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Herpes Simplex - Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


An infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.affects the skin and nervous system, produces small temporary blisters on the skin and mucous membranes. Herpes Simplex is present with localised blistering. Most of the people are affected by this disease one or more time during their lives.

Herpes simplex is a virus that can cause painful blisters and sores. The virus usually affects the skin and the thin layers of tissue that moisten, lubricate, and protect certain parts of the body.

Types of herpes-simplex:-

There are two main types of herpes simplex virus:-

  • Type 1, which causes mainly facial infections.
  • Type 2, which is mainly genital.


The possible symptoms of herpes simplex are as:-

  • Herpes may begin with an initial tingling, burning, or numb sensation, followed by clusters of small, painful, fluid-filled blisters
  • Lymph glands near the site may be swollen.
  • Fever : It may be present especially during the first episode and there are chances of occurrence mild fever.
  • Blisters: It occurs more frequently on the mouth, lips and gums or genitalia.
  • Enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck or groin.
  • Small blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid on a raised, red, painful skin area and there are small blisters merging into bigger ones.


The main causes of herpes simplex are as:-

  • By Transmission: it is transmitted by kissing,sexual contact, or other close contact. It is adviced that family members should not share towels with the person who is affected by the disease.
  • Herpes simplex is caused by the herpes hominis virus.
  • Agents of Herpes :HSV-1 and HSV-2 are the causative agents of herpes genitalis
  • A febrile illness, exposure to ultraviolet light, trauma, upper respiratory infection, or emotional stress may trigger recurrent herpes labialis due to HSV-1.
  • The highest prevalence of antibodies to HSV-2 occurs in female prostitutes, male homosexuals, and HIV-positive individuals.
  • Frequency of HSV-1 depends upon geographical location, age, social and economic status.



The most beneficial treatments for herpes simplex are as:-

  • Apply Polysporin ointment to the area once or twice a day to prevent bacterial infection
  • Take precautions to avoid infecting others
  • Washing of blisters gently with soap and water minimises the spread of virus to other areas. To reduce pain Ice or warmth can be used.


Some important medications for herpes simplex are as:-

  • Although no medications can make the infection go away, prescription drugs and creams are available that can shorten the length of the outbreak and make the cold sores less painful.
  • There are several antiviral medicines to control herpes like Aciclovir, Valaciclovir,Famciclovir and Penciclovir.
  • Docosanol is one of the effective treatment for herpes.
  • Another antiviral drug effective against herpes is Tromantadine.
  • It is adviced to the patients to take precautions in order to avoid infecting others .