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Herpes Signs and Treatments

Among people aged 14 to 49, an estimated one in six people have the herpes simplex virus infection. Read on for more information about herpes signs and treatments.

What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by an infection with the herpes simplex virus; of which there are two.

  • HSV-1 is most commonly associated with blisters and ulcers around the mouth known as cold sores.
  • HSV-2 is associated with blistering lesions in genital areas that are exposed during sexual contact.

Both types of herpes simplex virus can infect the mouth or the genital areas. So, genital contact with a cold sore on the mouth can lead to genital herpes. Likewise, kissing someone with a cold sore can spread the herpes simplex virus infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Genital Herpes

  • Painful blisters that may look like pimples around the genital area;
  • Blisters around the anal area;
  • Ulcer formation after the blisters break open;
  • Blisters will take two to four weeks to heal.

The first outbreak may seem flu-like,

  • Fever;
  • Chills;
  • Body aches;
  • Swollen lymph nodes;
  • Immediately prior to an outbreak, there may be an itching, burning, or tingling skin.

After the initial infection, a person may or may not have outbreaks later in life.

Treatment For Herpes

After the initial outbreak, individuals may not see any symptoms the rest of their life. However, many do and there are a few treatment options, although there is no cure.

Antiviral medications help manage the severity and duration of outbreaks if taken immediately prior to tingling or unusual skin sensations but no blisters or within 24 hours of an outbreak. The medications typically used are:

  • acyclovir (Zovirax);
  • famciclovir (Famvir);
  • valacyclovir (Valtrex).

These are all typically taken by mouth. Topical medications that are applied directly to the sores are also available, but these are less effective than oral medications and are not generally used.

FOR YOUR OWN PEACE OF MIND, ARCPOINT LABS NATIONWIDE PROVIDES ACCURATE AND RELIABLE STD TESTING.  CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LOCATION TO LEARN MORE.

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