WHAT IS HERPES? Herpes can be defined as a clinical condition characterized by sores and blisters formed around the mouth or genitals that is caused by a virus called “herpes simplex virus”.  Herpes simplex virus is quite common and are two types namely:
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
Herpes simplex 1 is a type of virus is responsible for herpes found in the mouth and the area around the mouth. This is also called oral herpes.
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
Herpes simplex 2 causes the type of virus found in the genital areas.it Is usually sexually transmitted. It is also known as “genital herpes”. According to an article by World Health Organization, it is estimated that around 67 percent of people globally have herpes infection that is caused by herpes simplex virus type1 infection and 11 percent is being caused by herpes simplex virus type 2.  Recent studies show that an estimated 67 percent of people over the age of 49 over even younger are seropositive for the herpes simplex virus type 1, although it may not manifest. Herpes is a communicable infection as the herpes simplex virus is commonly present on the skin. Hence, when there is direct contact with the moist skin people are infected with the virus which usually the mouth and genitals, sometimes the anus, the virus can be transmitted.  Anyone can be affected including infants and the elderly. However, it is predominantly found with women. Infants can get it from their mothers through childbirth and children can also get it from infected adults or children. There is no cure yet for herpes but proper treatment could relieve symptoms and improve quality of living. TYPES OF HERPES There are two types of herpes namely:
  • Oral Herpes (Herpes 1)
Oral herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. It is found on the mouth and the surrounding area of the mouth, the tongue, or somewhere around the face. They appear as blisters and sometimes are referred to as fever sores or cold spores. These sores could last about 2-3 weeks.
  • Genital Herpes (Herpes 2)
Genital herpes which is caused by herpes simplex virus type 2 is found mostly in the genital regions which include herpes on the penis, scrotum, the anus, in and around the vagina, the buttocks, the anus, etc. This could last about 2 to 6 weeks RISK FACTORS OF HERPES There are some risk factors of herpes that could expose you to the virus causing herpes irrespective of your age. These factors include:
  • Having unprotected sexual intercourse with infected persons.
  • Females are easily affected
  • Sexual intercourse at a young age
  • Multiple sex partner
  • The weakened or low immune system
  • An infected pregnant mother having genital herpes may transmit it to her baby during childbirth.
  • Having sex with Persons with recurring symptoms
WHAT DOES HERPES LOOK LIKE? Herpes takes the form of blistering sores or cold sores around the mouth, tongue, face, penis, in or around the vagina which could be quite painful when urinating and could be itchy. However, not everyone with the herpes simplex virus has visible sores or symptoms HERPES DIAGNOSIS When testing for herpes, you will be physically examined for signs and symptoms of herpes, especially blistering sores.  Your medical records will be examined, then you will be taken to the lab for herpes simplex virus testing also called herpes culture. This test involves taking a swab sample of fluid from the sore and tested. Another test that can be employed is the blood test for antibodies to herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 especially when there is no visible sore. COMPLICATIONS OF HERPES The presence of herpes increases ones’ chances of developing keratitis which is a type of eye inflammation.  It could also lead to the development of the inflammation of the brain, esophagus lungs, and sometimes the liver as well as other infections such as HIV due to the weakened immune system.  There could also be complications in your bladder as there could be inflammation around or in the urethra which could affect the opening of the urethral. It could also lead to the inflammation of the lining of the rectum especially amongst people who engage in anal sex. CURE OF HERPES  How far away is a herpes cure? There is no cure yet, however, the treatment of herpes could help relieve symptoms and they include:
  • Taking relief medications for the pains 
  • Avoiding sexual activity until symptoms are completely cleared.
  • Apply recommended creams or lotion by your doctor on your urethra before urinating especially the ones containing lidocaine.
  • Antiviral medications may be administered by your doctor to prevent the spread of the herpes virus. The duration of how long you could use the drugs will be dependent on how early you detected the virus and commenced treatments.
They are could some herpes home remedies you could use to help relieve the symptoms. They include:
  • Dabbing cornstarch into infected parts
  • Applying aloe vera gel to the sores. 
  • Bathing in lightly salted water or warm sitz bath
  • Wearing loose clothing often allows air into the affected area and avoids irritation.
HERPES PREVENTION Some prevention strategies could be employed to avoid and reduce the risk of herpes. They include:
  • Using protection during sex
  • Avoiding kissing or oral sex if you notice a sore around your mouth or that of your partner.
  • Make a habit of continuously washing your hands especially after touching affected areas especially if you are a health care provider.
  • Avoiding sharing personal items such as your panties, towels, cups, spoons, etc.



The symptoms of herpes include:

  • Blistering sores especially at the mouth, tongue, anus, or genitals which could be small red bumps or tiny white blisters.
  • Ulcers are formed when the blisters rupture.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Pains and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Fever.
  • Easily tired and fatigue.

There could also be recurring symptoms.  

Research has shown that over 33 percent of people with oral herpes and approximately 50 percent of genital herpes tends to recur symptoms. This may be at least 8-10 days with fewer genital sores and less impact than the initial time



Herpes is caused by the virus called herpes simplex virus. It can be type 1 and type 2.  

This virus can be transmitted from one person to another through direct contact. Once the herpes simplex virus is contacted, it is carried for the rest of one life.  

The herpes simplex virus type 1 can be contacted from general interaction such as sharing the same eating utensils, kissing, sharing of lips balm, oral sex, sometimes from people with an infection who is asymptomatic, etc. 

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 and is contacted majorly through sexual intercourse with an infected person, having anal sex, sharing sex toys.

According to studies by the American Academy of Dermatology, approximately 20 percent of sexually active adults in the United States are infected with this virus. 

Genital herpes would lead to pains when urinating, itching skins, and sores in your genitals.


  • What precautions should I take if I am an expecting mother with herpes?

When you suspect that you have herpes, you need to get tested as soon as possible and let your doctor know on time. He may recommend an antiviral drug in out to break outbreak during the time of childbirth

  • Is herpes curable?

Herpes which is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus is not yet curable but rather its symptoms can be managed with proper treatment and medications.

  • What are the triggers of recurring herpes?

The symptoms of herpes could recur as the treatment merely makes the causative virus dormant and these could be its triggers and they include stress, menstrual periods, fever or illness, sunburn, rashes, etc. However, the attacks are less intense as the body may have developed antibodies for it after a while.

  • How long does a herpes outbreak last?

A herpes outbreak could last several days and may cause flu-like symptoms which may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, headaches, etc, if you are an expecting mother, your doctor may recommend a  cesarean section to minimize the chances of your child getting infected in the outbreak.

  • How long does it take for herpes to show up after exposure?

The virus may lie dormant initially after you have been exposed to the virus and may begin to show after 12 days after exposure or in some people after several years.