Oral herpes photos: Pictures of What They Look Like
Herpes simplex images | DermNet NZ
Herpes simplex images
Herpes simplex images — codes and concepts
HSV infection images
> Go to the image library
Herpes simplex labialis
See smartphone apps to check your skin.
Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Painful, pus-filled blisters that form on the face near the lips. Caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Usually spread by close contact with an infected person.
Prevalance: Very common Ages Affected: All
- Blisters on or around the lips
- Pain and tenderness to the touch
- Burning or itching sensations
- Topical creams (Abreva, acyclovir, penciclovir, zinc oxide)
- Antiviral drugs (oral acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir)
- Home remedies (bee propolis, lemon balm, aloe vera, lysine)
Cold sores, or “fever blisters”, are painful blisters that form on the face, usually near the lips.
They’re caused by one of the most common viral infections in the world. According to the CDC, nearly 50% of people have at least one cold sore outbreak every year.
You can’t cure cold sores permanently, but certain medications and home remedies may help shorten outbreaks and improve symptoms.
IF YOU PURCHASE A PRODUCT USING A LINK BELOW, WE MAY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ OUR AD POLICY HERE.
What is a cold sore?
A cold sore is a red or dark pink fluid-filled blister around the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus. Cold sores may appear on other parts of your face. Rarely, cold sores can spread to your nose, inside of your mouth, or even your fingers.
Cold sores are also known as fever blisters, herpes labialis, or oral herpes.
Generally, cold sores spread through close contact, like kissing or oral sex, with another person during an outbreak. Even before you can see the blisters, cold sores may be contagious if skin contact is made.
Cold sores may come back at any time, even after an active outbreak has ended. There is no known cure for cold sores, which are a recurring skin condition.
What does a cold sore look like?
There are 5 cold sore stages that each look different:
- Stage 1/Tingling: For about 24 hours, your mouth may itch and/or tingle. Many people describe the feeling as a burning sensation. No visible signs may appear.
- Stage 2/Blistering: Blisters form and fill with fluid. You may develop several small blisters or one large blister. Sores appear white, greyish, or yellow while skin becomes inflamed and red.
- Stage 3/Weeping: Blisters break (burst) and may ooze. Painful sores form and are often varying shades of red.
- Stage 4/Crusting: After a few days, sores dry out and a scab forms. Itching and cracking are common.
- Stage 5/Healing: The scab falls off and the skin heals.
Cold sores are contagious at every stage until they heal completely. They spread most easily during stage 3.
You cannot speed up cold sore healing by popping it or by ripping off the scab. Both of these actions may lead to a scar once the cold sore has healed completely.
Cold Sore Symptoms
Tingling, burning, and itchy facial skin are the first signs of a fever blister/cold sore. Catching a cold sore early is important to shorten its duration, so begin treatment immediately.
As the cold sore virus progresses, you’ll experience pain and tenderness. Multiple sores may appear.
Especially during your first cold sore outbreak, you may also experience symptoms like:
- Sore throat
- Painful gums
- Swollen lips
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- General muscle and joint aches
During your first cold sore, you may contract gingivostomatitis, an infection of the gums and mouth. This may be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes, bad breath, and a desire to avoid drinking water.
Rarely, your eyes may become infected. If you experience any symptoms in or around your eyes during a cold sore infection, call a doctor immediately. HSV-1 infections in the eyes may lead to vision loss if not addressed right away.
What causes cold sores?
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).
“Herpes” can sound alarming, but it’s an incredibly common virus. 50-80% of adults in the United States carry HSV-1, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. However, some individuals never develop a cold sore even though they carry the virus.
Most people, however, will experience at least one or two cold sores in their lifetime.
The herpes virus “hides” in the ganglion of nerve cells under the skin of your face after an initial outbreak has ended. There, it is considered “dormant” or “latent.” When triggered again, HSV-1 replicates through the nerve and out to the skin to create a new cold sore. This is why recurring oral herpes outbreaks often happen around the same area of the face as prior outbreaks.
HSV-2 (herpes simplex virus 2) is a related viral strain that causes genital herpes. HSV-2 can rarely spread to the face, and HSV-1 can be transmitted to the genitals.
A person may not develop their first cold sore for up to 20 days after exposure to HSV-1. During this time, they may still spread the virus.
As 90% of people carry the herpes virus that causes cold sores, most people are at risk of developing a cold sore at some point in their lifetime. A weak immune system is the most significant risk factor for cold sores.
If you have any of the following conditions, your immune system is weaker than average. This puts you at a higher risk of HSV-1 infections or complications:
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Autoimmune disease
- Third-degree burns over much of the body
- Cancer (especially during chemotherapy treatment)
- Organ transplants (because of anti-rejection drugs)
Certain genetic factors may also increase your risk of cold sores. The C21orf91 gene is associated with more frequent herpes labialis outbreaks.
What triggers a cold sore? New or recurring cold sore outbreaks may be triggered by:
- A weak immune system for any reason
- Any viral or bacterial infection (cold, flu, etc.)
- Sun exposure
- Chronic stress
- Dental work
- Injury to facial skin
In some cases, cold sore outbreaks may lead to serious medical complications such as:
- Eczema: Eczema combined with cold sore infections can cause eczema herpeticum, a potentially life-threatening medical emergency. People with eczema are more susceptible to cold sores because they have an inflammatory autoimmune condition across a large area of skin. No longer limited only to the face, cold sores can spread to any area of the body. This is most common in children.
- Herpetic whitlow: HSV-1 may be transferred to the fingertips, a condition known as herpetic whitlow (“whitlow finger”). This is why some babies and toddlers who suck their thumbs and fingers will get fever blisters on fingers. Dentists suffer from this type of cold sore complication more frequently than the general population.
- Eye infections: Herpes simplex can travel to the eyes and cause infections like herpetic keratoconjunctivitis or viral keratitis. This can result in inflammation and ulcers on the cornea. If left untreated, eye infections from cold sores can result in permanent vision loss. Call a doctor right away if you experience eye symptoms during a cold sore outbreak.
- Genital sores: Usually, HSV-1 causes cold sores on the face and HSV-2 causes genital herpes. However, it’s possible to spread HSV-1 sores to the genitals or HSV-2 sores to the face.
- Acute herpetic pharyngotonsillitis: In adults, cold sores may lead to this throat/tonsil infection. You may develop a fever, headache, tiredness, and a sore throat, but this infection is not usually serious.
- Gingivostomatitis: This gum/mouth infection usually happens only once, if ever, and heals in 7-10 days. However, it can spread to the central nervous system and may lead to meningoencephalitis and/or death.
- Meningitis or encephalitis: In immunocompromised individuals, HSV viruses may travel to and cause inflammation in the spinal cord (meningitis) and brain (encephalitis). This is a very rare and dangerous complication of the herpes virus.
When to Call a Doctor
Most cold sores can be treated at home without problems. However, children and people at risk of complications should be monitored more closely and may need professional attention.
You should contact a doctor immediately if you or your child have a cold sore and:
- High or long-lasting fever
- Breathing or swallowing problems
- Irritation around the eyes which may or may not cause redness or discharge
- The spread of cold sores to an eczema breakout
You should also call your doctor if you develop a cold sore and have a compromised immune system, such as with cancer or AIDS.
To diagnose a cold sore, your doctor can perform a physical exam. Cold sores are usually easy to identify, but he or she may order lab tests to confirm the diagnosis in some cases.
If you are at high risk of complications, your physician may sample the fluid from an oozing cold sore.
Cold Sore Treatment
How do you get rid of a cold sore fast? Over-the-counter topical ointments or creams like Abreva may shorten the length of a cold sore outbreak.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend prescription antiviral medications to prevent recurring infections.
Several home remedies may also improve symptoms of cold sores.
According to available scientific evidence, no treatment can get rid of a cold sore in 24 hours.
Without treatment, most cold sore infections will clear up within 7-10 days.
Creams & Ointments
Prescription topical creams or ointments that your doctor may prescribe for a cold sore include:
- Viroxyn Professional (benzalkonium chloride and benzocaine)
- Xerese (acyclovir and hydrocortisone)
- Soothelip (acyclovir)
- Denavir (penciclovir)
Viroxyn may be able to reduce the time to cold sore healing by over 3 days more than Abreva. A 2010 study found Viroxyn healed a cold sore in just 4 days on average.
Over-the-counter topical creams or ointments that may help improve cold sore symptoms and/or shorten an outbreak include:
- Abreva (docosanol)
- Zinc oxide cream (typically sold for diaper rash)
- Aloe vera gel
- Zilactin (benzyl alcohol)
Abreva (docosanol) is the only over-the-counter antiviral treatment approved by the FDA to shorten the healing time of cold sores. Abreva may heal a cold sore in just 4-7 days.
Aloe vera gel and zinc oxide cream may also shorten outbreaks and reduce cold sore symptoms.
