What is herpes? That is a question being asked by a lot of people. It is hard to have beautiful skin if a person is suffering from a cold sore or has a stye. Both of which could be caused by herpes.
Herpes is known as human herpes virus (HHV) and is the name given to a group of viruses. A virus is very had to treat which explains why it is so hard to the treat herpes. So far, there is no cure for herpes.
What makes it so difficult to control is that people can have the herpes virus without even knowing. During which time, they can be infecting other people.
Most of us think of herpes as being a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, there are at least 8 forms of herpes that can affect humans and not all of these are transmitted through unprotected sex. These are identified as human herpes virus 1 though 8 (HHV1-HHV8).
Some of these forms of herpes are: HHV 1 – herpes simples virus 1; HHV 2 – herpes simplex virus 2; HHV 3 – varicella-zoster virus; HHV 4 – Epstein-Barr virus; HHV 5 – cytomegalovirus; HHV 6 – recently found in the blood cells; HHV 7 – recently found and is closely related to HHV 6; and HHV 8 – recently discovered in tumors called Kaposi’s Sarcoma.
One of the first symptoms of herpes is the skin becoming red, tender and itchy. As the virus progresses blisters will develop which will form a head. This head fills with liquid and eventually breaks. The fluid contained in these blisters is very contagious. The blister then forms a crust which dissipates. No scars are formed. Flu like symptoms can appear including headaches and fevers. It is important to remember that it can take up to 20 days after contacting the virus before any symptoms occur.
If there is any doubt you may have contacted the herpes virus, consult your doctor immediately. Do this while you are experiencing any of the symptoms.
Your doctor will take a swab or sample of the infected tissue. There are tests that are used to diagnose herpes, some are better and more accurate than others.
Three of those tests are: Viral Culture; Serologic Tests (blood tests); and Antigen Tests (where components of the virus are specifically identified).
There are drugs on the market that may help in treating herpes but they do little in helping to boost the immune system. A strong immune system is needed if your body is going fight the virus and prevent future outbreaks. Some have found using natural treatments are helpful as these both help control the virus and boost the immune system at the same time.
Lifestyle changes will be helpful as well. Foods that are poor nutritionally will hinder the recovery rate. Prescription medications available to treat herpes are Valtrex (valacyclovir), Famvir (famciclovir), and Zovirax (acyclovir).
As yet, there is no vaccines available
The answer to the question: What is herpes is simple. It’s a virus. That is where simplicity ends. We should know and be aware of the symptoms of herpes since it is possible to be infected without knowing it. What treatment is used will depend on the type of herpes and the stage of infection.