( HSV-1 ) usually causes oral herpes , infections of the lips and mouth. The most common form of the disease is herpes, or, as it is often called, a cold sore on the lips.Herpes simplex virus type 1 rarely causes genital herpes, but it is possible, especially among people who are sexually active at an early age. However, in most cases genital herpes occurs due to the second type of herpes virus (( HSV-2 ).

HSV-2 lives in the nerves. In an active state, the virus moves to the surface of the infected area (skin or mucous membranes) and begins to divide. During this time, the virus can be transmitted from one person to another.When the genital herpes virus is infected, it usually travels to the nerve tissue (usually at the base of the spine), and there it is “dormant” for some time.

About one fifth of all people aged 12 and over are infected with the HSV-2 virus. But almost no one (about 90%) knows about it. By comparison, an average of 50-80% of the adult population has oral herpes.

Women are more likely to be infected with the herpes simplex virus. On average, this is one in four women. For men, the indicator is slightly lower – one in five.A possible reason for this difference is that genital herpes virus infects female genitals more easily than male genital organs. The older the person is, the higher the likelihood of infection. The large number of sexual partners also affects the incidence of genital herpes.

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2.How is herpes transmitted and can it be prevented?

How is herpes spread?

HSV-1 is most commonly spread from person to person through kissing. HSV-1 can also be spread during oral sex. In this case, infection with genital herpes is possible due to the virus of the first type.

HSV-2 is most commonly transmitted during normal intercourse.

HSV-2 cannot survive on “inanimate” objects and surfaces. Therefore, there is no real risk of contracting genital herpes while using the toilet or, for example, the hot tub.

Can genital herpes be prevented?

Using a condom during intercourse may protect against genital herpes virus. Any kind of sexual intercourse should be avoided if there are visible ulcers on the genitals. But it is important to know that HSV can be contagious even when its symptoms are completely invisible.

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3.Genital herpes symptoms

Is genital herpes serious?

HSV-2 usually causes only mild symptoms and most people may not notice the problem at all. However, sometimes HSV-2 can cause recurring and painful sores on the genitals. This occurs most often in people with reduced immunity. Regardless of the symptoms, genital herpes is a common cause of psychological distress in an infected person.

In addition, HSV-2 can lead to a potentially fatal infection in newborns if infection occurs during childbirth.Infection with herpes during pregnancy for the first time significantly increases the risk of transmitting the infection to the newborn. If a woman has active genital herpes at the time of delivery, doctors usually resort to a caesarean section. Fortunately, it is very rare for babies to become infected with genital herpes from a mother.

The danger of genital herpes is that the virus can make people more susceptible to HIV infection and can make HIV-infected people more infectious.

What happens when you get genital herpes? Genital herpes symptoms

Most people infected with the genital herpes virus are unaware of this. But if some symptoms appear during the first episode of infection, they can be quite noticeable. The initial outbreak of infection usually occurs within two weeks after transmission of the virus. And the affected areas heal within two to four weeks. Other symptoms of genital herpes may be re-emergence of affected areas of the skin and mucous membranes, as well as flu-like symptoms – fever, fever, swollen glands.The skin on or near the genitals may become inflamed, itchy, and painful. Ulcers appear on it. Perhaps a burning sensation when urinating, muscle pain.

However, some people have no symptoms of genital herpes at all.

Most people diagnosed with genital herpes usually have several symptomatic relapses per year (usually 4-5). And they are most noticeable during the first year after infection.

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4. Diagnosis and treatment of disease

Diagnosis of genital herpes

The signs and symptoms of genital herpes can vary greatly from person to person. Genital herpes can be diagnosed by visual examination and analysis of a sample from the ulcer, which can help detect the herpes virus.Blood tests for HSV-1 and HSV-2 antibodies may be helpful, although the results of this test are not always easy to interpret.

How to cure genital herpes?

