Understanding Herpes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Understanding Herpes: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Many people are familiar with the situation, which usually occurs before necessary appointments: In the area of ​​the lips, it tingles, tightens, and itches, and a short time later, small, painful blisters appear on the reddened skin. A few days later, they burst and dry up. After usually a few days, the spook ends, and the scabs heal. Until the next attack – days to years later. How does a cold sore develop, what helps against the blisters on the lip, and how can you prevent it?

Causes and triggers of herpes simplex

The disease is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and type 2. The name herpes is borrowed from the Greek. It means “crouch” or “sneak” It is quite appropriate for the typical property of the herpes virus to hide after the initial infection in the body – mostly without symptoms – at the nerve roots.

Only in certain situations does it suddenly leave its hiding place, crawl along the nerve tracts back to the skin and mucous membrane and attack the upper layers. Triggers for this can be, for example, stress, disgust, exposure to the sun or, for example, a cold.

You can read detailed information about the causes of herpes here.


Where can you get herpes?

The herpes virus affects – mainly type 1 – mostly the lips  (herpes labialis, cold sores), less the nose or nasal mucosa and rarely the eyes (herpes corneae), but can also – especially as type 2 – symptoms in the area of ​​the anus and genitals ( genital herpes or genital herpes).

By the way, the herpes virus is a large family that can also cause other diseases, such as chickenpox and its secondary infection, shingles.

Prevent herpes – 3 tips.

The herpes virus is everywhere, so protecting yourself from infection is almost impossible. In addition, most people have already been infected in their childhood. However, a robust immune system ensures that the viruses are activated less frequently.

These tips will help prevent a herpes outbreak:

  1. Keeping the defences on the ball with zinc, selenium, and vitamins C and E is advisable.
  2. Sufficient sleep, exercise and a healthy diet also support your immune system at work.
  3. If you are sensitive to sunlight, it helps to protect your lips with sunblock before going outside – there are even lipsticks with lemon balm extract.

Avoid contagion in acute herpes.

If you have cold sores on your lips, be careful not to spread the virus further. Your cutlery, plates and glass are taboo for others during this time, as are toothbrushes and towels. You should also avoid kissing for a few days.

All agents should be applied with a cotton swab, not with your fingers – this reduces the risk of bringing the virus to other body parts.

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