STD or Sexually Transmitted Disease is composed of many different classifications of ailments. These types of diseases are nowadays becoming more and more rampant in relation to the provocative lifestyle of many people as well as the lack of information and knowledge with regards to these various health problems. One of the most common STDs is none other than herpes. Nonetheless, despite its commonness, there are still some people who lack the basic details with regards to this particular infection. So what is herpes and is herpes painful?
What is Herpes?
Herpes is actually a name of a group of viruses that can cause sores and blisters on the skin. One specific type of herpes, which is the herpes simplex virus or the HSV is known to cause both cold sores located around the mouth as well as the genital area (genital herpes). Herpes zoster is another type or classification of the herpes virus, which is responsible for causing chickenpox as well as shingles.
Genital Herpes usually spreads from one person to another through sexual intercourse. Because of this kind mode of transmission, herpes is classified as a type of STD. Sexual intercourse in relation to herpes also includes having oral sex with an infected individual. The herpes virus can enter the system through a break in the integrity of the skin found in the mouth, penis or the vagina. This virus can also enter access through the urinary tract opening as well as the cervix and the anus. The condition is considered highly contagious ones blisters and sores are already visible in the affected person. Nevertheless, the chance of passing it is still very possible even without the presence of any of its symptoms. Aside from these, herpes could also be transmitted from one part of the body to another location such as from the genitals to the eyes via the fingers or the hands. In addition to this, an infected mother during the delivery of a baby can also transmit the disease to the infant as the child passes through the vagina.
Things to do when Herpes is suspected
In case herpes infection is being suspected, immediate medical attention must be given. It is better to consult the doctor as soon as possible in order to provide faster intervention. Herpes is usually diagnosed easily ones the sores and the blisters are already present. Treatment must be immediately started in order to prevent the situation from worsening. Is it painful to have herpes? YES. Herpes can be very painful ones the sores and blisters are already formed in the skin. Once infected, the person will usually undergo different stages of the infection.
• Primary Stage – The primary stage usually begins 2 to 8 days after becoming infected. Some would even take a longer period before the primary stage will start. In this phase of infection, small and painful blisters will already start to emerge. The fluid found inside these blisters is either clear or cloudy while the surface area under these blisters is reddish in color. These blisters can also open easily and can transform into sores. Once these sores or blisters are located in the genital area, urinating can be very painful. Some can even experience fever, body aches and other flu like symptoms. Most people usually goes through the primary stage painfully. However, there are also some that are considered asymptomatic and may not even be aware that they are already infected.
• Latent Stage – after the primary phase, the latent stage will begin to step in. In this stage of infection, blisters, sores and other symptoms are usually unnoticeable. This is the period when the virus is travelling from the skin towards the nerves of the spine.
• Shedding Stage – Once the virus reaches the nerve endings, they begin to multiply in number. Once these nerve endings are located near body fluids, the virus can also infect these fluids such as the saliva, the semen and the vaginal fluids, which cause the transmission of the virus from person to the other. Just like the latent stage, no symptoms are also visible during the shedding phase. However, the virus could spread at this time.
• Recurrence – after the first attack of the symptoms of herpes to the body, most people will usually experience a comeback of these symptoms. This is called the recurrence period. Nevertheless, the symptoms are usually not as bad as they were during the first attack. Stress and fatigue can be good influences to start a recurrence. Exposure to the heat of the sun as well as the experience of menstruation can also increase the chances of having a recurrence. Recurrence usually exhibits itchiness and tingling sensations in the places where the first symptoms have appeared.
Other possible Symptoms
Aside from painful blisters and sores, herpes could also produce swollen glands, headaches, muscle ache and fever. Once herpes has infected the urethra, it can also cause burning sensation while urination.
Treatment for Herpes
There is actually no cure for herpes. However, medicines can help in hastening the recovery as well as decreasing the painful symptom of herpes. Such medicine is called Acyclovir, which is a common antiviral drug for herpes. In addition to this, Acyclovir pills can also cure primary and recurrent herpes as well as prevent the chances of having recurrences. Acyclovir also comes in the form of topical creams which can be directly applied on the sores during the primary or recurrent stages of the infection. Other types of medicines for herpes are famciclovir and valacyclovir.
These are just some of the important facts and information about the STD called herpes. With this knowledge about herpes, it will already be a lot easier for us to prevent or limit the spread of herpes from one person to another.