There is no cure for genital herpes as such. But antiviral drugs can shorten and prevent outbreaks of infection. Tablets and ointments can help ulcers heal faster, and pain relievers can help relieve discomfort. For frequent episodes of genital herpes, your doctor may prescribe a course of regular antiviral therapy.

90,000 Incurable and highly contagious – Newspaper Kommersant No. 45 (1689) dated 20.03.1999

& nbsp Incurable and highly contagious
97 out of 100 Russian citizens carry one extremely unpleasant and dangerous disease. In the case of activation of the virus, the consequences can be severe – immunodeficiency, mental disorders and dementia, numerous diseases of internal organs that are difficult to treat.This disease is called herpes. According to experts, about two million Russians fall ill with it every year. With a commentary – the medical observer of Kommersant MIKHAIL Kommersant-KIRTSER.

This story is told by a micro-pediatrician, an experienced clinician, when he meets his mother-to-be for the first time for a preliminary interview. The case is just terrible.
In one quite prosperous Soviet family, a girl was born, full-term and healthy. Everything was as it should be: dad ran away from work early to bathe his daughter, mom read Spock’s book; at the right time, the girl began to walk and talk; sometimes it hurt, but never anything serious.In due time, the hassle began, final and entrance exams were coming … The spring was early and hot. The girl caught a cold and fell ill, she developed a violent fever; the case was complicated by brain inflammation, she went to the hospital, but nothing helped, and she died.
The investigation showed that the cause of the cytomegalovirus infection, transferred, most likely, by her mother during pregnancy. Today, it is already well known from the special medical literature that cytomegalovirus, which belongs to the breed of our today’s hero, herpes, can, having entered the body during the prenatal period, doze for one and a half to two decades, and then suddenly manifest itself and cause a serious illness.However, cytomegalovirus sometimes gives immediate results – in the form of congenital deformities. Other types of herpes often lead to infertility, causing miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy.

Herpetic family
Until recently, the herpes family consisted of five viruses. The first two are the so-called simple virus. One of them affects the skin and mucous membranes of a person up to the nipple line, the other below this line and is therefore called genital. True, now, with the development of oral sex, these two viruses are pretty mixed.The third virus is the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes the disease “shingles”. Those of us who have had chickenpox have every chance of getting sick with weakening of the immune system. The fourth virus is cytomegalovirus, its features have already been mentioned above. It usually does not manifest itself on the skin, but it is very dangerous for pregnant women. The fifth type of virus causes infectious mononucleosis and can subsequently lead to nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Viruses of the sixth, seventh and eighth types have already been discovered.According to American experts, the herpes virus of the sixth and seventh types causes the exontema of newborns – a rash with fever in babies. And one of the most fashionable diseases now, manifested in the form of chronic fatigue syndrome. Viruses of the eighth type are not fully understood. So far, they are credited with a certain role in the development of various benign and malignant neoplasms.

Herpes is incurable
In some developed countries of the world, genital herpes in the acute stage is legally defined as an obstacle to marriage; this disease is considered a venereal disease and is one of the group of those for knowingly infected with which there is criminal responsibility.In one of the novels of the famous detective writer Rex Stout, a millionaire pursues his former mistress and kills her just because she infected him with genital herpes.
Once syphilis was considered an incurable disease, now there are powerful antibiotics that can cope with it in a matter of days. Unfortunately, it is simply impossible to completely expel the herpes virus from the body.
Herpes lives in most of us. According to Russian statistics, 97% of six-year-old citizens of the country are already infected with one or another type of herpes.While a person’s immunity is in good condition, the virus is sleeping. But as soon as immunity begins to decline (and this can be caused not only by certain diseases, but simply by stress, an unfavorable external environment), herpes manifests itself from the worst side. Therefore, the prevention of herpes is just an attentive attitude towards oneself, a healthy lifestyle, if possible.

