Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This infection can cause sores or blisters in the mouth or genitals. If a person has an HSV infection, they will be infected for the rest of their lives; however, some people never have symptoms. Note that there is no cure for herpes, But doing some things can help manage symptoms and reduce the likelihood of it getting worse. We will introduce you to other viral disease methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in the following.
What is herpes?
Nostrils form and rarely appear on the gums or roof of the mouth. This viral disease usually causes pain, burning, or itching before bursting and peeling.
The most common cause of this viral disease is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). In other cases, herpes is caused by an infection with another strain called herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). In the United States, 48.1 percent of all people aged 14 to 49 have HSV-1, making them more susceptible to this viral disease. There is no specific way to cure and prevent this viral disease; however, one can take some steps to reduce the frequency and duration of the outbreak.
HSV is a common virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 67% of the world’s population is infected with HSV-1 and 11% with HSV-2. Note that the virus does not leave the body; Of course, it remains inactive most of the time; But it can be reactivated periodically and cause this viral disease. Most people with oral herpes do not realize it until they have this viral disease or other symptoms. Some people only get the virus once; Because HSV remains silent after infection. But others may be persistent and persist for years.
Different types of herpes
1.Herpes simplex virus type 1
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the most common form of HSV, which is why the medical community considers HSV-1 to be an endemic disease due to its persistent worldwide presence. HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes; Because, in most cases, HSV-1 affects the mouth and surrounding areas. However, it may also affect other areas of the body, such as the genitals. It is good to know that HSV-1 often develops in childhood and is a lifelong disease. This condition can be spread through asexual contact with saliva, such as kissing.
2.Herpes simplex virus type 2:
Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is spread through sexual contact and sexually transmitted infection (STI). HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes; This means that the symptoms usually occur around the genital area and the anus.
Symptoms of herpes:
People with HSV usually do not experience significant symptoms; However, they can transmit the virus to another person even without symptoms. This viral disease usually appears as a sore if symptoms occur. These sores are blisters that form on the skin’s surface and may be accompanied by itching.
Keep in mind that this viral disease can occur in any part of the body; depending on HSV type, it usually appears around the mouth, genitals, or anus. Most herpes appears in the first 20 days after infection and can last for about 7 to 10 days. Other symptoms of HSV may include:
- Tingling, itching, or local burning
- Symptoms similar to the flu
- Difficulty urinating
- eye infection
Some people with oral this viral disease have no symptoms, and others experience it only after the first contact with the virus. At least 25% of people with oral herpes get the virus again, and in this case, this is a viral disease that appears in the same place every time. Early signs of HSV-1 virus may appear 2 to 20 days after exposure to the virus and may include the following:
- Wounds on the tongue, mouth, chin, cheeks, or nostrils
- Mouth or tongue pain
- Lip inflammation
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
- Inflammation of the lymph nodes
- High body temperature
Oral and gingival infections can also occur, known as gingivostomatitis. This condition lasts for 1 to 2 weeks and does not recur. In adults, infections of the throat and tonsils, also called pharyngitis and tonsillitis, can be caused by an initial herpes infection.
Classification of oral herpes symptoms:
- A tingling, itching or burning sensation around the mouth often indicates the onset of herpes.
- Painful, juicy sores usually appear around the mouth.
- This peel disappears, and a pink skin appears, which heals in 3 to 4 days.
- The maximum time that herpes may go away without treatment is 1 to 2 weeks, after which no scar remains.
Causes of herpes:
Both types of HSV are caused by direct contact with the virus. HSV-1 is usually spread by mouth-to-mouth contact, resulting from sores, saliva, or skin around the mouth, and transmission may be due to the use of lip balm, toothbrush, or any other product in contact with HSV.
Note that contact with someone with an active prevalence of symptoms will significantly increase the risk of developing HSV-1. Not harmful to know that in some cases, HSV-1 can be transmitted in people during sexual activity. HSV-2 transmission almost always occurs during sexual contact. This condition involves any contact with the skin, sores, saliva, or body fluids of a person with HSV-2 and can occur during vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
How is herpes diagnosed?
As mentioned, most people who get the virus once will get it again; So people can manage the symptoms at home by identifying the symptoms and using them; however, it is best to see a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe symptoms
- The person does not recover after ten days
- swelling of the gum
- Weak immune system
A doctor can usually diagnose this condition by considering symptoms and visual examination. Still, in some cases, such as when a person has a weakened immune system, a blood test may be ordered, or samples were taken from the fluid in herpes and sent to a lab. Some of the factors that can weaken the immune system include HIV, organ transplant drugs, some cancers, and some cancer treatment drugs.
Treatment of herpes:
There is no specific treatment for HSV, and when symptoms do occur, they often go away after several weeks without treatment. The goal of treatment is to help control symptoms and reduce the frequency of outbreaks, which can be very useful; Of course, some medications can also reduce the risk of transmitting HSV to others. There are several antiviral creams or ointments available to treat herpes. In addition to curing herpes, these treatments are also useful in relieving itching, burning, and discomfort. Here are some examples of antiviral drugs that we will mention:
These drugs are available in the form of tablets and ampoules.
Home remedies for herpes:
Hot or cold compresses may relieve the pain and itching of herpes. Applying heat to the area around the lips can also help prevent blisters during an oral herpes infection. Cold compresses are easily prepared at home; wrap a woolen cloth around the ice pack and apply it to the painful area. Note that under no circumstances should ice be placed directly on the skin. It is also recommended that you gently wash the affected area with saline before doing anything.
A study in 2019 shows that honey may be as effective as antiviral creams in the treatment of oral herpes. This study took eight days for herpes to improve with antiviral cream, and this time with honey was nine days. However, herpes zoster can improve in one to two weeks without treatment.
Old studies show that garlic may have properties that reduce several viral activity viruses, including both HSV viruses. Some studies suggest that allicin (a compound in garlic) may be useful in eliminating HSV. However, there is no clear evidence that garlic can prevent or treat herpes. Keep in mind that there are several ways to use this plant, such as eating fresh garlic and taking garlic capsules. (Benefits Of Garlic Consumption For Health And Treatment)
Various vitamins may help protect the body against the virus and reduce symptoms. If a person has low levels of vitamin D, herpes infections are more likely to spread; Because vitamin D can protect the body against infection by improving part of the immune system. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E may also pressure immune system cells, such as herpes, to reduce infection risk.
Researchers are currently conducting clinical trials using vitamin E against herpes. Note that a person can increase their vitamin intake by making some diet changes or taking supplements. Also, exposing the skin to sunlight can increase vitamin D levels. (Vitamin A; Benefits, Symptoms Of Deficiency, And Sources Of This Vitamin)
For genital herpes, applying gel to the affected area can reduce the discomfort caused by urinating. Still, it should be noted that washing the hands, both before and after using the gel, is very important. The pharmacy will offer you gels for herpes infections.
Pomegranates have long been used as a home remedy for infections. Pomegranate contains zinc, which can help reduce herpes infections.
Other dietary recommendations include:
- Increased consumption of the amino acid lysine, although the evidence for its effectiveness is different.
- Avoid the amino acid arginine.
- Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol and caffeine.
- Identify and eliminate food products that cause allergies.
It is good to know that soy protein, peanuts, walnuts, and fish are rich sources of arginine. Avocados, chicken, cheese, and curds are all excellent sources of lysine.
Past studies have shown that the following supplements may be useful in controlling the symptoms of herpes:
- Adenosine monophosphate
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
A study in 2017 shows that consuming at least 1 gram of lysine per day and reducing arginine consumption can help people manage their symptoms. Always consult your doctor before taking supplements; Because they may interact with other drugs or have side effects.
Using some essential oils can reduce the virus in HSV-1 cells. Oils that may help improve herpes include:
- Ingredients in clove oil and essential oils of cinnamon and basil
In addition to oral consumption, a person can use oils in a moisturizer, bathwater, or by mixing them with a diluting oil and applying them to the affected area. The use of diluent oil is essential; Because if a person rubs it directly on their skin, the oil may have adverse effects. Diluent oils or carrier oils include almond oil and olive oil. Researchers are conducting clinical trials to test other effective home remedies, including sesame oil, organic coconut oil, and jojoba oil. There is still insufficient evidence to prove that a particular oil can help a person manage symptoms.
Some medications can reduce the risk of spreading the herpes virus and effectively reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. The main drugs that doctors prescribe for this purpose are called antiviral drugs. These drugs include acyclovir, famciclovir, valaciclovir, and penciclovir. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs for an oral, intravenous, or topical cream.
In most cases, herpes does not cause symptoms. However, it is best to avoid oral, anal, or vaginal sex if there are symptoms. It is best to talk to your partner about genital herpes and keep him or her informed. Also, if you have oral herpes, you should avoid cracking and squeezing it.
When should I see a doctor?
If a person has had sexual activity with their spouse who has herpes or has symptoms, they should see a test doctor. If a pregnant woman has genital herpes, she should consult her doctor. This is rare; Sometimes, the herpes virus can be transmitted to the fetus before, during, or immediately after delivery. This condition can cause baby herpes, which is very dangerous.