Zilactin is marketed for topical cold sore relief. No studies support its efficacy for improving symptoms, but it may dry out the area and reduce the pain caused by a cold sore.
All topical creams or gels for cold sores should be applied to the tingling or burning area 4-5 times each day for maximum effectiveness.
Touching a cold sore directly greatly increases your risk of spreading the infection to another part of your body or another person. When using creams and ointments for cold sores, always apply with a cotton swab.
Oral medications are available by prescription for prolonged or recurring cold sore infections:
- Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Valtrex (valacyclovir)
- Famvir (famciclovir)
These antiviral medicines may be prescribed for daily use if you have frequent cold sore outbreaks and/or you are at a high risk of complications.
Several cold sore remedies may improve your symptoms or even reduce your risk of future infections. These include:
- Bee propolis
- Apple cider vinegar
- Essential oils (eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, ginger, thyme, hyssop, and sandalwood)
- Lemon balm (salve or oral dietary supplement)
- Kanuka honey
- Aloe vera gel
Does toothpaste get rid of cold sores? No one knows for sure if toothpaste can get rid of cold sores. Anecdotal reports suggest that toothpaste containing SLS may help to dry out cold sores. However, no scientific evidence supports this claim.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) may actually cause canker sores, so avoid using this as a treatment for your cold sores.
Cold Sore Pain Relief
Even if your infection time is shortened by effective treatment, you’ll probably still experience pain during your outbreak.
To reduce pain from a cold sore:
- Use ice or a cold compress against the skin
- Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Use benzocaine or lidocaine gel to numb the area
Remember not to touch the sore with your hands and use a cotton ball or swab when applying a topical anesthetic.
Aspirin should not be used for cold sore pain — or any pain during a viral infection — especially in children.
Rarely, aspirin use during a viral infection may lead to Reye syndrome, a serious childhood condition that begins with persistent vomiting and may lead to neurological problems and other life-threatening complications.
How to Prevent Cold Sores
The virus is generally passed through skin contact or by touching personal items used by an infected person. To prevent spreading cold sores, do not:
- Share drinking glasses, water bottles, or eating utensils
- Use someone else’s lip balm
- Share toothbrushes or other hygiene products
- Kiss someone who has a cold sore or has been in close contact with another person who has a cold sore
- Perform or receive oral sex with someone who may have a cold sore or genital herpes
You should also wash your hands frequently and thoroughly during a cold sore outbreak.
To prevent or reduce your risk for recurring cold sore infections, you should avoid triggers for new outbreaks and keep your immune system healthy:
- Use a lip balm with sunscreen: Use an SPF 30 or higher lip balm.
- Avoid sun overexposure: Always use sunscreen and avoid spending several hours in the sun on a regular basis.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly: Your toothbrush or toothbrush head can hang onto viruses including HSV-1. Replace your toothbrush every 1-3 months and immediately after a cold sore outbreak.
- Practice stress-relief techniques: Journaling, meditation, time outdoors, exercise, and restful sleep can all help reduce stress and fatigue that can trigger cold sores.
- Support immune health during menstruation: Women may be more prone to cold sores during their periods. Don’t neglect immunity and healthy habits/eating during your cycle, as this could increase your risk of new cold sores.
- Boost your immune system: As with any virus, cold sores are less likely if your immune system is strong. Ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamin C, vitamin D, and nutrient-dense foods. You may also try a probiotic supplement and/or oral probiotics to support a healthy microbiome.
- Be cautious after dental work: Dental cleanings and other procedures can temporarily weaken your immune system by exposing your bloodstream to higher amounts of oral bacteria than normal.
How long do cold sores last?
First cold sore outbreaks may last as long as 2 weeks.
Recurrent outbreaks usually heal in 7-10 days.
The cold sore virus does not go away, even when a cold sore outbreak has healed. It remains dormant in nerve cells until the infection is triggered again.
Cold Sores vs. Canker Sores
A cold sore outbreak is the result of a viral infection, while canker sores are non-contagious ulcers caused by several different factors.
The easiest way to spot the difference between cold sores and canker sores is by their location and appearance.
|Cold Sore||Canker Sore|
|Location||Face, usually on or around the lips||Inside the mouth, on the tongue, cheeks, or throat|
|Appearance||Raised, red, fluid-filled blisters; eventually, ooze then scab over||Flat, red circular ulcers surrounded by a white halo|
|Causes||Viral infection from herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)
Outbreaks may be triggered by:
– Weakened immunity
– Sun exposure
– Hormonal imbalance
|– Injury (biting your cheek)
– Toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
– Zinc, iron, or vitamin B12 deficiency
– Hormonal imbalance
– Oral microbiome imbalance
|Time to Recovery||7-14 days||1-6 weeks|
Popping a Cold Sore
Does popping a cold sore help it heal faster? No, popping a cold sore does not help the blister heal faster. In fact, popping your cold sore will more than likely lead to:
- More cold sores as the blister fluid spreads
- Risk of new, different infections by exposing an open sore
- Increased pain
Popping a cold sore is especially dangerous if you are at risk of complications due to a compromised immune system. Skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis make it easier for the HSV-1 virus to spread all over the body, which may lead to life-threatening complications.
Q: Are there clinical trials available for people with frequent cold sores?
Q: Do cold sores mean you have an STD?
Most people contract the HSV-1 virus during childhood years, not related to any type of sexual contact. Cold sores are not considered an STD, unlike genital herpes caused by HSV-2.
Keep in mind, though, that HSV-2 outbreaks in the genital area can pass to the mouth during oral sex and cause sores on the face. It’s also harder to prevent with condoms than other STDs since it can be transferred from the skin not covered by a condom.If you’re concerned you’ve contracted the HSV-2 virus, see your doctor for treatment options.
Learn More: Cold Sores vs. Canker Sores: Why You Should Know the Difference
- McQuillan, G. M., Kruszon-Moran, D., Flagg, E. W., & Paulose-Ram, R. (2018). Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14-49: United States, 2015-2016 (pp. 1-8). US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Full text: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db304.htm
- Kolokotronis, A., & Doumas, S. (2006). Herpes simplex virus infection, with particular reference to the progression and complications of primary herpetic gingivostomatitis. Clinical microbiology and infection, 12(3), 202-211. Full text: https://www. researchgate.net/profile/Stergios_Doumas/publication/7323444_Herpes_simplex_virus_infection_with_particular_reference_to_the_progression_and_complications_of_primary_herpetic_gingivostomatitis/links/59dd40ba458515f6efef4cd7/Herpes-simplex-virus-infection-with-particular-reference-to-the-progression-and-complications-of-primary-herpetic-gingivostomatitis.pdf
- Arduino, P. G., & Porter, S. R. (2008). Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 infection: overview on relevant clinico‐pathological features. Journal of oral pathology & medicine, 37(2), 107-121. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18197856
- Kriesel, J. D., Jones, B. B., Matsunami, N., Patel, M. K., St. Pierre, C. A., Kurt-Jones, E. A., … & Hobbs, M. R. (2011). C21orf91 genotypes correlate with herpes simplex labialis (cold sore) frequency: description of a cold sore susceptibility gene. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 204(11), 1654-1662. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203230/
- Rowe, N. H., Heine, C. S., & Kowalski, C. J. (1982). Herpetic whitlow: an occupational disease of practicing dentists. Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), 105(3), 471-473. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6957456
- Dawson, C. R., & Togni, B. (1976). Herpes simplex eye infections: clinical manifestations, pathogenesis and management. Survey of ophthalmology, 21(2), 121-135. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/988644
- Klastersky, J., Cappel, R., Snoeck, J. M., Flament, J., & Thiry, L. (1972). Ascending myelitis in association with herpes-simplex virus. New England Journal of Medicine, 287(4), 182-184. Abstract: https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197207272870411
- Mccarthy, J. P., Browning, W. D., Teerlink, C., & Veit, G. (2012). Treatment of herpes labialis: comparison of two OTC drugs and untreated controls. Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry, 24(2), 103-109. Full text: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3472024/
- Sacks, S. L., Thisted, R. A., Jones, T. M., Barbarash, R. A., Mikolich, D. J., Ruoff, G. E., … & Morrow, P. R. (2001). Clinical efficacy of topical docosanol 10% cream for herpes simplex labialis: a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 45(2), 222-230. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11464183/
- Godfrey, H. R., Godfrey, N. J., Godfrey, J. C., & Riley, D. (2001). A randomized clinical trial on the treatment of oral herpes with topical zinc oxide/glycine. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 7(3), 49. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11347285/
- Rezazadeh, F., Moshaverinia, M., Motamedifar, M., & Alyaseri, M. (2016). Assessment of anti HSV-1 activity of Aloe vera gel extract: an in vitro study. Journal of Dentistry, 17(1), 49. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26966709/
- Chavan, M. , Jain, H., Diwan, N., Khedkar, S., Shete, A., & Durkar, S. (2012). Recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a review. Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 41(8), 577-583. Full text: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mahesh_Chavan5/publication/221891773_Recurrent_aphthous_stomatitis_A_review/links/5b69611392851ca650512153/Recurrent-aphthous-stomatitis-A-review.pdf
Herpes Signs or What You May See With Herpes Outbreak
In this section, we summarize the signs of genital herpes in men and women. Unlike symptoms, which are subjective and felt only by the patient, signs are the visible, objective changes caused by the disease process. Because signs are objective, they are more reliable (seeing is believing) than symptoms when it comes to early disease diagnosis and treatment.