Special way of Russia
Since 1994, a diagnostic base for genital herpes has begun to develop in Moscow and, as always happens in such cases, there is a rapid increase in the number of cases.In Russia as a whole, it is estimated that there are more than two million newly diagnosed cases per year. Since, as already mentioned above, herpes is completely incurable, the task of doctors is to transfer it to an easier phase of remission, to improve the patient’s quality of life. In the West, the basis of treatment is suppressive, that is, suppressive therapy. Patients have been taking antiviral drugs like Zovirax for years. In Russia, a different approach prevails: to treat the body, not the disease, to maintain a high level of immunity. Russian doctors prefer to prescribe to their patients inducers of interferon, a killer protein.These are amiksin, poludan, alpizarin and others.
90,000 Autumn – “herpes season”

With the onset of autumn, it is worth preparing not only for a cold snap, but also for its natural consequences, one of which is the herpes virus.

Herpes translated from Greek means “creeping, spreading skin disease.” This is a viral disease with a characteristic rash of blisters on the skin and mucous membranes.

Herpes affects:

90,042 90,043 leather;

90,043 eyes;

  • mucous membranes of the face;
  • genital mucous membranes;
  • central nervous system;
  • hair (promotes hair loss).
  • There are 8 types of herpes in medicine:

    • Herpes simplex type 1 – usually causes blisters on the lips.
    • Herpes simplex type 2 – predominantly causes genital problems.
    • Type 3 virus is the varicella-zoster virus of childhood chickenpox and shingles.
    • Virus type 4 is an Epstein-Barr virus that causes infectious mononucleosis (a viral disease characterized by fever, lesions of the throat, lymph nodes, liver, spleen and peculiar changes in blood composition).
    • Type 5 virus – cytomegalovirus (can lead to ARVI and bronchitis, affect the organs of the genitourinary / urinary system).
    • The significance of 6, 7 (a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome) and 8 types (causes of cancer) is not fully understood.

    How can you get herpes?

    Herpes virus is transmitted:

    • by direct contact,
    • by means of household items,
    • by airborne droplets,
    • vertical paths (from mother to fetus).

    Overcoming tissue barriers, it penetrates into the blood and lymph, and then into various internal organs.

    Additional causes of the disease:

    • overwork;
    • hypothermia;
    • 90,043 stress;

    • exacerbation of chronic diseases.

    Herpes on the lips. 95% of the inhabitants of planet Earth are infected with the herpes simplex virus type I. The disease manifests itself as ulcers in the nose, lips and other areas of the face.

    Herpes symptoms

    As a rule, before the appearance of bubbles, the site of the lesion becomes very sensitive, itching and tingling occurs. If we are talking about herpes on the lips and face, then at the site of the future “cold” the temperature rises noticeably, the skin turns red. Also, sometimes you may experience chills and malaise before the appearance of obvious signs of herpes – a rash of bubbles with transparent contents.

    The main danger of the herpes virus is that it can manifest itself not only in the form of rashes on the lips, but also cause the development of herpetic meningoencephalitis (damage to the brain and meninges), other membranes), and other equally serious diseases.

    If you get sick with the herpes virus

    When a herpes rash appears, you become acutely infectious, so think not only about your own treatment, but also about the people around you.

    Observe the following rules:

    • Do not touch lips affected by rashes. If you do touch them, wash your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading the infection elsewhere on your body.
    • If you have cold sores on your lips, do not squeeze out the bubbles or peel off the crusts.as this can lead to additional skin infection.
    • If you wear contact lenses, do not wet them with saliva to moisturize.
    • Apply the antiviral cream to the lips not with your fingers, but with cosmetic sticks.
    • Be sure to use a personal towel and utensils.
    • Refrain from kissing and oral-genital contact until complete recovery.

    Herpes treatment

    According to doctors, at the moment there are no drugs that would completely destroy the herpes virus in the human body.But there is a group of antiviral agents that effectively suppress the multiplication of the herpes simplex virus of the first type. It is very important to start treating herpes at the first symptoms, then there is a high probability that the timely use of an antiviral cream will be sufficient. Otherwise, your doctor may prescribe pills for you.

