Doctor's Notes on Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is an infection of the genital area in men or women caused by the herpes simplex (HSV) viruses. Genital herpes is more commonly caused by the HSV type 2 (HSV-2) than HSV-1, which more often causes cold sores of the mouth.
Genital herpes causes symptoms that occur in outbreaks and recur over time. The virus remains dormant in the body between outbreaks. It is possible to be infected with genital herpes and not show symptoms at a given time. When symptoms (outbreaks) do occur, they may include
- red, blistering, intensely painful rash on the genitals,
- ulcer formation after the blisters burst, and
- tingling, itching, or burning sensation in the skin prior to an outbreak
What Is the Treatment for Genital Herpes?
There is no known cure for genital herpes, because the virus remains in the body and can cause attacks throughout life.
However, antiviral medications are available that can shorten the duration and severity of outbreaks. Antiviral medications are typically taken by mouth in pill form, but in some cases, they can be given intravenously. Treatment is usually recommended for the first attack of herpes.
With subsequent attacks, treatment is effective only if given before the attack or within 24 hours of the initial symptoms of the attack. Suppressive or continuous treatment with antiviral drugs is also given for people who have more than six genital herpes outbreaks a year.
Must Read Articles:
CervicitisCervicitis is inflammation of a woman's cervix and may be caused by STDs or injuries to the cervix. Cervicitis symptoms and signs include vaginal discharge, bleeding, itching, and itching; lower back pain; and pain during intercourse. Treatment of cervicitis is generally with prescribed antibiotics.
Early Symptoms of Genital HerpesGenital herpes is a viral infection spread through sexual contact. Symptoms include skin blisters, flu-like symptoms and others. The disease is incurable, but antiviral medications can shorten or prevent outbreaks.
Genital Herpes in WomenWhat is genital herpes? Learn about how this STD affects women, as well as how the disease is transmitted, treated, and prevented.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States. STDs can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus or mouth, or through contact with blood during sexual activity. Examples of STDs include, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, trichomoniasis, pubic lice (crabs), and scabies.Treatment is generally with antibiotics; however, some STDs that go untreated can lead to death.
What Does Genital Herpes Look Like?Genital herpes is a viral infection that may cause blisters and open sores on the genitals. It is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.