Herpes simplex virus
Genital herpes is a disease that causes blisters and ulcers on the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals due to herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2. Symptoms such as tingling pain, discomfort, and itching occur in the area. Then, a painful blister with a red fringe form, which collapses into an ulcer. It may occur on the skin around the thighs, buttocks, and anus. The symptoms are usually severe for the first infection. It often causes pain that makes it difficult to urinate, and symptoms include fever, malaise, and swollen lymph nodes at the base of the foot.
The herpes virus is not comepletely eliminated from the body even after treatment or a natural recovery, but it can remain in the nerve ganglion and recurs due to stimulation such as stress. Recurrent infection may be possible but symptoms tend to be minor and not as severe than the first case, and tend to heal faster.
Herpes simplex virus does not only infect the mouth and genitals. The virus may enter from a small wound on the skin of the finger. Fingers may become red and swollen, or the virus may spread from a lesion of atopic eczema. Infection and lesion of the eyes may also occur on this cases.
People with weakened immune sytem are more likely to have severe symptoms and prognosis. It can cause lesions in the esophagus, lungs, and colon, and in rare cases may spread to the brain and lead to encephalitis.
Route of infection
Most people are infected through direct contact to the infected area. Symptoms may be apparent when infected but the virus can remain in the mouth or genitals.
Please be extra cautious if you symptoms such as cold sores, blisters, or pain, discomfort that are unusual. Always use a condom for protection.
If you are a pregnant woman and have herpes on the genitals, it may transmit and infect the newborn, which can lead to encephalitis. For cases like this, a caesarean section is recommended to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
The signs and symptoms for herpes are relatively easy to notice and visible by checking the health history or visual examination. If it is not aparent, you can be tested using a cotton swab.
For herpes virus encephalitis, MRI and spinal fluid tests are added.
Antiviral drugs are used to treat genital herpes. For mild symptoms, ointment is used, for severe cases, intravenous drip are administered. On the other hand, if the symptoms are not evident, keeping the area clean can help to heal it naturally.
Pain relievers may also be used.
Even if the symptoms improve with treatment and disappear naturally, the virus is not completely gone. The virus can remain in the ganglia, and symptoms may reaapear when immune system is weak due to overwork or stress. If you have frequent recurrences, we recommended you to consult your doctor for continuation of antiviral drugs treatment.