Herpes in the mouth and genitalia have different causes
False. Herpes that occurs in the mouth is caused by the HSV-1 herpes simplex virus and the HSV-2 causes the genital one. However, both viruses can produce both types of herpes. In the past, doctors believed that HSV-1 is not a sexually contracting infection, but it has recently been confirmed that both types can be transmitted both by kissing and through sexual intercourse. Some researchers even estimate that HSV-1 is responsible for about 50% of cases of genital herpes. You can do the home herpes test to find out which one do you have.
Herpes remains in the body for life
True. The herpes virus moves from the skin through nerves to their root and into the lymph nodes, where it stays latent. It will always reappear in the same place in the prolongation of the affected nerves. The frequency of relapse differs from one person to another – it can be once a month but also over a few years.
It is a widespread condition
True. Epidemiological studies and analysis have shown that about 80% of the adult population is infected with HSV-1 and about 20% with HSV-2 virus.
Once infected, you are always contagious
False. The herpes virus is transmitted only by close contact, for example by kissing or using the same glasses and cutlery, and the blisters are contagious until scabs completely cover them. When the blisters are dry, the probability of transmission of the virus is extremely low.
Stress can cause a relapse
True. The weakening of the body’s defense mechanisms may cause the virus to be reactivated. The flu, stressful situations and a feverish state can re-activate the virus. Moreover, exposure to the sun can cause a relapse. For this reason, it is recommended that people affected by the herpes virus protect their areas exposed with sunscreen. There are also women with herpes recurring during menstruation. Read also this.
Herpes can be cured
False. Unfortunately, there is no treatment with 100% efficacy and no drug capable of eradicating the virus. However, a properly treated herpes crisis can be less unpleasant and less painful.
Herpes treatments are based on the same principle
True. These consist of antiviral drugs, mainly acyclovir or idoxuridine. The mode of administration may, however, differ. For localized herpes, use external treatment as a patch or cream. If the herpes is more severe or relapses are very common, a tablet treatment called systemic is prescribed. There are also many unconventional treatments for herpes, but the evidence of their effectiveness is not well documented.
Herpes is not a serious condition
False. There are also forms of herpes that can locate in the eye area and cause corneal ulceration, resulting in severe cases of loss of vision. Other types can affect the entire body surface or even internal organs. People with deficient immunity (such as those infected with HIV or those who have cancer) pose a particular risk. During pregnancy, genital herpes is a reason that causes the doctor to have a cesarean section.
The specialist’s advice
The safest way to treat it is to prevent herpes by avoiding contact with active herpes (red areas that make up localized fluid blisters in the mouth or the genital area) and avoiding contact with significant areas that have been in the past with blistering episodes herpes.
If you have not managed to prevent it and have herpes injuries, it is imperative that you contact a dermatologist within two days of the first rash, to begin the specific treatment that increases the chances of full healing. If it is more than three days after the onset of the primary infection, the procedure will only focus on the healing lesions healing.
Treatments for herpes are local (creams), accompanied by general measures to increase immunity when we address recurrent eruptions.