Herpes is a common viral infection that can affect the lips, mouth, genitals, or other areas of the body.
The virus herpes is a highly contagious infection that can be passed through skin-to-skin contact or contact with infected fluids, such as saliva. There is no cure for herpes, but there are several treatments available that can help to reduce the symptoms.
Herpes is mostly spread through sexual activity, but it can also be transmitted through kissing or sharing utensils or other objects with an infected person. The virus can also be passed from an infected mother to her newborn during childbirth.
Symptoms of herpes include painful blisters or ulcers on the skin, fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes. In some instances, patients may experience some inflammation in their brain, also known as encephalitis.
When to See Your Doctor
Many people with herpes don’t have any symptoms, but some may experience burning, itching, or tingling on their skin. If you think you might have herpes, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
A doctor can order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, and they can also prescribe medication to help reduce the severity of your symptoms. If you’re sexually active, it’s also important to tell your partner so that they can get tested and receive treatment if necessary.
Antiviral medications can be taken to help reduce the duration and severity of an outbreak. In addition, topical creams and ointments can be used to ease pain and discomfort.
For people who experience frequent or severe outbreaks, there are also preventive treatments available, such as aciclovir tablets, that can help to reduce the frequency of attacks.
While there is no way to eliminate the risk of transmission, these treatments can help to make living with herpes more manageable.
Possible Side Effects
Though it is most well-known for causing cold sores, the herpes simplex virus can also lead to more serious health problems.
In some cases, the virus can cause inflammation of the brain, which can lead to seizures, paralysis, and even death. Herpes can lead to swelling of the spinal cord and brain membranes, also known as meningitis.
In newborn babies, herpes can be particularly dangerous, often leading to mental retardation, blindness, and death. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects of herpes and to seek medical help if any symptoms develop.