    Folk remedies for the treatment of herpes

    • Apply lotions with fresh celandine juice 2-3 times a day.
    • Take a piece of ice from the freezer, wrap it in a thin cloth and place it on the sore spot for 10 minutes.Repeat the procedure three times during the day. If the stage of the disease is initial, then, perhaps, the next day there will be no herpes.
    • Lubricate infected areas and around them with pharmacy propolis tincture.
    • At the first symptoms of the herpes virus, anoint the affected area with toothpaste.

    Still, it is better to insure yourself and at the same time buy antiviral drugs at the pharmacy.

    Herpes prevention

    First of all, strengthen the immune system.Prevention of herpes consists, first of all, in strengthening the immune system. Watch your diet: add vegetables and fruits to it. Observe a sleep and rest routine, organize moderate physical activity. During epidemics of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza, if possible, avoid being in crowded places (although this is almost impossible).

    If you often have exacerbations of herpes, consult an immunologist, go through an examination, according to its results, the doctor will recommend individual methods of preventing herpes.

    Herpes myths

    Herpes is a “cold”.
    This is a completely independent viral disease that predetermines the virus of the simple type.

    If there is a rash on the lips, the disease has subsided.
    In fact, the appearance of a rash on the lips suggests that the virus has already weakened the immune system and is actively developing in the body.

    The rash is gone – the virus is cured.
    Medicine is not so optimistic: it is impossible to get rid of the virus, it can only be put to sleep for a while.

    The affected area must absolutely not be moistened with water.
    Water has no effect on the virus. It’s just that if you wet the blisters of the rash, the risk of ripping them off increases, which will lead to an increase in the affected area.

    Herpes during pregnancy is dangerous for the fetus.
    Not always. It is especially dangerous if a woman has never had herpes and got sick during pregnancy. In this case, you need to contact your gynecologist. If a woman was sick and she has quite strong immunity, then nothing threatens the fetus.If a woman contracted the herpes virus before giving birth, doctors may consider a caesarean section.

    Health to you !!!

    Neurologist 22 GP Makarevich M.L.

    90,000 Phantom Menace. Women’s diseases that are asymptomatic

    Everyone knows that the gynecologist should be visited regularly, even if the patient is not worried about anything. But not all women follow this rule, hoping that the disease will certainly manifest itself. Is this really so, we talked with Tatyana Smirnova, associate professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Belarusian State Medical University, candidate of medical sciences, obstetrician-gynecologist of the highest category.

    It should be understood that almost all female diseases can be asymptomatic.

    Among the problems with which women most often turn to a gynecologist, inflammatory diseases are in the lead. They are divided into specific (sexually transmitted) and nonspecific (not transmitted).

    The first include HPV, herpes, various types of fungal diseases, thrush, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, HIV.

    And if HIV or syphilis remain relatively rare infections, then HPV, for example, is one of the most common viruses.Its carriers are up to 60% of the world’s population.

    A similar situation with herpes. These are intracellular viruses that live in our body, and manifest themselves with a decrease in immunity. And if you smoke or have some kind of female pathology, you are an ideal candidate for these viruses.

    HPV can go away on its own, herpes cannot. With regard to treatment, here the task of doctors is to induce a long-term remission so that there are no clinical manifestations. A common situation is when a woman has a virus, but a man does not – it is more and more difficult in the male reproductive system.But treatment is compulsory for everyone.

    For the prevention of any sexually transmitted diseases, you should always use a condom. Moreover, no matter what kind of sex you are engaged in, contraceptives exist for everything. Condoms have long been used abroad for oral and rectal sex. Unfortunately, no type of contraceptive provides 100% protection against infections.

    Diseases that are not sexually transmitted

    And even if a woman is not sexually active, this does not guarantee that she is completely protected from gynecological diseases.

    Nonspecific diseases are many: vulvitis, colpitis, endometritis, cervicitis, (acute and chronic forms), salpingo-oophoritis, pelvioeritonitis. They are not sexually transmitted and may not manifest themselves for a long time.

