What does herpes look like?

Herpes is today a very common infection and knowing how it looks like in each one of his stages is very important if you want to find a way to defeat it. Herpes is caused by the the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and it is spread through skin contact. It has four main stages and it will be extremely contagious as soon as it forms on the skin. There are two types of virus and they cause the formation of herpes in two different parts of the body. The HSV-1 or oral herpes affects the area around and inside the mouth. The HSV-2 or herpes genitalis causes the formation of herpes in the genital area.

what does herpes look like

Herpes symptoms

Before you notice any sign of the infection it is quite common to experience one of more of this herpes symptoms before the virus will show on your skin:

  • itching
  • tingling
  • burning
  • swelling

At this stage herpes will not be visible but it will still possible to transmit the virus to others. Actually this is the moment where the virus is transmitted more easily because the person may not be aware of the infection. The second stage is what is called herpes outbreak. At this point small red bumps or fluid-filled blisters will start growing on the skin. You may experience pain and is some cases flu-like symptoms and headaches. This is the stage when the virus is the most contagious.

After few day blisters has formed they will eventually break open and will give way to small crusts. The crust will slowly heal in some weeks and replaced with new skin. This is the last stage. After this moment the virus will still remain inside the body but it will no longer be contagious.

How to kill herpes

Once the HSV has entered inside your body it heads straight to nerve cells. Then it is going to remain dormant until some event will activate it. Periods of high stress or fatigue, illness, seasonal changes, dehydration or sunburn can all be triggers and activate the virus. When this happens, the way doctors will handle it is prescribing you antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir. What these medication do is to slow the growth and spread of the HSV so that your body can fight the infection.

Something that you should know about the herpes simplex virus is that there is no way to eliminate it from your body once you are infected. Common medication allows you only to cure outbreaks but they do not kill the HSV. This means that the virus is going to form again in the future any time some event triggers it. The only way to stop this from happening is to make sure the virus will stay permanently inactive. If you don’t succeed in this you will have to deal with recurrent outbreaks for the rest of your life.

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