Health | Health Treatments

What is Herpes and How they are caused
Jun 20, 2016
What is Herpes and How they are caused

Herpes is a disease caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) which mainly affects genitals, cervix, mouth and skin on different parts of the body.

They are basically classified as HSV I which is the main cause of herpes on the mouth resulting in sores and blisters around the mouth and face, whereas HSV II is the main causative agent for genital herpes.

This usually a chronic condition which persists in the body for a long period of time without exhibiting any symptoms. Recurring herpes on the genitals might indicate a good chance of HSV infection.

HSV is highly contagious

Unlike AIDS, HSV is very virile and highly contagious, can spread from person to person through physical intercourse. In the early stages of infection, the virus prepares itself a protective coat and stay dormant for a long period of time.

When a suitable time arrives along with weak immunity results in a herpes outbreak. Other sex, herpes can be transmitted through oral secretions, body fluids, physical contact with sores or blisters on the open body etc.

Symptoms of Herpes

In initial stages of infection, there are no visible symptoms exhibited. During this period, the virus stays in stealth mode and remain hibernated. But the common symptoms for herpes includes:

• Cold Sores around mouth, lips and palate

• Blisters on genitals

In the primary phase of infection, there will be an outbreak of herpes around genitals which will be more severe than the previous occurrence. The symptoms might last for around 20-30 days, in this case, the major symptoms include:

• Genital blisters, but more prominent in number than the previous occurrence.

• Pain while urination

• Fever

• Fluid discharge

• Cold sores around mouth

• Red blisters

In the secondary or recurring infection, the symptoms might take a lazy approach which will be less severe than the primary one because once after the primary infection the patient’s immune system develop antibodies against further invasion. The symptoms usually vary 7-10 days and they include:

• Burning sensation on genitals

• Cervical ulceration and blisters.

• Sores which might spread even further than primary but easily disappears.

What cause this Herpes?

In a simple sense, herpes is caused by direct physical contact by the virus Herpes Simplex. In the case of children HSV I type can be infected while around infected adults.

It can also spread through activities like sharing utensils, clothes, cosmetics, or even by kissing. Genital herpes caused by HSV-II can also evolve from the HSV I by sexual activities with an infected person. In an estimate, it is found that around 20% of all sexual activities in the US in known to spread HSV II according to AAD – American Academy of Dermatology.

Medical Diagnosis of Herpes Simplex

In normal cases, the diagnosis involves physical examination of genital herpes and sores on the open body followed by a confirmation test including biochemistry profiling and advanced lab tests like DNA test, PCR test, and virus culturing.

Is it painful?

The disease alone doesn’t cause any pain, even the infected people don’t know they have HSV until it outburst. Once the symptoms break out herpes in its mature form around the genitals could cause extreme pain.

Herpes can spread inside the urine canal, vagina, cervix which might cause a burning and painful feel. Cold sores around mouth become a hurdle in the social gatherings and public exposure, other than they might cause a sharp burning sensation too.


It is to be noted that most of the virus-infected diseases don’t have a proper cure, but latest medical treatments offer a relief from most of the symptoms caused by a virus and the same happens in the case if HSV too. There are drugs which can prevent an outbreak of HSV. Famvir, Valtrex, Tontine, Zovirax etc. are some of the available drug therapy to ease the pain and virus activation.

Bottom Line:
Some natural therapies like using plant extracts are also found to be effective along with warm mild baths which help get through herpes and stay clean.


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