    Nonspecific diseases are caused by streptococci, peptococci, Escherichia coli, diphtheroids and many other bacteria that are already normal in the vagina, but with inflammation they manifest unpleasant symptoms.

    – Always use a condom whenever possible.

    – reduce the consumption of spicy foods and be attentive on vacation (all these bacteria love to eat deliciously and multiply in a warm environment).

    – smoking, alcohol opens the doors of the body so that various bacteria can penetrate into it faster.

    – you should also not abuse tight jeans, it is better to change into loose clothes when you come home, the body must breathe.

    How to identify hidden diseases?

    The smears that we are used to taking in polyclinics are not very informative.The maximum that they will show is the presence of an inflammatory process.

    To see serious diseases, it is worth doing a more complete examination, which is usually carried out only for a fee: this is PCR, cultures, blood from a vein, femoflor screen – this is a study of the urogenital tract and other gynecological examinations.

    The number of necessary examinations is prescribed by the doctor who observes the patient.

    Why are cysts dangerous?

    Another hidden threat is cysts.Often women live with them for a long time and are unaware of anything.

    There are two types of cysts. A true cyst is a closed cavity lined with an outer layer and filled with liquid or semi-liquid contents. A pseudo cyst is the same cavity in which there is no epithelial lining.

    If a doctor finds a cyst in a patient (it can be palpable or visible with ultrasound), treatment options may vary. If the cyst is very small, then drug treatment is prescribed.

    As for true cysts (they are often benign), histological analysis is carried out first, and then surgical methods of treatment are most often used. The danger of any cyst is always that it can develop into a malignant tumor.

    What to do with myoma?

    When we talk about myoma, the picture is different. Myoma, in principle, is considered the most benign tumor of the female body. There are many cases when a patient is observed, but no treatment is needed.A woman leads a normal life, gets pregnant, gives birth and everything is fine.

    The risk group for the formation of cysts and fibroids is always those who lead an unhealthy lifestyle, as well as girls and women who have a family history of such cases. If mom or grandmother had such problems, then it is likely to expect the same in the younger generation.

    If a patient has an unstable cycle, she likes to sit in a sauna, spends a long time in the sun, this also puts her at risk – all these things contribute to the growth of tumors.

    And prevention is the same everywhere: we visit a gynecologist once every six months, do not ignore any uncharacteristic manifestations, follow the cycle and take good care of our body.

    What to do with cervical erosion?

    Cervical erosion today is also one of the main problems in the field of gynecology, many women face with such a diagnosis.

    Erosion can be either congenital or acquired. It often happens that even girls who are not sexually active find erosion.It would seem from where? This is a variant of pseudo-erosion with cervical ectopia of the cervix. There is another type – true – this is a defect in the epithelium, and it does not require special treatment.

    Until the age of 25, it is not customary to take any serious measures to eliminate erosion. If there is any treatment, it is exclusively conservative, that is, medications. And after 25 – we look at the indications.

    Previously, erosion was cauterized, the current methods are more gentle. Now they use lasers and radio wave technology – it does not contribute to the formation of scars on the cervix, does not interfere with getting pregnant and having a baby in the future.In this matter, medicine does not stand still.

    Memo for women over 30 years old:

    – Every six months to visit a gynecologist – everyone, without exception. Preventive examination is a guarantee that dangerous diseases will be detected at an early stage.

    – If there are fibroids, cysts – do an ultrasound scan every six months. The rest – preferably once a year.

    – Regularly donate blood for tumor markers

    – After 35 years, especially for those giving birth, it makes sense to improve the aesthetic appearance of female genital organs.Indeed, after childbirth, the uterus often drops, the labia also cease to look the way it was before. Much can be corrected today with the help of laser cosmetology.

    – After 40 years, a mammogram must be done every two years. Those women who have or have had cases of cancer in their family should undergo mammography from the age of 25 and be monitored by a gynecologist.

    The material was written within the framework of a sociological study devoted to women’s health.Its main goal is to inform women about the need to carefully monitor their well-being.

    Material taken from the site: rebenok.by


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