Only 20%–30% of herpes-positive persons experience any disease-related signs and symptoms. The overwhelming majority are asymptomatic for life.
Even though having signs of herpes is uncommon, we’ve summarized information about them so that people who get them will be able to recognize the infection and take early action.
You will find below the signs of herpes summarized in tables and photographs:
- Signs in symptomatic males and females
- Oral and rectal herpes signs
- Herpes outbreak photographs
The tables and photos are followed by FAQ about the signs of herpes answered by our expert STD doctor.
Let’s dive in!
Genital herpes signs: symptomatic males and females
This table summarizes genital herpes signs in symptomatic males and females (remember, only 20% of people with herpes are symptomatic). We’ve divided the symptoms into groups:
- Common (most symptomatic people experience them)
- Uncommon (very few people experience them)
- Most reliable (the signs doctors rely on the most because they can be explained by the pathophysiology of the disease process)
|Common signs||Unusual signs||Most reliable signs||Incubation period||Chance of being sign-free|
Herpes lesions go through stages:
Skin redness > multiple blisters > roof of the blister comes off, forming sores > sores crust > crusted sores heal without leaving a scar
Areas affected in males:
Areas affected in females:
|Penile discharge||Grouped blisters, sores or crust (depending on the disease stage) on the same red base||2–12 days after initial exposure||70%–80%|
Oral and anal signs of herpes
This table summarizes the signs of herpes in symptomatic people (only 20% of herpes-positive people are symptomatic) in the oral and anal (rectal) areas. We’ve divided the signs into groups:
- Common (most symptomatic people experience them)
- Uncommon (very few symptomatic people experience them)
- Most reliable (the signs doctors rely on the most because they can be explained by the pathophysiology of the disease process)
|Incubation Period||Chance of being
Herpes lesions go through stages:
Skin redness > multiple blisters > roof of the blister comes off, forming sores > sores crust > crusted sores heal without leaving a scar
|Blisters on the tongue or the roof of the mouth||Blisters and ulcers around the mouth||2–12 days after initial exposure||70%–80%|
Herpes lesions go through stages:
Skin redness > multiple blisters > roof of the blister comes off forming sores > sores crust > crusted sores heal without leaving a scar
Local areas affected:
Locally enlarged and painful lymph nodes (neck)
|Bloody or mucus discharge from anus||Blisters and ulcers around the anus|
Herpes outbreak photos
We present here some photos of herpes outbreaks borrowed from other websites. We believe it’s helpful to see the herpes lesions so you can understand what we’re referring to in the tables.
As with anything in life, the more you see the more experience you get, and you start noticing minor but important differences.
Let’s take a look together at some photos so we can clarify what makes us think lesions are herpes and not something else.
In this picture, we see herpes blisters around the mouth. What makes it specific for herpes:
- The skin around the mouth is a common herpes area because it’s thin and moist
- Blisters clustered together on the same base
- Very superficial lesions: only the top layer of the skin is affected. No induration is felt underneath.
Image source: https://www.sundaynews.co.zw/recurrent-oral-herpes-cold-sorefever-blister/
In this picture, we see scabs on the lip that formed after herpes blisters burst. What makes it specific for herpes:
- It’s a very specific area for the formation of herpes blisters (where skin turns into mucosa)
- Crust and underlying skin lesion are very superficial; you don’t feel induration of the skin (underlying hardness).
Image source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cold-sores/
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we summarize real patients’ questions, grouped by topic, and Dr. Fuzayloff’s answers to them. “Dr. F” (his patients’ name for him) has been an STD doctor for over two decades in Midtown Manhattan, NYC
How common are herpes signs?
Herpes signs are uncommon. Only 20% of infected people experience any herpes-related signs. Sometimes, herpes has such a mild manifestation that it goes unnoticed. The strong immune system of most people keeps the virus in check and without signs. Although about 90% of the U.S. population has one of the two types of herpes simplex, we rarely meet a person with an active infection.
Symptoms or signs: which is more reliable for the herpes diagnosis, and why?
Signs! They are objective because they can be seen and confirmed by people other than the patient. However, in the diagnostic process, even though doctors trust signs more, we consider both signs and symptoms and their timing to get a complete picture of what’s going on.
Both signs and symptoms need to be considered in the right context: how soon after exposure they started, how are they evolving over time (herpes should go through stages), whether there are any systemic symptoms, and other things.
What signs do doctors consider reliable for establishing a diagnosis?
Doctors consider a sign “reliable” for diagnostic purposes when it is consistent with the logical disease process for a condition. In diagnosing herpes, two things are the most important: the anatomic location of the lesions and the appearance of the lesions.
Herpes lesions prefer thin, moist skin. This kind of skin is found in areas where skin transitions into mucosa. These areas are preferred because it’s easier for herpes to penetrate thin skin.
Herpes lesion can be found in different stages: blister, sore, crust. Regardless of the stage, the following are typically true:
- The lesions are clustered together on the same red base.
- The lesions are very superficial, affecting only the top layer skin. When you pinch the skin, you can’t feel a bump.
- The lesions are usually one-sided and confined to one anatomic area.
- Local lymph nodes might become enlarged, especially with the first outbreak, on the side of the skin lesion.
How does herpes progress?
If you happen to be one of the minority of people who get herpes symptoms, they usually appears within a few days of exposure; the time varies depending on whether it is the first outbreak or a later one. Herpes has the following disease progression:
A symptomatic patient begins to experience a tingling or itching sensation in the area of exposure 12–24 hours after initial herpes exposure (this is a symptoms; i.e., what you feel). In addition, systemic symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and headache might occur. Systemic symptoms are more common during the first herpes outbreak.
- Herpes-specific blisters develop in the affected areas. There are multiple blisters clustered on a red base.
- These blisters will always follow stage 1 in symptomatic patients unless medication is taken to suppress progression.
- In the first outbreak, it can take 2–12 days (the average is 4 days) before lesions appear; in subsequent outbreaks, skin blisters can appear as soon as 12 hours after stage 1.
The blisters break within 7 days of appearing and leave aching ulcers or sores (which may bleed).
Once ulcers develop, healing takes about 1–4 weeks. Scars don’t develop. The time is longer (2–4 weeks) for newly infected people and shorter (1 week) for people experiencing a recurrence.
I think I have herpes symptoms that aren’t progressing to visible signs. How common is that?
It is very unlikely that anyone will have symptoms of herpes that don’t evolve into signs.
- If you have symptoms (tingling and itch) and didn’t take any medication to stop the progression, herpes skin lesions should eventually appear. The time between symptoms and the appearance of the signs is called the prodromal period and it usually last from 12 hours to 2–3 days.
- Occasionally, the immune system is strong enough to suppress the progression of symptoms to signs, but in that case, symptoms should subside as well.
It is very unusual to have symptoms of itch and tingling in the area for weeks or months without progression to a visible stage of the disease.
What is the chance of lymph node enlargement during a herpes outbreak?
- The chance of lymph node enlargement is high during the first outbreak and lower during subsequent outbreaks.
What are lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes are tiny structures that filter infection and prevent its further development. Though lymph nodes are scattered throughout the body, in some areas these little structures are grouped together and responsible for the control of infectious processes in that region (they are called regional lymph nodes). These regions are the neck, armpits, abdomen, chest, and groin.
What is an enlarged lymph node?
“Enlarged” means bigger than normal size. It is not a feeling but rather a visible, palpable thing.
- In a herpes outbreak, regional lymph nodes become enlarged in response to infection.
- Oral herpes: neck and armpits lymph nodes
- Genital herpes: groin lymph nodes
- Lymph nodes usually become enlarged on the side of the skin lesion.
- Lymph nodes become enlarged during the early stages of a herpes manifestation (initial symptoms). They slowly return to the normal size within 2–4 weeks but usually persist longer than the visible signs of the disease.
I had my first genital herpes outbreak. A swab test confirmed that the skin lesion was herpes 2. I am symptom- free now. Where should I expect the next outbreak?
If the swab test confirmed HSV-2 in the genital area, the herpes virus will be suppressed by your immune system in that area. The next outbreak can happen anywhere in that area, not necessarily in the exact same place.
Can herpes cause urinary symptoms? How common is that?
Yes, it can. But it is uncommon.
Common urinary tract infection symptoms are burning, urgency, and increased frequency of urination. Since herpes causes the formation of sores, which can be on the outside of the vagina or urethral area, the most common symptom is burning while urinating. This burning pain might be pretty significant and it is more common among women.
