Herpes infection is known to almost everyone, and many have experienced all its “charms” for themselves. It has become one of the most common viral diseases on the planet and one of the most unpleasant and dangerous.
For most people, herpes infections are associated solely with sores on the lips or nose. But few people suspect that there are eight different types of herpes infections, two of which cause herpes infections in the form of sores on the face or genitals, one of them causes chicken pox and shingles. The remaining viruses cause unpleasant infectious diseases – roseola, cytomegaly, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even provoke cancerous tumors.
More about herpes simplex
Doctors call herpes on the lips labial herpes, herpes simplex or type 1 virus, most often it affects the mucous membranes of the mouth or nose, lips or skin of the face. However, in case decrease in immunity this herpes virus can give a general disease with dangerous complications.
Herpes, according to WHO, took the “honorable” second place in the number of victims after the flu – and this is a very sad trend. Infected, on average, up to 90% of the world’s population, and 20% of herpes often relapses. In addition, herpes often makes itself felt during pregnancy in a woman and causes many problems.
The virus itself was discovered long ago – at the beginning of the last century, but it was carefully studied only in the 90s. This made it possible to divide herpes infections into two types – labial and sexual. Although clinically they begin the same way.
Herpes only affects humans and cannot be transmitted from animals. Basically, the route of infection is kissing, sexual intercourse and transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, if an exacerbation occurs. Mothers infect their babies with herpes by licking spoons and pacifiers of children. Herpes usually does not give outbreaks – it is an individual disease.
What is his cunning?
Herpes enters the body through the skin of the face or any mucous membranes, it multiplies in the skin cells and spreads to all organs and systems. In a “sleeping” state, thanks to the containment of the immune system, the virus can remain for many years, and may never manifest itself. But in the presence of factors that reduce immunity, it can crawl out on the lips or skin of the face at the most inopportune moment.
These factors include smoking and alcohol, frequent infections, constant hassle at work, conflicts and stress at home, chronic lack of sleep and vitamin and activity deficiencies. The virus can “get out” even on vacation, with a sharp change in climate, swimming in the cool sea and too active exposure to the sun.
However, sores on the lips are not all manifestations of the virus. Similar sores can form in the internal organs, and with a sharp decrease in immunity, herpes can even give a general picture of the disease – high fever and very poor health. In addition, herpes is dangerous complications.
How does it manifest itself?
The incubation period for herpes lasts from 2 to 10 days, on average it is a week from the moment of stress and activation of the virus. The initial entry of the virus into the body may go unnoticed, or mild fatigue and mild symptoms of a cold will appear.
The most common form of herpes is skin manifestations, most often herpes “loves” the upper lip, the “angel’s kiss” area – the crease under the nose and the vestibule of the nose. These places are very tender, and the manifestation of herpes here is quite painful.
Even a few hours before the appearance of bubbles, “experienced” patients already feel its first signs – itching, tingling or burning in the area of the ulcer. Sometimes at this point, when using anti-herpes remedies, it can be stopped.
After the appearance of the preceding symptoms, punctate vesicles enter the skin with a cloudy liquid inside, they can be very densely located and merge into one common vesicle, which is very painful and surrounded by redness. This place swells and causes discomfort, it itches a lot. Then the bubbles begin to dry out into a yellowish crust. As the herpes passes, there are no traces and a scar in its place. But, next time, it is this localization that may turn out to be repeated.
With herpes rashes, the lymph nodes react – they become painful and enlarged. If there are a lot of rashes, the body temperature may rise and a headache may appear, the blood test changes. Usually herpes lasts 5-10 days and passes without a trace until the next exacerbation.
In parallel with the skin, there may be manifestations of herpes stomatitis, eye damage and distribution of the process to the nervous system. And if stomatitis is not dangerous in principle, corneal damage can threaten blindness. And the nervous system can give the development of encephalitis.
With a typical form, diagnosis is not difficult and the biggest mistake many people make is self-treatment of herpes.
How to cure herpes?
We remember that exacerbations of herpes indicate a decrease in immune defenses. And therefore – the correct treatment and prevention of relapse must be entrusted to the doctor. With the right course of treatment, a herpes infection can be forgotten for a very long time.
First of all, at the very beginning of the disease, it is necessary to use specific antiviral agents aimed at the herpes virus – these are usually ointments or creams based on acyclovir or valciclovir topically and preparations of acyclovir or analogues inside. In addition, immunostimulants and general strengthening therapy are prescribed.
Local treatment is not enough to suppress the activity of the virus and relapses will be very likely. In addition, many patients stop treatment and get exacerbations when their skin condition improves, so even if it gets better, the course of immunotherapy and antivirals must be completed – this is usually a month of treatment.
Then it is worth drinking a course of multivitamin preparations and taking care of your lifestyle, you must observe the daily routine and get enough sleep, lack of sleep and stress are the first friends of herpes. Moreover, it is necessary quit smoking Nicotine suppresses the immune system and promotes the development of herpes infections.