A group of viruses that causes painful sores and blisters is known as herpes simplex virus. This virus is known to cause sores around the mouth and genitals. Another type of herpes virus, which is called the herpes zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
Generally, this virus spreads from one person to another through sexual contact, including oral and anal sex with an infected individual. It can also spread through skin to skin contact. This virus can enter your body through minute openings or even cracks in your skin, especially the skin on your vagina, anus, cervix, penis or mouth.
Genital herpes is highly contagious and this is one of the reasons why millions of people are infected by it. It can even spread when the infected person is not experiencing any sort of symptoms. Also, this virus can spread from one body part to another. For example, it can spread from your anus to your fingers, then to your mouth. Pregnant women should take extra care if they are suffering from herpes as it can pass on to the newborn.
How can herpes be diagnosed?
If you think that you are infected with herpes, the best method to find out is to visit a doctor. You cannot diagnose this health condition at home. Only an experienced doctor can diagnose if you are suffering from this health condition. The exact sites where you have herpes need to be diagnosed so that you can start the treatment as soon as possible.
Once you get infected with the herpes virus, the infection goes through different stages, which is explained as follows:
Primary stage: The primary stage lasts for about 2 to 8 days but, at times, it takes longer to begin. It is possible that you do not notice any symptoms even after a month of infection. Small and painful blisters develop at certain sites in the body and once these blisters are red, they break open. Apart from this very common symptoms, you may also suffer from pain during urination.
Latent stage: There are no blisters during this phase and the virus travels from your skin to the nerves near your spinal cord.
Shedding stage: This is the last stage of an outbreak. The virus starts multiplying in the endings of the nerves. This is when the virus can come in contact with bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids and saliva. Although there are no symptoms in this stage, the virus can spread really fast.
Usually, the first outbreak is stronger than the recurrent ones. This virus gets activated at times and causes recurrent outbreaks. There are various reasons for outbreaks such as depression, stress and anxiety. Even complications in the menstrual period can activate this virus.
This virus is not curable but you can certainly treat it. Use of medications such as Valtrex and Famvir help in preventing the spread of this virus in your body. They also slow down the replication of this virus, which gives your body more time to deal with it.