Occasionally, when blisters form inside the urethra, the patient might have difficulty with urination (expelling urine from the bladder) due to swelling of the urethra.
Can penile or vaginal discharge occur with herpes infection? If so, what kind of discharge? Is it smelly?
Yes, one can get a discharge with herpes. Although this is not common and not specific to herpes, some people do experience it. There are some gender differences.
Herpes discharge in men
This discharge usually appears on the tip of the penis head. It occurs when the virus affects the urethra (in 35%–45% of infected symptomatic males). Typically, the penile discharge is whitish, thick, and clear. It may have a strong fishy odor, which is more noticeable during ejaculation. However, the odor is not as common as it is in females. In rare cases, the discharge may contain blood.
Herpes discharge in women
A vaginal discharge develops when the herpes virus affects the inside of the vagina. As with penile discharge, a vaginal discharge is whitish, thick, clear fluid that may contain blood.
Females are more likely to have a smelly (fishy) discharge than males. It is more noticeable after intercourse, which can cause the normal healthy bacteria of the vagina to be mixed with “unhealthy” bacteria or viruses (in this case the herpes virus).
Unlike with other vaginal infections that are well known for their odor (such as bacterial vaginosis, which has a fishy odor), doctors don’t rely on odor in diagnosing herpes.
How long does a herpes outbreak last? Can I have a herpes outbreak for longer than a month?
Yes, you can, but that’s very unusual. It mostly happens to people who have a weak immune system:
- Immunosuppressive condition (such as AIDS or advanced cancers)
- Taking medication that might suppress the immune system (e.g., chemotherapy; heavy and prolonged steroid use)
In people with the above-mentioned conditions, outbreaks are more frequent and more severe in addition to being prolonged.
For most people, herpes sign and symptoms resolve within 2–4 weeks: longer with the initial outbreak and shorter with subsequent outbreaks. They also are less frequent and less severe as time goes on (it’s a regressive condition).
Can herpes travel to other parts of the body on its own?
The herpes virus, once contracted, will stay dormant (inactive) in the nerve ganglion locally. It will not travel to any other part of the body unless you pass it to another area of the body (autoinoculation) during the outbreak, which is extremely uncommon. An example of this is touching the active sore and immediately touching another part of the body.
Herpes remains local (in the area of exposure), and when certain triggers activate the virus you may have an outbreak in the area of exposure (oral or genital). It might not be in the same exact spot as during the last outbreak.
Select other section
Herpes Treatment Playa del Rey – Dermatology Marina del Rey
There are two types of herpes simplex virus: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes simplex virus 1 leads to the development of small and usually painful blisters on the skin of the lips, mouth, gums, or lip area. These blisters are commonly called cold sores or fever blisters. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) is more commonly associated with genital herpes, although it can also infect non-genital areas.
What Causes Oral Herpes?
Oral herpes is an extremely common disease caused by infection of the mouth area with herpes simplex virus, most often type 1. Most Americans are infected with the type 1 virus by the age of 20.
The initial infection may cause no symptoms or mouth ulcers. The virus remains in the nerve tissue of the face. In some people, the virus reactivates and produces recurrent cold sores that are usually in the same area but are not serious.
Herpes viruses are contagious. Contact may occur directly, or through contact with infected razors, towels, dishes, and other shared articles. Occasionally, oral-to-genital contact may spread oral herpes to the genitals (and vice versa). For this reason, people with active herpes lesions on or around the mouths or on the genitals should avoid oral sex.
The first symptoms usually appear within 1 or 2 weeks—and as late as 3 weeks—after contact with an infected person. The lesions of oral herpes usually last for 7 to 10 days, then begin to resolve. The virus may become latent, residing in the nerve cells, with recurrence at or near the original site.
Recurring lesions are usually milder. They may be triggered by menstruation, sun exposure, fever, stress, or other unknown causes.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Herpes?
Warning symptoms of itching, burning, increased sensitivity, or tingling sensation may occur about two days before lesions appear. Other symptoms include:
- Skin lesions or rash around the lips, mouth, and gums
- Small blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid
o Blisters on a raised, red, painful skin area
o Blisters that form, break, and ooze
o Yellow crusts that slough to reveal pink, healing skin
o Several smaller blisters that merge to form a larger blister
- Mild fever, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms
Do I Need Treatment for Oral Herpes?
Untreated, the symptoms will generally subside in 1 to 2 weeks. Antiviral medications given by mouth may shorten the course of the symptoms and decrease pain.
Sores caused by herpes often come back. Antiviral medicine works best if you take it when the virus is just starting to come back—before you see any sores. If the virus returns frequently, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine all the time.
Wash blisters gently with soap and water to minimize the spread of the virus to other areas of skin. An antiseptic soap may be recommended. Applying ice or warmth to the area may reduce pain.
Take precautions to avoid infecting others.
When Should I Contact a Medical Professional for Oral Herpes?
Call your health care provider in the following cases:
- Your symptoms persist for more than 1 or 2 weeks.
- Your symptoms seem severe.
- You have an immunosuppressive disorder and develop herpes symptoms.
How Can I Prevent Getting or Spreading Oral Herpes?
Avoid direct contact with cold sores or other herpes lesions. Minimize the risk of indirect spread by thoroughly washing items in hot (preferably boiling) water before re-use. Do not share personal items (such as towels or drinking glasses) with an infected person, especially when herpes lesions are active. Avoid precipitating causes (especially sun exposure) if you are prone to oral herpes.
Avoid performing oral sex when you have active herpes lesions on or near your mouth and avoid receiving oral sex from someone who has active oral or genital herpes lesions. Condoms reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the risk of transmission via oral or genital sex.
Unfortunately, both oral and genital herpes viruses can sometimes be transmitted even when the person does not have active lesions.
Genital Herpes (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth
What Is Genital Herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). There’s no cure for genital herpes, but medicines can help control the infection.
What Are STDs?
STDs (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are infections that spread through sex (vaginal, oral, or anal) or close sexual contact.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Genital Herpes?
Most people with genital herpes don’t have any symptoms. They may not even know they are infected.
Some people with genital herpes can have “outbreaks” of sores in the genital and anal area. (Genitals are the sexual or reproductive organs that are on the outside of the body.) The sores heal within a few weeks. Outbreaks can be brought on by stress, illness, being overly tired, or being in sunlight. Girls can have outbreaks when they get their periods.
The first outbreak often is the most severe. Outbreaks usually become less severe over time.
What Causes Genital Herpes?
Two viruses cause genital herpes:
- herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)
- herpes simples virus type 2 (HSV-2)
HSV-1 is the
virusthat causes cold sores around the mouth. It can cause genital herpes when it spreads through oral sex. But most of the time, genital herpes is caused by HSV-2.
How Do People Get Genital Herpes?
People can get infected with genital herpes when:
- They have vaginal or anal sex with someone with genital herpes (even if there are no sores).
- They receive oral sex from a partner who has oral herpes (cold sores).
- They touch a herpes sore and then touch their own genitals.
- Their genitals touch the skin in the genital area of someone who is infected (even if there are no sores).
Genital herpes can spread even if there are no sores because the virus is still in the body. The virus sometimes “sheds” in the skin near the genitals. When the virus is shedding, it can infect another person.
How Is Genital Herpes Diagnosed?
To find out if someone has genital herpes, health care providers do tests on:
- fluid from a sore
- blood (if no sores are present)
People with genital herpes need to tell recent, current, and future sex partners about their infection. Because someone may never have symptoms or may not have symptoms for months to years after infection, a current partner may not be the source of the infection.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated?
There is no cure for genital herpes. But health care providers can prescribe medicine to help:
- stop outbreaks or make them happen less often and be less severe if they do happen
- reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to others
Can Genital Herpes Be Prevented?
The only way to prevent genital herpes and other STDs is abstinence. This means not having sex (oral, vaginal, or anal). If someone decides to have sex, using a latex condom every time can prevent most STDs.
But condoms can’t always prevent the spread of genital herpes. This is because the virus may be in the skin near the genitals (and not covered by a condom).
Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If you have genital herpes:
- Take medicines to stop outbreaks or make them less frequent and less severe.
- Help reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to others by taking medicines, always using a condom during sex, and avoiding sex during outbreaks.
- Talk to partners before starting a sexual relationship.
Teens who are sexually active should get tested for STDs every year or more often if recommended by their health care provider.
Are Fever Blisters and Cold Sores Different?
Are Fever Blisters and Cold Sores Different? | Abreva
MANAGING LIP HEALTH
MANAGING LIP HEALTH
Back to Dealing with Cold Sores articles
What is a fever blister exactly? The answer might surprise you – it’s simply a cold sore. A fever blister and a cold sore are one and the same. If you’ve ever had a blister on your lip, chances are it’s a result of the herpes simplex virus and your fever blister was in fact a cold sore.
So why the confusion? Cold sores have been called fever blisters in the past because they often appeared when someone had a fever. But fever blisters are caused by the exact same virus as cold sores, because they are the same thing.
