What is genital herpes?
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the
herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and type 2. Most genital herpes
is caused by HSV type 2.
Most people have no or minimal symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2
infection. When symptoms do occur, they usually appear as one or
more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters
break, leaving ulcers or tender sores that may take up to four
weeks to heal. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or
Although the infection can stay in the body forever, the number
of outbreaks usually decreases over a period of years. You can pass
genital herpes to someone else even when you experience no
How common is genital herpes?
About 45 million Americans, age 12 and older have genital
herpes. Its estimated that up to one million people become
infected each year. Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is more common in women
How can I get genital herpes?
Herpes is a virus that can be...
Understanding Herpes Testing
The most important fact to know in terms of Herpes testing is that
blood testing with an IgG test is the BEST test for diagnosing the disease.
first see the doctor for a suspicious genital ulcer, your health care provider
may ask a lot of really personal and embarrassing questions. Know
that having an accurate sexual history as well as a description of your
symptoms is very important as your health care provider evaluates you. Be honest.
medical history and physical examination alone can not diagnose herpes.
I've seen a
lot of genital herpes, but it's easy to be fooled. I've had patients who had lesions in unusual
places or didn't have a typical story that I mistook for abscesses - only after
they failed antibiotics did I do the culture and verify that it was
On the other hand, I've seen some very typical appearing ulcers on the genitals
that turned out NOT to be herpes.
Alternative Names Aphthous ulcer; Ulcer - aphthous Symptoms Canker sores usually appear on the inner surface of the cheeks and lips, tongue, soft palate, and the base of the gums. Symptoms include: One or more painful, red spots or bump that develops into an open ulcer Middle of the sore is white or yellow Usually small (under 1 cm) but occasionally larger Sore may turn gray just before starting to heal Less common symptoms include: Fever General discomfort or uneasiness (malaise) Swollen lymph nodes Pain usually goes away in 7 to 10 days. It can take 1 to 3 weeks for a canker sore to completely heal. Large ulcers can take longer to heal. Sometimes, a severe outbreak of canker sores may be accompanied by nonspecific symptoms of illness, such as fever. Signs and tests Your health care provider can often make the diagnosis by looking at the sore. If canker sores persist or continue to return, tests should be done to look for other causes, such as erythema multiforme , drug allergies , herpes infection, a...
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