What Is Herpes?

Herpes is a skin condition that needs immediate care, as it is very contagious and can be painful is left untreated. Have you ever had a cold sore? This is a common name for one variety of herpes. By treating this condition, you can protect and care for your skin in the best way possible.

There are two main varieties of herpes. Type 1, which outbreaks around your mouth, is the type most people who have herpes experience, although in more recent years you have probably heard of the second type, which outbreaks around your genitals. Don't confuse herpes with canker sores, which are ulcers inside of your mouth. Canker sores are not contagious, but herpes is extremely contagious and there is no known cure, you can only treat outbreaks.

Herpes is a virus that never leaves our bodies. Most people contract this virus as children. The majority of the time, you cannot tell if another person has herpes, since the virus hibernates in the body, and therefore it is very easy to get herpes from another person and not know it. However, at certain points, the herpes virus is triggered to outbreak. The result is cold sores. Different people have their herpes triggered by different things, but some common causes are chapped lips, menstruations, stress, and illness. Outbreaks appear as one or more blisters and usually run their course in one to two weeks. Unfortunately, in that time, the blisters can be very painful and are not pleasant to see, as they can appear with a yellow crust. These blisters do not usually cause scars.

Outbreak prevention is difficult if not impossible, and the best you can do is try to avoid the things that trigger outbreaks, like cold weather. On their own, cold sores usually clear up in ten days at the very most, but there are steps you can take to help treat the blisters so they go away more quickly. Non-prescription drugs are now available for this use, and a doctor can prescribe drugs for worse breakouts. If you have genital herpes, be sure to see your doctor.

Remember that you can pass herpes to others, even if you are not experiencing an outbreak. This is done through kissing, sharing cups and utensils, using another person's lip cosmetics, having unprotected sex, and touching your blisters and than touching another person or another person's things. It is easier to spread during an outbreak, so if you have developed herpes, wash you hands often and take steps to prevent others from catching this virus.

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