How Do You Know What Type Of Herpes You Have – Herpes labialis, commonly known as cold sores or cold sores, is a common and usually benign viral disease that produces painful and often unsightly sores on the lips or adjacent skin. The virus can also cause ulcers in bone-bearing tissues such as the gums and roof of the mouth.
In the United States, up to 60 percent of children are exposed to the virus in late adolescence, and nearly 90 percent of adults carry the virus by age 60. Only about 40 percent of those infected experience an outbreak of oral herpes.
How Do You Know What Type Of Herpes You Have
If you are in relatively good health, oral herpes is a self-limiting irritation. Even untreated, it passes in about 7-14 days. And while it may only affect the quality of life of those who are otherwise healthy, the condition can be dangerous for infants, the elderly, and those whose immune response has been weakened by things like HIV/AIDS, leukemia, or organ transplants.
Are Cold Sores A Sign Of Herpes?
Dentists and medical professionals call the causative virus herpes simplex type 1, one of more than 80 known herpes viruses. Although herpes simplex type 1 is much less dangerous than other herpes viruses, it has an important similarity with them: Once the infection enters the body, it persists for life, often in a latent form.
The infection spreads to others through the mouth. In the presence of active ulcers, the virus is likely to be shed in the saliva. Therefore, it is important to avoid oral contact. This means:
After the initial infection, the virus travels along the trigeminal nerve (several branches above and below) to a collection of nerve cells in the brain known as the trigeminal ganglion, where it remains dormant until reactivated. Once activated, the virus travels along the nerve and leads to cold sores or lesions forming in the mouth at the original point of entry.
The development and healing of these ulcers go through six stages over 7-14 days:
The Difference Between Cold Sores And Herpes
There is general agreement among both physicians and dentists that, compared to physicians, dentists are more likely to encounter patients with oral herpes and are thus better able to diagnose the condition.
Also, because they can develop after routine dental procedures, dentists can compensate for the condition by prescribing preventative medications, such as creams or pills, before starting treatment. These medications are started 24 hours before dental treatment and continued for two days after.
Diagnosis of oral herpes is simple and is often based on visible signs or reported symptoms. However, if the patient is at risk or the diagnosis is in doubt, a diagnostic sample or biopsy may be taken for confirmation.
Oral herpes can be confused with canker sores. Both conditions have small, painful lesions that go away on their own in 7 to 14 days. But there are notable differences:
Herpes: Do You Really Have To Disclose It To Sex Partners?
A cold sore outbreak can be prevented or stopped by using peniclovir (Denavir), an antiviral prescription cream, or Docosanol (Abreva), an over-the-counter cream, early when symptoms start. Both are easy to apply. (Note: Patients should wash their hands after using these or other topical herpes medications.)
Oral antivirals are typically reserved for those with frequent or severe outbreaks of cold sores and those who are immunocompromised. For maximum efficacy, these drugs should also be started during the prodrome or within 24 hours of the outbreak.
Topical anesthetics, such as lidocaine, or agents that cover the gums and roof of the mouth, such as kaopectate, may be used to treat intraoral herpes symptoms. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) are also helpful. Frequent severe relapses may benefit from prescription oral antiviral medications.
Although human papillomavirus and a few herpesvirus strains are now considered possible causes of certain types of oral cancer, we do not have clear evidence that oral herpes is causally related to oral cancer.
So, Usher Has Herpes — But So Does 15 Percent Of America
Herpes infections are very common. An estimated 50 to 80 percent of US adults have oral herpes, and about 1 in 6 people between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes. [1, 2] Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is not fatal and rarely causes serious health problems.  Although it is not curable, many people never experience symptoms, and several treatment options are available to control outbreaks.
Read on to learn what to expect after an HSV diagnosis and find helpful tips for living and dating with herpes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with herpes, there are steps you can take to help manage your symptoms and keep yourself healthy.
Herpes Simplex Virus (hsv): Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis
Symptoms can vary depending on which areas of your body are affected and which type of virus you have. If you have symptoms at all, they are likely to be more severe after the initial infection than during repeated outbreaks.  The most common symptoms to expect are :
There are two strains of herpes virus to be aware of: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Although HSV-1 is most commonly associated with oral herpes and HSV-2 with genital herpes, either strain can cause a version of either virus.
There is currently no cure for herpes, but there are treatment options that can help improve symptoms and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Even if you have no symptoms, you should still ask your doctor about possible treatment options.
If you have genital herpes caused by HSV-2, your doctor may prescribe an oral antiviral medication to treat the current outbreak and prevent recurrence.  These drugs cannot cure HSV, but they can reduce symptoms and prevent the risk of spreading the virus to a partner. Antivirals are also effective in suppressing and controlling the symptoms of HSV-1. However, this strain has a much lower risk of recurrence and genital shedding after initial infection , so suppressive therapy is generally not recommended.
Dealing With Herpes During Pregnancy
If you have cold sores caused by oral herpes, your doctor may recommend using antiviral medications or topical creams to relieve symptoms.  You can also buy over-the-counter topical anti-inflammatory agents or anesthetics to reduce pain and inflammation.
Learning how herpes is spread can give you some insight into how you got it and how you can avoid spreading it to other people. Although HSV is primarily spread through sexual contact , a person can also get it by touching infected skin, saliva or herpes sores. You can get oral herpes, for example, by kissing someone with an open sore.
It is important to remember that a person can still spread HSV even if they do not have symptoms. Fortunately, the herpes virus dies quickly if it’s out of the body, so you won’t catch it by touching objects or surfaces. If you have questions about spreading herpes, discuss the risks with your doctor.
Being diagnosed with HSV can cause stress, anxiety and other emotions that can sometimes be difficult to deal with. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with HSV and are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. It’s OK to take time to process your feelings and ask for help if needed.
Signs & Symptoms Of Herpes In Women
If you have medical concerns, your doctor may be able to put your mind at ease by going over treatment options and explaining the risks. You can also ask for additional resources or a referral to a mental health professional who can help you manage feelings of stress or anxiety.
If you are sexually active, you should ask your doctor about testing options for other STDs, such as chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, and HPV. Many STDs can be asymptomatic, and early detection can reduce the risk of spreading them or developing symptoms later.
If you’re not sure what STD tests you need or when you should get them, you can ask your doctor for advice. They can make recommendations based on your sexual history and provide more information about various STD tests.
Getting a herpes diagnosis can be nerve-wracking, but giving yourself the knowledge of a medical professional will make romance and dating much easier. Many people with herpes have no complications and have healthy sexual and romantic relationships. However, there are a few extra steps to follow when dating herpes.
Herpes Simplex Eye Infection Treatment In Loveland, Co
It’s not always easy to tell past and present partners that you have an STD. However, an open and honest discussion about your diagnosis can prevent you from spreading it and give your partner peace of mind. Because herpes is so common, you may even learn that your partner has it too.
Before you dive into this conversation, consider finding a time when neither of you are distracted and you can