Mouth Herpes

Mouth herpes is a skin rash caused by the herpes simplex virus. In the case of an infection, the symptoms are redness of the skin and the formation of small fluid-filled blisters. Usually this outbreak is caused by the herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), but it also possible in some specific cases that the herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) may cause this infection.

mouth herpes

Difference between oral aphthae and herpes:

This type of herpes can form on, around and inside the mouth. For this reason it is very easy to mistake a herpes outbreak with oral aphthae. To help you to know the differences here below you can find their characteristics:

  • Oral aphthae are small wounds or inflammations caused by bites, cuts, food intolerances, allergic reactions or other external causes. Usually they manifest on the tongue, palate or the throat.
  • Mouth herpes is a herpes outbreak. Contrary to oral aphthae, this type of herpes usually manifests on the lips or in the area around the mouth. Another important difference is that mouth herpes causes at first itch and a tingling sensation, when oral aphthae causes only pain.

Mouth herpes symptoms

Mouth herpes manifests at first with the reddening of the skin and a tingling sensation that lasts 7-10 days. The infection will strengthen in time and fluid-filled blisters will manifest on the mouth. The color of the fluid inside the blister will be clear at the beginning and becoming more yellow until the blisters will completely break open. After this the blisters are going to be replaced with crusts. Before this happens, I suggest you not to touch the part. During this period the virus is going to be very contagious and it is important to have the area covered all the time. Only when it will be covered with crusts the possibility to infect others will be much lower

Mouth herpes transmission and how to avoid it

Mouth herpes can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact. The first thing to avoid in case you get infected with oral herpes is to kiss other people or engage in sexual activities that involve the mouth. It is very important to know that when infected with mouth herpes it could be very easy to infect the partner’s private parts, causing genital herpes.

Also, it is possible to transmit the virus indirectly and this is very common. Simply using an object previously handled by an infected person can cause the infection. Towels, cutlery, lipsticks, glasses are some of the many way you can get infected. So, what can be done to avoid an infection? There are some precautions that you can take to avoid an infection or to avoid transmitting the virus to somebody else.

Suggestion to who suffers from mouth herpes

  • Never touch other body parts after having touch the infected area. If this accidentally happens wash your hands immediately.
  • Avoid scratching the infected area.
  • Wash the infected area with water and soap frequently during the day.
  • Avoid touching the eyes with dirty hands, it may cause the formation of eye herpes, which is very complicated to cure.
  • Never use saliva to clean contact lenses.

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Herpes Simplex

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is the reason behind the manifestation of herpes outbreaks on your body. This virus has two forms: herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). The HSV type 1 is the cause of oral herpes, which can be also called herpes labialis or cold sores. Usually, this type of herpes forms on the lips and near the mouth but sometimes it can spread to the nose and cheeks. In some particular cases the herpes simplex 1 can be also the cause of genital herpes. This can happen when an infected mouth gets in contact with genitals, like in the case of oral intercourse.

herpes simplex

Normally, is the HSV type 2 that causes genital herpes. The virus develops on genitals (penis and vagina) but can also spread on the anus and glutes. The herpes simplex usually manifests on the body when the immune system is weakened. When this happens it is more likely that the virus, which stays dormant inside the body, will show on your skin. Here below you can find the situation that can trigger an herpes outbreak:

  • very high or low temperature
  • fever
  • menstruation
  • stress
  • seasonal changes
  • dehydration

How do you get herpes?

The herpes simplex virus is transmitted through direct or indirect contact with an infected person. Usually, the virus enters inside the body through cuts, abrasions or scratches on the skin. After that, the HSV is going to lie dormant inside nerve cells waiting to manifest at first occasion. The herpes simplex 1 is transmitted through saliva or through the contact with the infected area. The easiest way to get this type of herpes is through kisses or speaking too close to an infected person.

The herpes simplex 2 is transmitted through sexual activities with or without penetration. Since sometimes the virus does not show any symptoms, it is very important to be extremely careful when engaging with a new partner and always use protections. This is because even if the virus is dormant inside the body there is still a high risk to transmit it, especially through any body fluid, like sperm or saliva. Another possible way to transmit the virus of genital herpes is in the case of pregnancy. At the moment of birth, if the mother is infected she can transmit the virus to the child.

Recent studies have found that the 62% of the American population has contracted the herpes simplex 1 during adolescence. In the case of herpes simplex 2, women are more exposed. It has been found that about 1 in 4 women have HSV-2, compared to 1 in 8 men. This is because the female reproductive system is more internal and that facilitate the exposure to sexual transmitted diseases like the herpes simplex type 2.

Herpes simplex symptoms:

Usually, the first herpes outbreak is the strongest because the body has not experienced it before and it is not yet prepared. During time they will become less strong and also less frequent. The way that the virus manifest on your body is through fluid-filled blisters, which eventually are going to break open and leave you with small crusts. There are few symptoms that can make you aware of an upcoming outbreak. In the case of herpes simplex 1 you may experience a tingling sensation or itch on the mouth or around it and sometimes fever or sore throat. In the case of herpes simplex 2 usually the first symptom is a tingling sensation and discomfort in the genital area. In women there may be also vaginal discharge and internal pain. It is possible to experience fever, headache, muscles aches, swollen lymph glands in the groin and painful urination when the blisters will manifest.

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