Recurrence of Herpes

A significant characteristic of herpes is its ability to recur. Several factors as described in clinical features can cause re-infection. The virus lies dormant in the nerve root and reactivates and travels down the nerve to the skin to cause a new infection.

Herpes outbreaks are different from person to person, even though it is the same virus. The virus could cause a distinct symptom in one person (mild burning itching) and yet cause completely different symptoms in their partner (small blister or no symptoms at all).

There has been no specific factor pointed out to determine the frequency of this recurrence. Some people may experience more frequent recurrences than other people.

What may cause an outbreak to re-occur?

  • Surgery
  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Menstruation
  • Diet
  • Vigorous sexual activity
  • Colds and fevers
  • Sun

Conventional treatment using Famvir and Acyclovir work but are only effective when administered within the first 2-48 hours. They do come with some side-effects and are contra-indicated in pregnancy and lactation. They are no cures only symptomatic treatment.

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