Discover how to treat and prevent fever blisters with our top lip care tips.
What Is a Fever Blister?
If you’re asking yourself what a fever blister is, the answer is simple – it’s a symptom of a virus that infects the mouth area. This virus attacks cells and, as a side effect, it creates an area of inflamed sore skin, which we call a fever blister or a cold sore.i
What Causes a Fever Blister on Your Lip?
In addition to being called fever blisters or cold sores, these blisters are often called oral herpes because they are caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). This common viral infection affects around two thirds of adults aged 50 and over according to the World Health Organization, but not everyone will show the telltale symptom of blisters on their lips.ii
Where Do You Get Fever Blisters?
The blisters associated with cold sores appear on the lips or the edges of the lips. If, however, the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) is passed to other parts of the body, such as the nose, eyes or genitals, you may experience fever blisters there, too.
What Does a Fever Blister on Your Lip Look Like?
A fever blister on your lip will appear as a small area of red, inflamed skin that may feel sore. A blister will then form, and may break apart and weep clear liquid. After a few days, the fever blister will be covered by hard crusts or scabs. More than one blister is likely, with fever blisters often grouped together in patches. Fever blisters heal without leaving a scar.
Are Fever Blisters Contagious?
Fever blisters are highly contagious and can be spread easily. The HSV-1 virus is most contagious when you are showing symptoms of a cold sore – from first experiencing the tingling, itching or burning sensation that suggests a fever blister is coming right through the period when the blister is visible and hasn’t completely healed.iii
To avoid passing the virus to others, you should stick to a strict hygiene regime and avoid kissing and sharing objects such as eating utensils and cosmeticsiv. And, if you do feel the tingle, make sure you have a tube of Abreva® Cream with you, so you can slow the virus and possibly prevent a full fever blister or cold sore from developing.
How Long Will a Fever Blister on My Lip Last?
A blister or cold sore on your lip may take up to two weeks to fully heal. Symptoms normally begin with a tingling, itching or burning sensation. It later develops into a blister, may weep clear fluid and then scab over.v You can reduce the healing to just a few days using Abreva® Cream when used at the first sign.
Are Fever Blisters Serious?
Fever blister complications are uncommon. Most people who are infected with the HSV-1 virus may suffer with outbreaks of blisters from time to time, but many people don’t show any symptoms at all.
As a blister can break open, you are at risk of bacterial infection if you keep touching the area and don’t keep your hands and face clean. If the virus spreads to the eye, medical help should be sought as repeated infection can cause scarring and injury, which may result in vision problems or blindness. Babies and those with weakened immune systems may catch a widespread herpes infection if exposed to a cold sore, which can affect vital organs, including the spinal cord and brain. Eczema sufferers are at risk of developing a dangerous condition called eczema herpeticum if they come into contact with cold sores. This means the infection spreads throughout their body, leading to long-term scarring, blindness and sometimes organ failure or death.vi
Can I Prevent a Fever Blister?
Once you are infected, the HSV-1 virus never leaves your body. It lies dormant in the nerve cells in your skin until a trigger – such as a cold or flu, excessive sunshine, cold weather or stress – causes the virus to replicate uncontrollably, causing the telltale symptom of a cold sore or fever blister on your lips.vii
You can try to protect yourself against outbreaks by always drinking lots of water, getting plenty of rest, having your annual flu vaccination and managing cold sore triggers such as stress, fatigue, cold or excessive sunlight.
Fever Blister Treatment
There is no cure for the herpes simplex virus nor is there a vaccine, but there is effective fever blister treatment. You can treat the blister or the area where you feel the pre-blister tingling with Abreva® Cream, which will help prevent the virus from replicating and causing more inflammation or damage. It contains the only FDA-approved non-prescription ingredient proven to reduce your cold sore healing time.
By clicking the link(s) above, you will be taken to an external website that is independently operated and not managed by GSK. GSK assumes no responsibility for the content on the website. If you do not wish to leave this website, do not click on the links above.
This site is intended for US residents only. ©2020 GSK. All rights reserved.
By clicking the link(s) above, you will be taken to an external website that is independently operated and not managed by GSK. GSK assumes no responsibility for the content on the website. If you do not wish to leave this website, do not click on the links above.
YOU ARE LEAVING THE SITE
You are now leaving the Abreva.com site and moving to an external website independently operated and not managed by GSK. GSK assumes no responsibility for the site. If you do not wish to leave the site, click “Cancel.”
Differences Between HSV-1 and HSV-2: Oral and Genital Herpes
Herpes simplex viruses are extremely widespread. But, quite counterintuitively, they are also widely stigmatized in spite of the fact that most people are positive for HSV-1, the main cause of oral herpes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one in six people from 14 to 49 have genital herpes, which is primarily caused by HSV-2 infection. These viruses are worth talking about, and that means parsing the difference between them.
Chances are good that you know someone or are someone who deals with herpes, whether it’s present in the form of cold sores on the face or lesions around the genital region. Location of an outbreak serves as the most common difference between infection with HSV-1 and infection with HSV-2, but beyond that, many people are unclear on what sets them apart. We spoke with experts about what you need to know about symptoms, transmission, and treatment of these distinct and yet closely related infections.
Where are the two infections located within the body?
The main differentiator of the first two herpes simplex viruses is their location or where they appear, both inside and outside of the body. With HSV-`1, or oral herpes, those who experience symptoms will get what is commonly known as a cold sore or a fever blister, which occurs on or around the lips. HSV-2, on the other hand, lives as similar-looking sores or blisters in the genital region: on the vulva or penis or around the anus. (It’s worth noting the HSV-1 can also lead to genital herpes via oral sex.)
Sejal Shah, a New York City-based dermatologist and founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology, explains that these viruses often remain dormant in the nervous system, though also in different spots: “HSV-1 remains dormant in the head and neck area while HSV-2 stays near the lower part of the spine,” she says. What’s more, Shah explains that they are similar in that once an infection occurs, the virus responsible can lead to outbreaks again and again. In other words, once HSV-1 or HSV-2 is in your body, it can’t be fully cleared, even though you may never experience a visible outbreak.
How do these viruses spread?
Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are spread through direct contact with someone infected, according to Shah, though you’re more likely to get the oral infection from oral-to-oral contact such as kissing, sharing drinks or eating utensils, or sharing toothbrushes. Genital herpes is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI) as it is usually spread by sexual contact, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex. You’re more likely to become infected if your partner is having an active outbreak, such as a lesion on the genitals or a cold sore. That said, either infection can also spread when symptoms aren’t present thanks to what’s known as viral or asymptomatic shedding.
Herpes – KVD No. 2
What is herpes infection?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). The disease is caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 or 2 (HSV – 1,2) type – Herpes Simplex Virus.
Herpes is manifested by the appearance of redness of a small area of the skin, itching, the appearance of one or more bubbles, then the bubbles open with the formation of painful ulcers that heal with the formation of crusts. The first case of the disease is more acute than repeated, and takes 2 to 4 weeks.HSV-1 often affects the skin of the face, lips, mouth, cornea of the eye, and less often the genitals. HSV type 2 affects the genitals and anus and is therefore often referred to as genital herpes. Herpetic infection is a chronic disease, once it enters the body, HSV remains in it, living in nerve endings, for life. Some people may not have exacerbations of the disease, others have exacerbations very often. The latent course of the disease is the reason for the easy spread of the infection.
Ways of infection with herpes
HSV-1 infection occurs mainly in childhood and adolescence by airborne droplets or by contact (kissing, etc.). Sexual transmission is also possible with oral-genital contacts.
Infection with genital herpes (HSV-2) occurs through direct sexual intercourse. Infection can occur both with an exacerbation of infection in a sexual partner, and with the carrier of the virus. However, the risk of infection is much higher if one partner has herpes sores on the skin and mucous membranes and there is close contact with the skin and mucous membranes of the other sexual partner.
Exacerbations of genital herpes are provoked by hypothermia, physical and emotional stress, menstruation in women, sexual intercourse, concomitant diseases (flu, etc.) and ultraviolet radiation.
Possible infection of the fetus virus from an infected mother during pregnancy or childbirth.
Manifestations of herpes
Most of those infected do not have manifestations of the disease. In the rest, signs of herpes appear 2 to 20 days after infection.
Initially, there may be flu-like manifestations – a slight increase in temperature, chills, weakness, fatigue.
A typical sign of genital herpes is the appearance of small (2–5 mm) fluid-filled vesicles on the genitals, buttocks and anus. The rash is accompanied by itching and / or pain. Rashes can be located in the vagina, on the cervix, in the rectum. Within a few days, the blisters burst, turning into painful sores. After 1 – 2 weeks, the ulcers, covered with crusts, heal.Other manifestations: pain in the groin or on the inner sides of the thighs, painful urination, vaginal discharge in women or from the urethra in men.
Primary infection lasts about 3 weeks with severe manifestations.
