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Herpes can be caused by two types of virus. Herpes Simplex Virus I (type I) causes labial or oral which exist around the face and mouth. Symptoms may include cold sores (fever blisters) on the face and mouth or herpes sores on the eye. 
Genital herpes is a very common, highly contagious and painful STD caused by the Herpes Simplex II Virus (HSV2). This infection is serious since the virus once acquired cannot be eliminated from the body. It can be spread to partners through sexual or other close contact. It is more common in women as warm, moist conditions in the genital region favour infection. Wet or damp cloth or towels could carry the virus. 

Symptoms can be mild or severe for different people and may last for several weeks. The symptoms may occur in the upper thighs, buttocks and anus. In men they may arise in the external genitalia such as the penis, scrotum, or testicles and internally on the mucus membranes including in and around the anus. In women in genital areas such vagina, vulva etc. Symptoms include:

  • Painful  blisters or rashes, bumps, cuts or sores in the genital area. 
  • Itching, burning, or tingling in the genital area.
  • Aches or pains in the genital area.
  • Burning sensation or pain while urinating.
  • Flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, and swollen glands in the lymph nodes near the groin.
  • Numbness of the vulva.

Genital herpes usually begins with mild irritation in the genital region followed by the irruption of blisters filled with clear liquid. The blisters appear 3-20 days after infection. Gradually the blisters turn yellow, burst and discharge the liquid before crusting over and healing. The attack keeps on re-occurring every two or three months but the frequency and severity lessens with advancing age. During its dormant period the herpes virus lies inactive in the bundle of nerves at the base of the spine.

Adverse effects 
Genital herpes increases the risk of cervical cancer and an infected mother can pass on the virus to the baby possibly causing brain damage and /or blindness. It will considerably affect the normal sexual life between partners.

Consult a doctor at the first signs of any kind of rash or discomfort. The tests for herpes may not give 100% accurate results. 

  1. The most common method of testing is a herpes culture, which is taken from a scrapping from an open sore. This scrapping is them sent to a laboratory for analysis. This method sometimes show a 'false negative' result. Even if there is actually a real herpes infection, the test fails to identify it. This can be misleading, but when a similar outbreak occurs in the exact same location at a later time you can be more assured that there is a herpes virus causing this infection.
  2. Another test is an expensive blood test which include Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) IgG ( immunoglobin) and IgM (immunoglobin) serology( blood) tests. These test check for certain levels of antibodies in the blood. The specific tests involve checking titer (amounts) levels of each immunoglobin, with each being representative of either an old infection or a relatively new infection. This test may also give false results

There is no cure available for herpes and the disease goes through cycles of activity and dormancy. Therefore treatment is directed at relieving discomfort and preventing bacterial infection. Anti-viral drugs such Zovirax or Acyclovir may also be useful in treating herpes. 
Always keep your genital areas clean to prevent infection. The virus is destroyed by heat so hot tubs are good. Prepare a hot bath 2-3 times daily with some salt added to the water. Avoid touching the sores and then rubbing your eyes or other parts of the body which are susceptible to infection. Ensure that you wash your hands immediately after touching the sores. It is best to refrain from sex when you or your partner is having an outbreak of the disease. Condoms must be used at the other times to reduce the possibility of transmitting the virus. As there is a risk of cervical cancer in women, regular cervical smear or pap smear test should be done. If an infection is diagnosed during pregnancy it is advised to avoid vaginal delivery as the virus can be passed to the baby.

Note : All statements given are only for information purpose. We are not responsible or liable for any problems related to the utilization of information on this site. We suggest that you consult a qualified doctor before trying any alternative health care remedies.