What is herpes simplex?

Herpes outbreak simplex virus (HSV) is a common, contagious infection of the skin which occurs on any part of the body, especially the genital and lip area. It can also affect the nervous system and the brain.

Research shows that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from the Herpes outbreak Simplex Virus. Most people confuse herpes outbreak simplex with herpes zoster outbreaks which causes shingles and chicken pox.

The term “herpes” comes from the Greek word “herpein,” which means “to creep” or “to spread”. There are two types of Herpes simplex viruses which are discussed below.

Types of herpes simplex

Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) – which occurs above the hip mostly on the lips and it can be represented by cold sores and blisters. It cannot be transmitted sexually although kissing and oral sex can transmit HSV-1. Click here to learn more about HSV- 1 and how to treat it.

Herpes outbreak simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) – which can be found below the hip mostly on the genital area. It can be transmitted sexually and most people suffer from this type of HSV. Click here to learn more about HSV- 2 and how to treat it.

The life cycle a the virus as soon as you become infected

  • Skin outbreaks may show in 2 to 12 days after the virus enters you body
  • Then you start to see small blisters or sores.
  • Yours skin then becomes inflamed (red and sensitive)
  • The blisters start to dry out this happens because they are healing which can take longer if skin is moist. It can cause the lesions to itch and be painful
  • The crusts forms and the dry areas start to fall off, at this stage the lesions is no longer contagious and the virus can be considered inactive.
  • Swelling around the infected area may occur
  • You might experience headaches, muscle aches and fever.
  • Latency – During this time (latency) the HSV shows no symptoms and it is not transmittable.
  • Shedding – The virus is powerful at this stage (shedding), it starts to multiply in your body and it become transmittable even though you show no symptoms.

Click here to view the difference between Cold Sores and Herpes.

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