Herpes is a common virus that causes sores on your genitals or mouth. It can be annoying and painful, but it usually doesn’t lead to serious health problems. This infection is easily spread from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the virus.
Primary symptoms occur when a person first develops the infection. Alongside sores or blisters, herpes may cause:
Herpes symptoms come and go, but that doesn’t mean the infection goes away or that you can’t spread it to other people. Once you have herpes, it might stay in your body for life.
What Causes Herpes?
Herpes infection is caused by herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. These viruses are contagious and transmitted from one person to another through the skin to skin contact. Touching or kissing is the main cause of herpes simplex virus type 1 and sexual contact is the main cause of herpes simplex virus type 2 transmission.
Lifestyle Risk Factors of Herpes
Herpes is a common virus and there is an especially high risk of exposure associated with certain activities including:
How to Diagnose Herpes?
Herpes can be diagnosed based on the appearance of lesions and laboratory tests. In general, if you don’t have any symptoms, there is no need for you to have any diagnostic testing for herpes simplex virus type 1. However, if you may have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus type 2, you may need to be tested even if you do not have lesions. The two types of herpes may cause visible skin lesions. You must see a healthcare provider, especially if you’ve never had an outbreak before.
Certain symptoms of herpes such as blisters typically improve on their own, without medical treatment. But if you experience severe or frequent outbreaks, a doctor can prescribe antiviral medications. Options include: