Herpes is an infection of the genitalia or oral that can occur in men and women. This disease is one of the sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV because it is commonly transmitted by sexual intercourse.
The infection that occurs in the genital area caused by herpes simplex virus or often referred to as HSV. HSV can be contagious and enter into the body through various mucous membranes in the body such as the mouth, skin, and genitals.
This disease is caused by two different viruses and two distinct infections. These viruses are the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV type 1 often causes infection in the oral cavity or often called cold sores. There are various ways you can be infected such as:
- Contact with infected saliva, mucous membranes or skin
- Touching an open herpes sore
- Having intimate or personal contact with an infected person such as kissing
Meanwhile, HSV-2 causes genital herpes. This type of infection affects the mucous membranes and skin of the genitals. The spread of this virus occurs through direct contact with a partner who is infected by HSV. This genital infection is highly contagious. Once infected, the body of the sufferer will forever have this virus. This virus is usually transmitted from one person to another via:
- Having oral sex with a person with cold sores
- Unprotected oral
- Sharing infected sex toys
- Having genital contact with an infected person
Sometimes HSV virus does not cause symptoms. For the first time infected with this disease, may not be aware of any specific symptoms. Oral herpes by the HSV-1 virus is mainly characterized by the appearance of small and painful blisters around your gums, lips, mouth, and throat. The following are the symptoms:
- Blisters or sores on the mouth, lips, tongue, gums or nose
- Pain around the blisters
- Tingling or itching
Genital herpes by the HSV-2 causes genital infection with symptoms:
- The sensation of pain, itching, or tingling around the genital area or anal area
- Pain when urinating
- Muscle aches in the lower back, buttocks, thighs or knees
- Decreased appetite
- Open sores or blisters around the genital area
This infection can be cured neither oral nor genital. The treatments or medications only serve to prevent herpes simplex virus from multiplying, relieve pain, and prevent future symptoms.
To reduce the symptoms of genital infection, doctors will give antiviral drugs such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex) or famciclovir (Famvir).
However, be warned that these drugs come with a host of unpleasant side effects. Topical ointments may also be suggested for oral herpes patients. These include penciclovir (Denavir), acyclovir cream (Zovirax) and docosanol cream (Abreva).
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Besides the conventional treatment, Natural herbs and supplements may help alleviate the pain without additional health risks. The supplements are such as:
- Echinacea. It provides relief from pain and inflammation, contains antiviral and antioxidant properties
- Propolis. It is high in antioxidants, fighting infections, and enhancing immune system function.
- Zinc. Zinc oxide cream applied to cold sores made them heal faster.
- Lysine. It speeds up recovery and lessens your risk of having future outbreaks.
The following are the herbal treatment that has no side effects.
- Lemon balm. Lemon balm treats cold sores when it is added to a topical ointment.
- Aloe Vera. Its antioxidant properties and inflammation.
- Siberian ginseng. It helps lower the frequency, severity, and duration of herpes outbreaks.