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Herpes Simplex

  Herpes Simplex: How To Deal With It

Identifying the symptoms and treatment for genital herpes and cold sores

There are two types of viruses that cause herpes simplex and each affects a different area of the body. The simplex virus type 1 affects the face, especially around the mouth and nose area while the type 2 virus generally infects the genital area along with the buttocks and anal region. The difference between the two types of viruses, however, stops there. Both infections are highly contagious and results to a good amount of searing pain, both physical and psychological. Physical because the rashes and blisters that accompanies the condition tend to be very painful and psychological because herpes, especially the one cause by the type 2 virus, carries with it a stigma. 

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Cold Sores

Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection, also known as cold sores or fever blisters, is characterized by tiny clear blisters normally filled with fluid, and commonly attacks the face. Upon initial contact with the body, this virus usually lays dormant in nerve cells and only manifest as herpes when triggered by certain factors. These factors include fever, extreme exposure to the sun, skin trauma, and changes in the immune system.

The first symptom of oral herpes is a tingling and burning sensation in one are of the face or in any part of the body above the waist. This is usually followed by a rash, which develops into the blisters described above. These blisters often dry out after a few days, leaving scabs which are crusty and sometimes itchy.

Genital Herpes

Meanwhile, herpes simplex type 2 virus is the usual cause of genital herpes –which is characterized by fluid-filled itchy blisters near and around the genital areas. This type of herpes is considered a sexually transmitted disease and thus often contracted when you engage in intercourse with an infected partner. Genital herpes, as well as cold sores, is recurrent. After the primary infection, you can expect a number of recurring outbreaks whose frequency and location vary significantly.

Is Herpes Curable?

This is probably the question burning in your head at the moment. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Herpes simplex is an incurable disease and there are also no vaccines to prevent its occurrence. Moreover, you cannot predict or stop recurrent outbreaks from happening, although these generally become less frequent over time.
   
The good news, however, is that herpes can be treated . You can take anti-viral medications and pain relievers to help you deal with outbreaks and to hasten the drying-out period of the blisters.
   
Moreover, there is a way to protect yourself from contracting herpes simplex. You can employ simple preventive measures such as posting distance between you and people who have active herpes sores in order to avoid contamination. The best measure, however, is to practice safe sex. Condoms and other safety measures should be employed to protect yourself, not only from herpes, but from other STDs as well.  

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