Herpes is a more common viral infection than some may think. This infection is caused by either HSV-1 or HSV-2 and can spread through different types of physical contact. If you notice symptoms of a herpes infection, call West Sound Dermatology in Poulsbo, Washington.
What is Herpes?
Herpes is a viral infection caused by one of two types of herpes simplex viruses, HSV-1 or HSV-2. This infection affects the mouth or genitals. Oral herpes infections are typically referred to as cold sores. The infection is not always sexually transmitted, but may be considered an STI in some cases. HSV-1 is more common in oral herpes infections, while HSV-2 more commonly causes genital infections.
Symptoms of herpes typically include a sore or blister in the affected area. These may be painful or tender and may burst or crust over. In addition to sores and blisters, patients may experience flu-like symptoms when they are first exposed to the herpes virus. This can include fever, headache or body aches, fatigue, lack of appetite or swollen lymph nodes.
Herpes is incurable, but treatment options are available to reduce the number or severity of outbreaks. This includes medications like Famvir, Zovirax or Valtrex. Antiviral medications can be prescribed to reduce the risk of transmitting the herpes virus to others. These may be topical, oral or given by injection.
Prior to starting treatment for herpes infections, your provider may order a PCR test or virus culture. However, herpes can often be diagnosed through a visual examination alone.