When the manifestations subside, the herpes virus leaves the lesion in the nerve cells of the sacral spine. During the next exacerbation, the virus travels along the nerves to the skin or mucous membranes, where it causes typical rashes.
After the initial episode of the disease, exacerbations occur several times (usually 4–5) during the year.In the future, the number of exacerbations decreases, the severity of manifestations decreases.
Complications of infection
In persons with a decrease in the body’s defenses, very frequent prolonged exacerbations occur, which cause both physical suffering and psycho-emotional discomfort.
It is possible that a secondary (bacterial) infection can join and then the deeper layers of the skin are involved in the inflammatory process, the exacerbation becomes protracted and requires changes in treatment.
Persons with acute genital herpes are more at risk of contracting HIV. People with HIV who have acute genital herpes are more likely to infect their sex partners with the human immunodeficiency virus.
Effect of the disease on a pregnant woman and her child
Infection of the fetus occurs during pregnancy, the newborn during childbirth through an infected birth canal. Herpes infection of newborns is very dangerous and can lead to the death of the baby.If during childbirth a woman has herpetic eruptions in the genital area (birth canal) – this is an indication for a cesarean section. This dramatically reduces the risk of transmitting herpes to the newborn during labor. It is very important for a woman to avoid contracting genital herpes during pregnancy, since it is the initial episode of infection that is most dangerous for the fetus.
Diagnostics of herpes
The manifestations of genital herpes are different, it is difficult to detect sores and distinguish them from sores caused by other diseases.
Diagnostics includes a visual examination of the patient’s clinical manifestations, if exacerbation is typical. A study of scrapings from ulcers for HSV is carried out by PCR (polymerase chain reaction). It is very important to establish the microorganism that caused the clinical manifestations in order to prescribe the correct and timely treatment. Swabs and scrapings can cause minor discomfort. Additionally, a blood test is performed by ELISA to determine specific antibodies to HSV-2, the duration of the last exacerbation and the number of antibodies are assessed.The ELISA method allows you to diagnose genital herpes without exacerbation.
Treatment of herpes infection
Diagnosis and treatment of genital herpes, like other STIs, should be carried out in a specialized clinic – KVD, which has all the necessary tools for quick and accurate diagnosis.
Once infected with HSV, it is no longer possible to recover completely. There are no drugs that finally cure herpes. Antiviral antibiotics suppress the multiplication (replication) of the virus, speed up the healing time of ulcers and help prevent their reappearance.
For greater effectiveness, antibiotics should be used as early as possible, at the very first signs of an exacerbation – increased sensitivity, itching and / or redness of the skin areas where rashes usually appear.
Prevention of herpes
The best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections is long-term sex with one healthy sexual partner. Male latex condoms, when used correctly and when covered with herpes sores, can reduce the risk of transmission.
People with herpes should refrain from unprotected intercourse with uninfected partners when manifestations of herpes are present.
It is important to know that even if a person does not have manifestations of genital herpes, he can still infect sexual partners. Sex partners of infected people should be aware that they may become infected.
Treatment of genital herpes
Genital herpes occurs quite often in men and women; this is one of the most common genital infections, which is referred to as latent infections: its manifestations may be practically absent.The virus enters the body through unprotected sexual intercourse. Infection is possible with traditional, anal, oral contacts, since herpesvirus infection can develop on different mucous membranes.
Atypical genital herpes is characterized by damage to internal organs. Most often, there are traditional localizations: male genital herpes on the penis, in women – genital herpes on the labia and on the buttocks.
The first symptoms of the disease develop two to three weeks after infection.At the site of the entrance gate of the infection, rashes appear, represented by bubbles with transparent contents. At the same time, fever, swollen lymph nodes, burning and itching may appear. The bubbles burst over time, painful erosion is exposed under them. This is the acute course of the infection, if the process is chronic in nature, the symptoms will be more smoothed. With a relapse, the body temperature remains normal, the rash appears in a limited amount and resolves faster, the lymph nodes do not enlarge.
Diagnosis of genital herpes consists of a number of studies:
- Bacterial culture on nutrient media;
- Analysis for genital herpes using the PCR method, which also detects other pathogens;
- Blood for antibodies to the virus: determine the level of immunoglobulins of classes A, M, G. This method is necessary for latent and atypical forms of the disease.
The doctor collects material: scraping from mucous membranes and vesicles for laboratory diagnostics.
Treatment of genital herpes in men and women includes:
- antiviral therapy for 7-10 days;
- multivitamins and other drugs according to indications.
Therapy is prescribed by the attending physician, it is highly discouraged to take certain medications on your own.
Herpes virus infection in chronic course is exacerbated due to the influence of provoking factors: hypothermia, acute respiratory viral infections, stress, malnutrition.Therefore, these negative influences should be prevented. Antiviral therapy suppresses the active replication of the virus and promotes its transition to a “dormant” state.
You have the opportunity to make an appointment right now by filling out the online form on our website or by calling 91-80-70.
obstetrician-gynecologist Galimzyanova Tamara Gabdulkhaevna.
03 December 2019
Family Health Magazine
This is a widespread sexually transmitted infection.Caused by two viruses from
family of herpes viruses: Simple virus
Herpes II or I type (HSV-II and / or HSV-I).
In most cases, the disease is caused by
HSV-II. However, recently, HSV-I,
which, as was previously believed, caused only a “cold” on the lips, due to the wide
the spread of oral sex, more and more
causes genital herpes.
Genital herpes is not a fatal disease, does not cause damage
work of internal organs, does not lead
to infertility.He’s less dangerous than others
genital infections. Genital herpes
any person living can get sick
Genital herpes is transmitted by direct contact of the genitals with herpetic vesicles or sores. except
In addition, transmission of the disease is possible when a person suffering from herpes does not have any
visible symptoms of the disease.
It cannot be ruled out that even you could
become the source of its infection. After all, 60-
80% of people infected with HSV-2
don’t even know about
this.They have herpes
is almost asymptomatic.
half could get infected
from the previous partner, when you may be still
were even unfamiliar. The virus could for years
“Doze” in the body, and the disease proceeds without visible symptoms, while in
the first relapse has not occurred so far.
Genital herpes appears on average
2-14 days after infection. However, in
in some cases, the disease can be asymptomatic for several years and the person does not
suspects he is infected.Before the start
rashes in the genital area are precursors of relapse: burning,
itching, pain, and swelling. These symptoms can
accompanied by a rise in temperature and
general malaise. Then on the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals, pubis, buttocks, thighs
bubbles are formed, filled with a transparent liquid, which soon
burst. Small painful sores form in their place. Across
heal on their own without leaving any marks on the skin.Subsequently, people suffering from genital herpes may experience
repetitions of rashes or relapses. Frequency
relapse ranges from 2-3 times a month to
1 time in several years and depends on the individual characteristics of the human body.
Very often relapses of herpes are possible against the background of a “decrease” in immunity.
This occurs under the influence of:
- stress or emotional distress; 90 091
- various somatic diseases, in particular colds, flu, diabetes mellitus, HIV;
- poisoning or intoxication;
- when consuming alcohol, caffeine and
- excess ultraviolet radiation;
- hypothermia or overheating;
- the arrival of menstruation;
- overwork and exhaustion;
- nutritional deficiencies or disorders
- other individual factors.
You CANNOT get genital
herpes if you drink from someone else’s glass or
glasses, herpes is not transmitted through water
in pools and baths, toilet seats,
doorknobs and friendly handshakes.
During relapse, you should avoid
contact of your skin with parts of your partner’s body that have herpes sores, but you can kiss, hug and even sleep nearby without fear.
If you suspect you have genital herpes, see your doctor.Until recently, the diagnosis was based on
examination by a doctor and laboratory examination of scraping from herpetic lesions. V
currently in large cities of Russia
using a special blood test
antibodies to HSV-1 or HSV2 can be detected. The analysis must be taken in 2-3 months from
the moment when the infection could have occurred.
You need to understand that the tests are imperfect and can give both false positive and false negative results.
Tests cannot show when and from whom
You have become infected.It would be nice to pass and scrap
from herpetic eruptions to DNA diagnostics. Detection of a virus by this method can confirm the diagnosis.
Once in the human body, the herpes virus never leaves it.
Currently, medicine has
modern drugs that can significantly increase interrecurrent
gaps, suppress virus reproduction
herpes, while practically not causing
harm to the patient’s body. Early admission
antiherpetic drugs allows you to avoid relapses, the emergence of new
blisters, reduce itching and soreness,
accelerate the healing of ulcers.Correct and
effective treatment of genital herpes
You can only be prescribed by a qualified physician in person.
