Herpes Simplex is an infection that is caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). Oral herpes HSV-1 causes cold sores around the mouth or on the face.
HSV-2 affects the genitals, buttocks or anal areas. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Other herpes simplex infections can affect the eyes, skin, or on other parts of the body. The Herpes Simplex Virus can be very dangerous to newborn babies or in people with weak immune systems.
There are two types of Herpes Simplex Virus
HSV-1 most commonly causes cold sores. It can also cause genital herpes through oral sex.
HSV-2 is the common cause of genital herpes, but it also can infect the mouth.
The first sign of Herpes Simplex infection is formation of fluid-filled blisters that may last up to two weeks. However, the pain in the area may last much longer. Once Herpes Simplex enters the body it spreads to nearby mucosal areas through nerve cells.
Herpes Simplex Virus spreads by direct contact. Some people will have no symptoms. Others get sores near the area where the virus has entered the body. They turn into blisters, become itchy and swollen, and painful, and then they heal. The blisters usually last from 10 to 14 days. Treatment for recurring Herpes Simplex may also involve local antibiotic treatment to prevent bacterial infection.
Application of ice to the area may relieve the pain. Over the counter medication for fever, pain, and inflammation—such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can help. Children should never be given aspirin. Avoid touching the sores, and wash hands with soap frequently. Herpes simplex keratitis is an infection of the cornea caused by the herpes simplex virus. Also known as ocular herpes, this virus is usually spread from touching lesions and then touching the eye. So again, avoid touching the sores, and wash hands with soap frequently especially before handling contact lenses. Once Herpes Simplex is contracted, it is always in a person’s system.