Herpes Simplex is an STI(Sexually Transmitted Infection). It is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and can be transmitted via oral or genital contact.
There are 2 types of herpes simplex. Type 1, also called cold sores, and Type 2, which refers to genital herpes.
What Causes Herpes?
Your first herpes outbreak may happen due to various reasons, such as:
- Sun exposure
- Lack of sleep
- Alcohol usage
- Skin irritation
- Skin disease
- Unprotected sex
Herpes Type 2 is transmitted via genital contact. In fact, even skin-to-skin contact with the carrier can lead to the transmission of this virus. It can be present on your skin with no symptoms, a situation often termed as ‘asymptomatic shedding. Avoid touching other parts of the body to stop it from spreading in the entire body.
What are the symptoms of Herpes Type 2?
Usually, there are no symptoms of herpes infection. But, some common symptomatic conditions may develop between 2-21 days of your sexual contact, which may include:
- tingling sensation
If the infection is much severe, the symptoms include:
- Red swollen sores
- swollen glands
- body aches
Herpes type-2 can cause painful sores in the vulva, vagina, and penis, and can increase your risk of cervical cancer.
Note: If you are pregnant and have developed herpes, immediately consult your doctor for treatment as the infection may get transmitted to your child during birth.
How to prevent Herpes?
- Seek immediate medical attention during your first herpes outbreak.
- Avoid sexual contact with your partner until the sores have healed.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and cotton undergarments
- Bath in warm water to ease the pain
- Keep the area dry
- Apply an ice pack to reduce inflammation
HERPES ZOSTER (SHINGLES)
If you ever had chickenpox (varicella-zoster), chances are that some remains of the virus are lying dormant in your dorsal area. In some cases, either due to old age or reduced immunity, this virus reactivates and causes herpes zosters, or as commonly known, ‘Shingles.’
It usually affects people after the age of 50, forming red rashes with blisters over the torso. One experiences some pain, tenderness, or tingling for up to 5 days before the onset of the rash. The blusters become cystic and may get infected by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
Though not life-threatening, it can lead to post-herpetic neuralgia, corneal ulcerations, and severe scarring.
What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles?
- Sensitivity around a specific patch of skin
- Itchy and cystic blisters
- Fever and fatigue
- Headaches and sensitivity to light