Herpes: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Herpes is among the most common STD’s that affects almost 1 out of 5 adults and teenagers. The infection is primarily passed by a virus known as Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV. As of now, experts have detected 2 primary types of this virus:

  1. HSV type 1

  2. HSV type 2

HSV type 1 eats into the lips that result in fever blisters or cold sores. HSV type 2 tends to infect your reproductive parts. It’s also known as genital herpes. Genital herpes causes sores that at times, infect your mouth. Since it is a chronic condition, it may be triggered after years of staying dormant inside a person’s body.

Primary Causes of Herpes Infection:

As previously mentioned, the infection may be triggered by herpes simplex virus that normally enters your body via genitals, the skin around your mouth, and anus. In addition, the virus may also pass on via other regions of your skin and also eyes, although such cases are less common.

When it comes to oral herpes, it is commonly passed on via activities like sharing eating utensils & kissing. On the contrary, genital herpes may normally transmit via activities for instance:

  1. Anal or vaginal sex; even if a couple uses a condom. Herpes simplex virus can also transmit itself through the skin to skin contact among those who’re already infected and their close contacts.
  2. Close contact with the genitals.
  3. Sharing adult toys.

Common Symptoms of Herpes Virus:

In regards to herpes related to cold sores, a person may experience the following symptoms:

irritated and swollen gums with painful sores in/around the mouth

increase production of saliva

swollen glands and sore throat

increased body temperature




Genital Herpes: Symptoms

small blisters which burst and leave reddish open sores near the rectum, buttocks, thighs and genital area.

women may experience ulcers and blisters on the cervix region in addition to vaginal discharge

pain while you’re peeing

flu-like indications and a general feeling of being sick.

How to know if you’re infected with the virus?

You can, obviously, contact your family doctor to conduct a rapid test for HSV-1/2 virus. Nonetheless, in case you are feeling shy, fearful or embarrassed, you might want to purchase a test kit for STD infection. Today, you can easily find these testing kits for most types of STD’s, which includes herpes, Chlamydia, syphilis, genital warts, gonorrhea, etc.

HSV test enables anyone to detect the virus present within the serum or blood that contain IgG antibodies. You can easily purchase the kit on the internet since the process is quicker and cheaper than offline stores. After receiving the product, you are ready to use it as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. In case you find you’re infected with the virus, visit your nearest hospital for the necessary treatment procedure.


Diagnosis is primarily done through a medical examination, where a physician will examine the symptoms of your condition. The test is typically enough for the diagnosis of the herpes virus and to validate its presence, nevertheless, additional lab tests, such as blood tests, may also be recommended.

Treatment of herpes:

As of now, there’s no permanent cure for herpes. Nonetheless, treatment is normally aimed at minimizing the symptoms as well as to control the repeated outbreaks of HSV.

One of the most popular treatment methods includes using antiviral ointments and creams. For maximum effects, the ointments and creams must be used the moment the symptoms appear. The infected person must ensure the affected region stays clean & free from moisture. Also, no additional ointments or lotions must be applied except they’re advanced by your doctor.

In case the herpes sores occur repeatedly, you might have to follow the treatments on a daily basis, even if you see no visible symptoms present on your body. This is also called as suppressive therapy. Medicines that are typically used for this purpose include:

  1. Valacyclovir

  2. Acyclovir

  3. Famciclovir

Prevention of Herpes:

Skin contact is one of the major reasons for the spread of the herpes virus. In addition, the infection may also spread if a healthy person uses the objects that came in contact with the herpes sores. People who are already infected with this virus need to take several precautions so as to minimize the odds of transmitting the infection to other people around them.

These includes:

  1. Avoid sharing stuff like eating utensils or toothbrushes.
  2. Avoid kissing in case of an outbreak, when the odds of transmitting the infection are greatest.
  3. Avoid any physical contact with the sores (if this is difficult, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands prior to coming into physical contact with other people around you).
  4. So as to minimize the odds of contracting or spreading genital herpes, it is best to use a condom during oral, anal or vaginal sex. But, it is also important to remember that condoms are not able to cover every single part of your genital area, which means they can never guarantee complete protection from the herpes virus.

If you are experiencing the outbreak of herpes virus, it is very important to avoid any sexual activity totally, since this is when your odds of transmitting the infection are highest. Like mentioned earlier, sharing adult toys (if any) must always be avoided.

Diet Tips:

In regards to potential foods to avoid, a few people feel the ones containing huge amounts of arginine (a type of amino acid) may trigger the outbreak of herpes simplex virus. Arginine can be found in a variety of foodstuffs which you eat on a daily basis; hence, we don’t encourage everybody to avoid eating foods just because of arginine. Still, you might want to change your diet slightly if you are experiencing repeated outbreaks and think food to be a contributing element. Besides, whilst some people think arginine may trigger the outbreak, experts are yet to come up with clinical evidence which validates such claims.



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