Share on social networks
90,000 a disease that is not customary to speak out loud – FIRN M
We are well aware of such sexually transmitted diseases as AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea. As for genital herpes, it is usually assigned a secondary role, but, in fact, it is no less dangerous.Just like AIDS, herpes cannot be completely cured and, once infected with this virus, a person becomes its carrier for the rest of his life. Although, unlike HIV infection, the herpes virus itself cannot cause death, nevertheless, advanced genital herpes can lead to an immunodeficiency state and cause cancerous lesions of the genitals.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by one of the many members of the herpesvirus family.This virus is the closest relative of herpes simplex, which causes the well-known “fever on the lips”.
In terms of its prevalence, this disease ranks second among all sexually transmitted infections. According to experts, approximately one in ten Russians is infected with genital herpes.
Transmission of genital herpes occurs during sexual intercourse in the vagina, mouth and rectum. It is most possible to infect a partner during an exacerbation of the disease, however, even in the absence of rashes, the risk of herpes transmission remains.In addition, in about 80% of patients, genital herpes proceeds without visible manifestations. These people do not even know that they are infected, while being the source of the infection.
A typical picture of the disease looks like this: bubbles appear in the genital area, which then grow, combine with each other and, bursting, form painful ulcers. In women, the vagina itself and its vestibule, labia and cervix are most often affected. Less commonly, rashes are located on the pubis, thighs, buttocks and in the perineum.
The manifestations of genital herpes are very painful. Sometimes a person gets off with an asymptomatic form, but in other cases, ulcers do not allow the patient to walk, sit, or go to the toilet. Some, due to severe pain, can not even sleep at night, in simple terms, “climb up the wall from pain.”
Psychological experiences are often added to physical suffering: irritability, fear of new rashes, thoughts about the impossibility of having healthy children, fear of infecting a loved one, feeling of uselessness, loneliness … Suicidal thoughts may even arise.
Genital herpes not only causes physical and mental pain, but also causes weakening of the immune system, causes chronic diseases of the internal genital organs and can ultimately cause both female and male infertility. Genital herpes is especially dangerous for pregnant women, who may develop a pathology of pregnancy, infection of the fetus and newborn.
Unfortunately, the herpes virus has the ability to persist throughout life in the body.And, having declared itself publicly once, the disease can appear again and again. Therefore, it should be borne in mind that modern medicines can only shorten the duration of the disease and weaken its severity, but in no way “get rid of the virus once and for all.”
The classic drugs for the treatment of genital herpes are acyclic nucleosides (acyclovir, valacyclovir, famciclovir). Recently, however, an increasing number of viruses resistant to acyclovir (and similar drugs) have appeared.Therefore, it is recommended to alternate acyclic nucleosides with each other (for example, acyclovir with valacyclovir) or use them in conjunction with interferon preparations. Interferon is one of the most powerful antiviral proteins in the body. It recognizes the infectious agent that has entered the cell and prevents its reproduction. It is believed that it is the lack of interferon in the body that is the cause of herpes recurrence.
It is better to use drugs containing interferon and acyclovir at the same time.The only remedy in the world that contains both acyclovir and interferon is herpferon ointment. Given the pain of genital herpes, lidocaine was also included in the ointment, which provides anesthetic effect.
According to clinical studies, the use of herpferon for genital herpes in 85% of patients led to a complete recovery on the 5th day. This indicator was 3.5 times higher than that of the group receiving classical treatment with acyclovir. In patients who used herpferon, general malaise, headache stopped much earlier, itching, pain and fever at the site of the rash disappeared faster.
Prevention of re-infections
Recurrent episodes of genital herpes appear under the influence of factors unfavorable for the immune system. These include: illness, prolonged exposure to the sun, hypothermia, the onset of menstruation, pregnancy, taking hormonal drugs. Herpes can also worsen with stress.
Therefore, one should not neglect a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and taking vitamins. Existing diseases should be identified and treated in time under the supervision of a physician.It is necessary to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and hypothermia, to protect yourself from stress. And, of course, observe intimate hygiene and timely identify and treat concomitant sexually transmitted diseases.
In any case, if you have rashes characteristic of genital herpes, you should not postpone a visit to a specialist.
Prevention for a healthy person
How to protect yourself from genital herpes? First of all, we must remember that absolutely safe sex does not exist.Even a condom, colossally reducing the risk of infection, does not provide a full, one hundred percent guarantee of protection against genital herpes.
A healthy person should avoid “casual” relationships, it is imperative to use methods of barrier contraception, and better in combination with means of emergency prevention. After suspicious unprotected contact, it is recommended to conduct an examination to identify genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Hygiene rules should not be forgotten either.No wonder everyone has their own personal towel. After all, for example, if you use a towel after a person with genital herpes, you can easily get infected yourself.
It must be borne in mind that with oral contact, herpes from the lips easily gets on the genitals. Therefore, you need to engage in oral sex using special latex wipes. And during the appearance of rashes on the face and lips, one should refrain from this pleasure at all.
Cases of self-infection with genital herpes are possible, when the virus is transferred from the lips to the genitals with dirty hands.And here again simple rules of personal hygiene come to our rescue to the commonplace. Thorough hand washing (especially during the appearance of a fever on the lips), the presence of separate towels for the face, hands and body will save you from such a nuisance.
The use of barrier contraceptives, especially during an exacerbation of genital herpes, does not exclude the possibility of infection. Therefore, after suspicious sexual intercourse or contact with a carrier of the herpes virus, in addition to a condom, special means should be used for emergency prevention of the disease.One of these means is the drug herpferon. If you use herpferon ointment within 1-2 hours after proximity, the likelihood of avoiding infection with genital herpes will significantly increase.
How to treat herpes: the most effective ointments and tablets
The most famous antiherpetic agent is acyclovir. Its effectiveness for the treatment of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th types of herpes has been proven in clinical studies. It is acyclovir that is recommended by the World Health Organization for combating HSV.
Acyclovir stops the reproduction of the pathogen and inhibits its activity. Basically, it is used in the form of a cream, which is applied to the affected area of the skin several times a day. This drug also exists in tablet form. The rules of admission in each individual case must be discussed with the attending physician.
Penciclovir is considered to be no less effective. It is also recommended by the WHO, as this medication has successfully passed numerous clinical trials.It suppresses the activity of the herpesvirus type 1 and 2, and is also effective against its strains. Penciclovir can be used in patients with acyclovir resistance.
However, Valacyclovir is considered the most effective drug against herpes infection. It is more effective than the previous two medicines. In the human body, under the influence of enzymes, valacyclovir is converted to acyclovir.
In almost all antiherpetic drugs, the main active ingredient is acyclovir, penciclovir or valacyclovir.
Preparations for the treatment of oral herpes
There is a wide variety of antiviral medicines available for topical administration to treat the symptoms of this disease. They begin to act faster than drugs in tablet forms and act directly at the site of infection.
The best creams and ointments for herpes type 1:
Acyclovir, penciclovir and valacyclovir are also part of medicines that must be taken orally, that is, through the mouth.
They are part of such herpes pills:
Preparations for the treatment of genital herpes
Some of the medicines listed above are suitable to combat it, however, medical experts advise the use of drugs that include valacyclovir. This is due to the fact that HSV type 2 has a greater number of negative symptoms and can cause complications, and valacyclovir is stronger than penciclovir and acyclovir.
Effective drugs for the fight against HSV type 2:
In addition, for the treatment of the viral infection in question, the following auxiliary means are used:
1.Immunomodulators . They help to strengthen the immune system and strengthen the defenses against viruses.
Examples of these funds:
2. Antiseptics . They are used as a prophylaxis for re-infection. The sites of infection are treated with antiseptics.
Most famous medicines:
3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) . Herpes infection is accompanied by inflammatory processes that help suppress NSAIDs.
Examples of these preparations:
4. Analgesics-antipyretics . With genital herpes, fever may occur. It can be brought down with the most famous antipyretic analgesic paracetamol.
5. Antihistamines . During HSV, a person experiences an itchy sensation at the sites of infection. Ulcers and blisters are very itchy, but in no case should they be combed, otherwise scars will remain in their place. Antihistamines are used to reduce itching.
Popular products in this group.
Which remedy to choose for the treatment of herpes simplex virus and which auxiliary medications to take in each individual case must be decided by the doctor. And to prevent the onset of the disease or its relapse, you can carry out simple prevention.
Scientists have discovered a natural remedy for herpes
Scientists have found a natural remedy that can fight the manifestations of herpes no worse than antiviral drugs, New Zealand scientists have found.Gazeta.Ru tells about the variety of herpes viruses and the difficulties of diagnosis.
Honey from kanuki, a tree from the myrtle family, has antiviral properties and helps fight herpes, experts from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand have found. The study was published in the journal BMJ Open .
Before the advent of antibiotics, honey was often used as a remedy for infections. It is still held in high esteem in alternative medical fields, but evidence-based medicine has not studied its properties very closely.
Researchers divided 952 volunteers into two groups, one of whom received acyclovir, a common antiviral drug, and the other received honey from kanuka mixed with glycerin. After the manifestations of herpes, they had to apply the composition to the affected skin five times a day until the bubbles completely disappeared.
