What Is The Herpes Simplex Virus?
The herpes simplex virus is a highly contagious virus spread usually from sexual conduct from someone who has the condition to someone that does not. Many of those that have the condition do not know that they have it. For others, painful outbreaks and irritation make it painfully obvious they have the condition.
There are two types of herpes simplex virus:
· Herpes Simplex Type 1, HSV 1: HSV 1 is a lesser common form of the virus. This particular strain commonly causes cold sores on the face and near the mouth. However, it can cause genital herpes outbreaks as well, especially when there is mouth to genital contact.
· Herpes Simplex Type 2, HSV 2: HSV 2 is a more common type of the virus. This particular type causes genital herpes outbreaks that occur in the genital region and the rectum. This form of the virus spreads through contact with infected skin.
It is important to note that both types of herpes simplex virus spread by contact during an outbreak but can also spread through very small openings on the skin even when there is no outbreak occurring. This is what makes the condition so incredibly difficult to prevent the spread of. 45 million Americans over the age of 12 have the condition.
Herpes Simplex Outbreaks
Often, you will hear people speak of outbreaks. An outbreak may occur within a few weeks of contracting the virus. However, not everyone will experience an outbreak. An outbreak is described as the development of blisters, skin lesions in which a clear, fluid filled sac develops on the skin. Within a few weeks, the blisters break open (this is also the time when it is easiest to pass the virus to someone else.) The open sores can last several weeks. After they heal over, the scab will fall off and the skin returns to its normal condition. Outbreaks are painful and itchy.
Outbreaks are the undetermined factor in herpes simplex. Some people have more severe outbreaks than others do. Some will have outbreaks more frequently. An outbreak may occur within a few weeks of the first one. Other people will have no outbreaks whatsoever. In all situations, the goal is to minimize the number and severity of outbreaks as much as possible.
There is no cure for herpes simplex. However, numerous treatment options for the virus can reduce symptoms, reduce frequency of outbreaks and help you to avoid passing the condition on to other people. Herpes simplex outbreaks can be under control in many people.
Herpes simplex is a very common type of virus. It is often a belief of the virus that no one wants to speak out. As a sexually transmitted disease, though, the condition can be embarrassing. It is something you should talk with your doctor about and seek out a treatment plan. There is no better way to protect your partner from getting herpes simplex.