Herpes is a common virus that causes sores on the mouth and/or genitals. While it can be painful and irritating, it does not usually cause serious health problems. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through it. Talk to your dermatologist about herpes treatments.

Herpes Virus

More than 50% of Americans have oral herpes and around 1 out of every 6 Americans has genital herpes. Herpes is caused by two different viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). The viruses are spread through skin-to-skin contact with infected areas. This often occurs during sex and kissing. Once contracted, the herpes virus stays in your blood for life.

Symptoms of Herpes

Both types of the virus cause sores on the vulva, vagina, cervix, anus, penis, scrotum, butt, inner thighs, mouth, lips, throat, and sometimes on the eyes. An outbreak of herpes can be itchy, painful blisters or sores that come and go. In fact, many people don’t notice the sores or mistake them for something else and may not know they are infected. However, you can spread the virus even when you don’t have sores or symptoms.

Genital vs Oral Herpes

Since there are two types of herpes, people can often be confused about the terminology of infections. So, let’s break it down. If you get HSV-1 or HSV-2 in or around the mouth, lips, and throat, it is called oral herpes. These are sometimes referred to as cold sores or fever blisters. When you have HSV-1 or HSV-2 around the genitals, it is called genital herpes.

While HSV-1 normally causes oral herpes and HSV-2 normally causes genital herpes, it is entirely possible for both strains to infect either area. For instance, if someone with a cold sore on their lips gives you oral sex, you can get HSV-1. Likewise, you can get HSV-2 in your mouth if you give oral sex to someone with HSV-2 on their genitals.

Herpes Symptoms and Online Treatment Consultation

While there is no cure for herpes, there are treatments that can greatly improve your condition and help you maintain a normal lifestyle. Book a virtual appointment with one of our online dermatologists today to learn more!