It turned out that the effectiveness of treatment in both groups was the same and recovery occurred in 8-9 days. Honey fought infection as well as acyclovir.
“This means that patients who prefer natural medicines, as well as the pharmacists who sell them, can be confident in the effectiveness of kanuka honey as a treatment for herpes,” the study authors note. However, they add that the study was not completely blind – those of the participants who got honey could easily distinguish it from acyclovir by taste.
Herpesviruses are widespread in the human population and can infect almost all organs and systems of the human body.Most often, the virus infects the skin and external genital organs.
According to WHO , almost 70% of the world’s population are carriers of the herpes simplex virus type 1. It is most common in Africa, the western Pacific Ocean and the eastern Mediterranean – more than 70% of the inhabitants are infected here (in Africa – almost 90%). In the United States, HSV-1 affects less than half of the population.
HSV-1 causes oral herpes in humans – inflamed blisters of fluid that appear on the lips. They can also form on the palate, gums, tongue, and other parts of the mouth.
Herpes simplex virus type 2, HSV-2, affects the mucous membranes of the genital organs. As with HSV-1, small bubbles with liquid contents form on the mucous membrane. It is estimated that around 417 million people between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected with HSV-2 worldwide (11%). Women are almost twice as likely to become infected as men.
The virus can also infect the internal genital organs of a woman – the uterus, tubes, ovaries. This becomes the cause of secondary infertility. In addition, during pregnancy, he is able to infect the fetus, leading to developmental pathologies, up to microcephaly and herpetic encephalitis.
Herpes simplex virus type 3 causes two diseases – chickenpox and shingles. Smallpox affects mainly children and is much easier for them than for adults. Among the complications of chickenpox are encephalitis, lesions of the lymph nodes and heart muscle, purulent skin lesions. It rarely leads to death – in 1 out of 60 thousand cases.
For pregnant women, smallpox poses a particular danger when infected a few days before delivery – a child with a 17% probability may develop congenital chickenpox, which is severe, accompanied by the development of extensive bronchopneumonia, diarrhea, perforation of the small intestine, as well as damage to internal organs, and leads to the death of up to 31% of cases.
Shingles occurs in those who have already had chickenpox. The virus hides in nerve cells, when it leaves them, it moves to the end of the nerve, causing a skin infection in the area that it innervates. The disease is accompanied by severe itching, pain and rashes.
Human herpesvirus type 4, or the Epstein-Barr virus, is also extremely common – in the United States, about half of five-year-old children and from 90 to 95% of adults are infected with it. Many diseases are associated with the Epstein-Barr virus, from chronic fatigue syndrome, stomatitis and hepatitis to cancer.One of the most dangerous diseases caused by the virus is infectious mononucleosis, which is characterized by fever, lesions of the pharynx, lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and changes in blood composition. Its complications include psychosis, meningitis, and encephalitis.
Herpes simplex virus type 5 is a cytomegalovirus that provokes cytomegalia – a condition in which giant cells with intracellular inclusions appear in tissues. Symptoms of diseases caused by cytomegalovirus are often not pronounced and resemble the common cold.
The meaning of 6, 7 and 8 types is not completely clear.
It is known that type 6 is associated with multiple sclerosis and baby roseola, in which the child has a sudden high fever, and then a pink rash appears.
On the territory of the CIS countries, roseola is rarely diagnosed – most often the onset of the disease is associated with a respiratory infection, and the emerging rash is associated with allergic dermatitis caused by medications.
Also 6 and 7 types, presumably, can play a role in the development of pink lichen – they are active in its early stages.
The virus, after suppressing the active stage, remains in the nerve ganglia, exists there latently and for a long time may not give itself out in any way. Relapses occur due to weakening of the immune system during infections, hypothermia, radiation therapy, in women, also due to changes in the immune system before, after and during menstruation.
Due to the variety of symptoms and insufficient knowledge of some types of the virus, the diagnosis can be delayed for many months.
“Since childhood, I have had skin reactions, the doctors thought it was neurodermatitis.For the last year and a half, seizures began to torment – the whole body was covered with an incomprehensible rash and burned, ”one of the patients who faced difficulties in diagnosis told Gazeta.Ru. – In October 2017, I was in the Second Infectious Diseases Hospital, where I was diagnosed with toxidermia (acute inflammation of the skin when allergens enter the body – Gazeta.Ru). back ached. After discharge, the rash and edema continued, dexometasone was injected. The attacks were repeated throughout the year.
For a year and a half I went to allergists, immunologists, took tests for allergens and every time according to their results I was healthy. Doctors prescribed antihistamines, diagnosed with urticaria. The attacks are accompanied by weakness so strong that I cannot get up. The last one was in May.
I contacted a professor at the Research Institute of Immunology, but even there they could not make the correct diagnosis. In the infectious diseases hospital, the doctor stopped by for a few seconds; only a graduate student who came in addition could ask questions.He said that I was diagnosed with herpes simplex virus type 6, but he could not have such symptoms. But besides herpes 1, 4 and 6 types, I have no other viruses, they even took tests for malaria.
Now I drink antiviral drugs to reduce my viral load. The main thing is to use them in the first day after the onset of symptoms in order to stop the replication of the virus. ”
It is still impossible to get rid of any of the herpes viruses – you can only use antiviral drugs, which, if taken regularly, can effectively suppress the symptoms of virus infection, its reproduction and development.
Studies show that some of the types of herpes virus can be fought with gene therapy, but the widespread use of such methods is not yet discussed.
You can protect yourself from chickenpox by vaccination and isolation of patients from those who have not been ill. Contraception and antiseptics can reduce the risk of genital herpes, but the effectiveness of the latter is not very high.
90,000 Genital herpes in men and women: causes, symptoms and treatment
Genital herpes is an infectious disease caused by the Herpes simplex virus.It is characterized by frequent relapses, and it is especially dangerous during pregnancy, since it poses a threat to the fetus. In exceptional cases, genital herpes can cause infertility. However, even in the absence of complications, this disease can cause many inconveniences.
What leads to the disease
There are eight types of herpes virus, each of which has its own localization and symptoms. Genital is caused only by the first two (herpes simplex virus 1 and 2).Most often, infection occurs in two ways:
- sexually. Genital herpes can be contracted even through oral contact if the virus from the lips of the carrier enters the partner’s genitals;
- household. The virus retains its viability for quite a long time even outside the human body.
If there is a carrier of genital herpes in the family, then children are also at risk.
Each stage of genital herpes is characterized by certain symptoms.
- Initial. In the places of the future manifestation of specific rashes, discomfort begins to be felt, itching and burning appear. There may also be minor swelling, pain in the perineum, pain and heaviness in the upper thighs, numbness in the pelvic region. This period can last from two weeks to five months.
- Second. The lesions of reddened skin begin to be covered with small numerous bubbles filled with a clear liquid. They are very painful and uncomfortable.The main places of their localization are: pubis, external genital area, inner thighs, urethra, cervix, buttocks and anus.
- Third. The resulting bubbles rupture, and ulcers form in their place. This happens simultaneously for about a day, after which the surface of the ulcers is covered with a crust, under which the damaged tissues regenerate.
However, genital herpes has several forms, and not all of them show the symptoms described above.
- Microsymptomatic – symptoms are mild, for example, a couple of bubbles and slight itching, so they usually do not become a reason to see a doctor.
- Macrosymptomatic – the described symptoms of genital herpes appear, but not all. Sometimes these are just bubbles without any other manifestations, sometimes only pain and itching in the absence of the bubbles themselves.
- Asymptomatic – there are no symptoms at all and no external manifestations of genital herpes are observed.
Also, doctors distinguish between primary and recurrent genital herpes. Primary symptoms appear on average 2-14 days after infection. Recurrent genital herpes worsens periodically. The number of relapses determines the severity of its course. Depending on this, three degrees of recurrent genital herpes are distinguished:
- mild – exacerbations occur 3-4 times per year;
- moderate – exacerbations of genital herpes occur 4-6 times a year;
- severe – exacerbations occur monthly.
Diagnosis of genital herpes
To detect the virus in the clinic, specialized tests are carried out:
- PCR – identifies and detects genital herpes by its DNA.
- ELISA – a test for the presence of antibodies to the herpes simplex virus allows you to determine the phase of the disease.
- Serological – detects class G antibodies (blood from a vein is used for the analysis).
- RIF – microscopic examination, which is effective only with a high concentration of the virus in the blood.
Additional diagnostic measures:
- The culture method is an accurate but long-term (takes up to 2 weeks) way to identify genital herpes.
- Dot Hybridization – Allows the detection of viral DNA before symptoms appear.
- Vulvocolpocervicoscopy – examination of the cervix with a colposcope and taking a smear for cytology.
- Immunogram – test for the strength of immunity.
Treatment of genital herpes and prognosis
Completely genital herpes cannot be cured in any clinic, since there is still no effective cure for this virus.However, modern antiviral agents can significantly alleviate the symptoms and the number of relapses.