The Herpes simplex virus infects the skin and is recurrent. There are two common forms:

HSV-1 (Orolabial) is the type of herpes which causes fever blisters or cold sores. The infection usually happens in childhood.

HSV-2 (Genital herpes) is spread with intitimate contact. Studies indicate that 1 out of every 4 to 5 adults in the United States have tested positive for HSV-2. More than half of those infected do not experience symptoms from the virus. For those who experience symptoms, the first outbreak usually occurs several says to two weeks after exposure. Syptoms of an outbreak include painful vascular lesions and sores. It may take months to years for another outbreak to occur. Individuals infected with the HSV-2 virus will shred the virus and can infect the virus to sexual partners even when an outbreak has not occured or even if they have never experienced symptoms.

There is another form of Herpes, herpes zoster , also know as “chickenpox.” This is a completely different virus from Herpes simplex. This chicken-pox can occasionally reactive years later and cause a condition known as shingles.

For skin conditions that cause discomfort, it is always best to consult with a physician. There are treatments available for the different types of Herpes virus. Please consult with your doctor for more information about treatment.

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