Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a contagious disease that can cause both oral herpes (cold sores, fever blisters) and genital herpes. The two types of herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread from close contact, and there is no cure once the virus is in your system. While herpes is not curable, there are effective herpes treatment options that can manage outbreaks and symptoms. Our dermatologist, Dr. Katherine Chiang, at Precision Medical Specialists offers advanced herpes treatments for HSV- 1 and 2 at our medical center in Wellington, FL.
Causes and Symptoms of Herpes
Both types of herpes form when there is direct close contact with someone else with herpes. Kissing someone with a cold sore on their mouth or engaging in sexual activities without protection with someone with genital herpes can lead to infection. It can take up to three weeks after infection for the first outbreak of herpes sores to appear. The main symptom is the sores – blistering sores usually around the mouth or genitals, but they can occur anywhere on the skin. These sores can be uncomfortable and ooze fluid while crusting over. Other symptoms, especially with the first outbreak, include:
- Flu-like symptoms (aches, fever and sore throat)
- Tingling or burning sensation in the area where sores appear
- Burning during urination (genital herpes in females)
Herpes is very contagious, especially during outbreaks. Contact with the fluid that is released by the sores can infect another person. Herpes can be spread even when sores are not present.
Treatments for HSV-1 and HSV-2
The treatments for both types of herpes are similar. Topical antiviral medications can be used on the sores to help them heal quicker and shorten the outbreak. Treatment can also minimize the discomfort associated with herpes. Oral antiviral medications are also available to shorten outbreaks and reduce frequency.
Herpes is a very common virus – most people have been exposed to HSV-1 and millions of others have HSV-2. There are newer treatments that can minimize the impact of herpes on your life, reducing frequency and severity of outbreaks. To learn more about herpes treatment, contact us at Precision Medical Specialists to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chiang at our facility near West Palm Beach.