Herpes means to creep or crawl, in reference to the spreading nature of the lesions. Herpes simplex is the virus that causes herpes infection. Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals and mouth.
There are two types of the herpes simplex virus.
- HSV-1: Primarily causes oral herpes - blisters around the mouth and on the face.
- HSV-2: Primarily causes genital herpes - blisters near the genitalia.
Risk of transmission
HSV is transmitted from person to person through direct contact. Anyone who comes in contact with an infected person can catch the infection, regardless of age. So infection can spread through kissing or sexual contact.
In cases of sexually active people, people are more at risk when they have sex not protected by condoms, have multiple sex partners, have sex at a younger age, have a poor immune system.
The condition can be asymptomatic or may present with symptoms. Multiple tiny fluid filled pimple like lesions arranged in group seen (near the mouth or on the genitals) associated with pain and itching. These pimples can burst open and leave behind painful ulcer or wound. Other flu like symptoms like fever, headache, tiredness may be present.
HSV can also spread to the eyes, causing a condition called herpes keratitis. This can cause eye pain, discharge from the eye. Other complications include infection of brain and meninges ( encephalitis and meningitis), hepatitis and disseminated spread through out the body. These complications are more often seen in immunocompromised people.
Thorough history about the symptoms and proper physical examination helps in diagnosing the condition. There may arise a need for HSV testing. This is known as a herpes culture. It will confirm the diagnosis if there are sores on the genitals. Blood tests for detection of antibodies to HSV-1 and HSV-2 help diagnose these infections, when the condition presents with no sores.
Diagnostic tests to identify any immunocompromised condition done to prevent the complications mentioned above.
Treatment focuses on getting rid of sores, limiting the duration and severity of episodes and preventing the complications. Anti virals are given along with other symptomatic medications . These medications come in oral form and as a cream. For severe outbreaks, these medications may also be administered by injection. These medications reduce the risk of transmitting it to others and lower the intensity and frequency of outbreaks.
Doctors at 4 Senses Clinic take history patiently, examine the patient thoroughly and diagnose the condition with minimal and necessary investigations. After finding out the root cause of problem, they provide accurate treatment. The doctors also counsel on how to prevent further recurrences. If you are looking at treatment for herpes simplex, contact Call:6366494494