What is Herpes?
Herpes is a chronic condition caused by the infection of the Herpes Simplex Virus. The majority of people who become infected with herpes may never experience any particular symptoms of the virus. However certain people who do experience symptoms after being infected are likely to experience recurrences of these symptoms throughout their lives.
The Herpes simplex viruses is categorized into two main types: HSV1 (Type 1 or oral herpes) and HSV2 (Type 2 or genital herpes). The most common of these is HSV1 which mainly causes the formation of sores around the mouth area, more commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. HSV1 can also cause genital herpes but in most cases the cause of genital herpes is due to the infection of HSV2. With HSV2 the occurrence of the sores is usually below the waist and around the genitals or rectum area.
Once infected with the virus, it remains in the cells of the bodies nervous system. The virus lies dormant in the nerve cells until an emotional or physical condition occurs, triggering it to become active once again.
How is Herpes transmitted?
The HSV1 strain of the virus is transmitted through oral secretions or from contact with sores that form on the skin. It can be contracted through kissing, the sharing of utensils used for eating and drinking utensils or toothbrushes. Whereas the infection of the HSV2 strain of the virus can only be contracted through sexual contact with someone who is already infected with HSV2 strain of genital herpes. It is important to be aware that both HSV1 and HSV2 can be contracted from an infected person regardless of whether the symptoms of the virus are present or not.
What is the difference between HSV 1 and HSV 2 herpes?
HSV 1 Herpes:
- Duration of symptoms: The symptoms of Type 1 herpes usually last between two and three weeks.
- Incubation period: The time taken for for symptoms to occur after the initial infection can range from as soon as 2 days and up to 12 days. With the average time ranging between three and seven days.
- Oral sores: Before these sores appear the infected person can experience a burning, itching or tingling sensation at the infected area. After this a formation of reddish color blisters, bumps, or sores (also known as herpetic stomatitis) will erupt on the surface of the skin. After a few more days they will become drier and scabbed, and change to a more yellow color.
- Recurrence: The recurrences oral HSV1 infection is usually less frequent than for that of genital HSV2 infection. After the initial onset the HSV1 symptoms the severity of recurring outbreaks reduces and the duration of the symptoms shortens.
- These sores usually occur around the mouth on lips, gums, the front of the tongue, throat, the inside of the cheeks and sometimes at the roof of the mouth. This can result in bleeding and difficulty in eating and drinking.
- On rare occurrences the sores can appear lower down around the the chin and neck and may cause a painful swelling of the neck lymph nodes.
- Duration of symptoms: The initial formation of ulcerative lesions (herpes sores) can persist from four to fifteen days. After which encrusting and reepithelialization (healing period of viral shedding) can continue for a further 12 days.
- Incubation period: The incubation of primary genital HSV2 infection can range from one day to three weeks. With the average period ranging between three and seven days.
- Genital herpes: The majority of people (70%-80%) infected with genital HSV2 infections are asymptomatic (a carrier for herpes infection but experience no symptoms).
- Cracked, raw, or red patches of skin around the genitals with or without itching, pain or tingling sensation
- Burning, itching or tingling sensation around the genital or anal area.
- Experience pain from passing urine over the sores (usually associated with women).
- Backaches, headaches or flu like symptoms, such as fever and fatigue.
- Most symptoms occur around the genitals (either penis or vagina area) or around the thighs, buttocks and rectal area.
- In rare instances sores or blisters may form inside the urethra causing difficulty and pain in the passing of urine.
What natural treatments are available for herpes?
HSV Eraser (Erase Herpes)
Most medical practitioners support the claim that there is no known cure for the herpes simplex virus and that only its symptoms alone can be treated by the use of suppressing and antiviral medications. But what natural treatments are available to treat herpes? One such natural treatment program available is the HSV Eraser program by Doctor Christine Beuhler. The HSV eraser program claims to provide herpes sufferers with an all natural system to treat and eradicate herpes forever in just twenty one days. Dr. Christine Beuhler endorses her own HSV eraser program and claims that 27,442 other men and women have already found permanent and complete relief from herpes.
What other treatments are available to treat herpes infection?
- Creams: The direct application of creams to the affected areas can provide both symptom relief and encourage faster healing:
- Antiviral cream or ointments can both shorten the outbreak of the herpes sores and relieve the associated itching, burning or tingling.
- Over the counter ointment containing propolis. Propolis in its natural state is a resinous material derived from the buds of poplar trees, and can also be harvested from beehives. A 3% Propolis ointment (ColdSore-FX or Herstat) applied to herpes sores or lesions may help promote faster healing.
- Prescription antiviral medicines: Prescription antiviral medicines these can lessen the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks. They also can reduce the risk of infected persons spreading the virus. Some of the more common antivirals prescribed include:
- About 20% of people in the United States (50 million) have genital HSV2 herpes.
- 85% of people (42 million in the US) with genital herpes are not even aware that they have it.
- Genital herpes is the most prevalent viral STD
- About 25% of women vs 25% of men have Type 2 genital herpes
- One study carried out discovered that of all infected women, 60% never displayed any symptoms or outbreaks.
- The average number of outbreaks in those who have them is 4 or 5 outbreaks per year. However, some people only have one or two outbreaks and never experience one again.
- The chance of contracting Type 2 genital herpes from a partner is at its greatest during an outbreak.
- When a person is not experiencing an outbreak, the chance of contracting an infection is reduced is to between 4% and 10%
- 50-80% of Americans are infected with the oral HSV1 virus.
Prevention of Herpes?
- Short of abstinence there is no 100% effective way of protecting yourself from genital herpes.
- Using a latex condom offers some protection, however transmission of the virus is still possible through contact of areas that are not covered by a condom.
- Avoiding sexual contact when your partner is having a symptoms flare up will also reduce the chance because that is the when the virus is at its most contagious state.
- Maintain a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with your partner who has been tested to be clear of any herpes infection.
The following resources were researched during the creation of this article: