Herpes is a known virus that can be categorized into simplex 1 or HSV1 and simplex 2 or HSV2. Both types are very contagious. HSV1 is also known as oral herpes since it infects the lips or the mouth resulting to fever blisters or cold sores. Its first signs are redness and tingling sensation in the infected area. After which, small blisters will start to appear and it will get obvious as time passes.
These blisters will then become painful. A brown scab will form if it starts to heal and it will turn yellow as it completes the cycle. On the other hand, HSV2 is also known as genital herpes. Rashes and painful blisters can possibly be seen in the vulva, vagina, penis, scrotum, buttocks, and anus. It is also possible to feel healthy not knowing that you have herpes virus since it can stay dormant for several years without any appearance of blisters. Although for some, outbreaks happen occasionally, while others are more frequent.
If sores are about to develop, expect itching, tingling, and burning feeling in the affected area. Symptoms of herpes are always the same, except for the first outbreak which is usually the most painful. Also, each time it recurs, the sores and pain lessens. But what actually causes herpes? To know more about it, below are some of its risk factors.
- Oral herpes can be found in the saliva and the blood of the infected person. Direct contact with someone who has HSV1, such as kissing, sharing toothbrush and utensils, or any exposure to his or her saliva, can easily pass on the disease to you.
- Having multiple sexual partners can increase the risk of getting herpes virus. Through sexual activity, the infection can be transmitted easily either by genital to genital or by oral to genital.
- Children can also be infected by oral herpes. In fact, most people who have it were first infected when they were 6 months to 3 years on the average. Usually, this is more prevalent in dirty and crowded places.
- Based on studies, gender can also play a role in getting herpes. Sexually active women are more likely to get the virus compared to men; although, men get more recurrence.
- Having an impaired immune system increases the probability of acquiring herpes. This is particularly true with HIV patients. In fact, a high percentage of people with HIV develop HV2.
- People engaged in health care, such as doctors and nurses, are more exposed to different viruses since they are the ones whom patients go to when they have illnesses. Herpes can easily be spread through contact in the infected area. Proper sanitation and wearing protective clothing or gloves are always required in the workplace.