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Herpes (Simplex Virus)

 Herpes is caused due to infection from the herpes simplex virus. It is of two different types – herpes simplex virus-1 and herpes simplex virus-2. HSV-1 is known as oral herpes and HSV-2 is called genital herpes. There occur sores and blisters in around the lips and genital area. The sores are very painful. It is a sexually transmitted disease.

OVERVIEW

 

Herpes can be asymptomatic but once a person gets infected, the recurrence occurs throughout the life. The infection ranges from mild to severe.

However, there is no cure of herpes but with certain medications, its symptoms can be made less severe.

CAUSES OF HERPES

  • Herpes is caused by person to person contact. It is a sexually transmitted disease which is transmitted through sexual intercourse. The herpes virus enters the skin through a break in it. Most common places of entry of virus are mouth, anus, penis, vagina or urinary tract.

  • When one part of the body has blisters, the infection can spread to other areas also.

SYMPTOMS OF HERPES

Most of the people don’t develop symptoms. But if symptoms they are the following:

  • Painful ulcers in the genital area, buttocks, anus and thighs

  • Itching

  • Burning sensation during urination

  • Lumps in groin

  • Vagina discharge

DIFFERENT STAGES OF HERPES INFECTION

The infection occurs in three different stages:

  • Primary stage

This is the first stage of infection. It occurs 2 to 8 days after viral infection. There occur small and painful blisters which are present in groups. The liquid inside the blisters is either clear or whitish. When blisters break, they become open sores.

In this stage, the urination is often painful.

  • Latent stage

This stage is characterized by absence of sores, blisters, etc. The herpes virus starts invading the nerves. 

  • Shedding stage

In this stage, the herpes virus multiplies in the nerve endings. If the nerves are present around the fluid like semen, vaginal fluid, etc. The virus enters the fluid and start spreading to other areas.

PREVENTION OF HERPES

With some of the precautions, herpes virus infection can be prevented:

  • Avoid sexual intercourse with multiple partners

  • Using protection such as condoms, cervical caps, etc

  • Avoid oral sex

  • Avoid kissing in case of mouth sore present

  • Keeping complete hygiene like washing the undergarments in warm water, cleaning hands after touching the affected area

DIAGNOSIS OF HERPES

The doctor will do a thorough physical examination of the patient. He will ask about the signs and symptoms of the disease. He will take the patient’s family history also. He may suggest some of the tests like:

  • Blood test

  • Culture of fluid oozed from the sore 

AYURVEDIC TREATMENT OF HERPES

According to Ayruveda, herpes comes under Pittaja visarpa. With lifestyle and dietary changes, medications are used for curing it. Panchkarma such as raktamokshana and pradeha are also very helpful in treating it.

There are many Ayurvedic medications which are used for the treatment of herpes: