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Article updated and reviewed by David Aronoff, M.D., Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School on May 9, 2005. herpes simplex virus (HSV) and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There are two types of HSV, HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is usually responsible for cold sores ( fever blisters) of the lips and mouth. HSV-2 is the one that most commonly causes genital herpes . The infection causes painful, ulcerative sores on the genitals in both men and women. However, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, and HSV-2 can cause cold sores. Genital herpes is common. In the United States, one out of five of the total adolescent and adult population is infected with HSV. Herpes is spread by direct contact with an infected person. For example, if you have genital herpes and have sexual intercourse, you can give your partner genital herpes. If you have oral herpes , you can give your partner oral herpes while kissing, and you can also give i...
Complications The severity of symptoms depends on where and how the virus enters the body. Except in very rare instances and in special circumstances, the disease is not life threatening, although it can be very debilitating and cause emotional distress. Herpes and Pregnancy Pregnant women who have genital herpes due to either herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) or herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) have an increased risk for miscarriage, premature labor, retarded fetal growth, or transmission of the herpes infection to the infant either in the uterus or at the time of delivery. Herpes in newborn babies (neonatals) can be a very serious condition. Fortunately, neonatal herpes is rare. Although about 25 - 30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies are born with neonatal herpes. The baby is at greatest risk during a vaginal delivery, especially if the mother has an asymptomatic infection that was first introduced late in the pregnancy. In such cases, 30 - 50% of newborns bec...
1. Practice good hygiene. Keep your body clean, wash your hands
frequently and try to avoid touching the sores.
2. Take salt baths. This method can clean, dry and ease the pain
of blisters and sores. Mix a few tablespoons of salt in a shallow
3. Cool the affected area. Applying ice directly to the sores or
drying the area with a blow dryer on the cool setting can offer
4. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Loose clothing reduces
discomfort and promotes healing of the sores. Wear cotton, rather
than synthetic underwear.
5. Wear sun block. Keeping your skin protected can help prevent
the recurrence of HSV-1.
6. Urinate in a cool bath or shower. If you experience painful
urination, this process dilutes the urine and prevents burning the
7. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water each day.
8. Practice abstinence when you are experiencing symptoms of
herpes. Help prevent the spread of herpes by avoiding sexual
activity when you are experiencing any symptoms, including
You should know
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