Updated: Nov 22
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is one of the most common skin infections.
Many individuals do not know they have the virus, because they have never had an eruption. In fact, about 80% of the U.S. population has asymptomatic HSV.
Herpes simplex viruses are categorized into two types: herpes type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes).
What Causes Herpes Infections and Outbreaks?
Herpes simplex type 1, which is transmitted through oral secretions or sores on the skin, can be spread through kissing or sharing objects such as toothbrushes or eating utensils. In general, a person can only get herpes type 2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. It is important to know that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread even if sores are not present.
Pregnant women with genital herpes should talk to their doctor, as genital herpes can be passed on to the baby during childbirth.
For many people with the herpes virus, which can go through periods of being dormant, attacks (or outbreaks) can be brought on by the following conditions:
General illness (from mild illnesses to serious conditions)
Physical or emotional stress
Immunosuppression due to AIDS or such medications as chemotherapy or steroids
Trauma to the affected area, including sexual activity
What Are the Symptoms of Herpes Simplex?
Symptoms of herpes simplex virus typically appear as a blister or as multiple blisters on or around affected areas -- usually the mouth, genitals, or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender sores.
Natural remedies to treat Herpes
The efficacy of olive leaf extract on healing herpes simplex virus labialis: A randomized double-blind study
Herpes simplex virus (HSV), as a common infection in healthy individuals, is treated symptomatically, but drug resistance and the side effects of drugs have drawn the attention of researchers to complementary medicine. Olive Leaf Extract (OLE) has antiviral effects that may treat HSV. The current study aimed to compare the clinical effects of OLE and Acyclovir on HSV-1. Methods: This randomized double-blind clinical trial was conducted on 66 patients who had already been diagnosed with HSV-1. The participants were randomized into two groups, receiving 2% OLE cream or 5% acyclovir cream five times a day for six days. The symptoms were evaluated before, and three and six days after the interventions. Data were analyzed using the SPSS software through the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, chi-squared, t-test, and repeated measures ANOVA. Results: The results showed clinical symptoms decreased in both groups during the study and both medications were effective in the treatment of HSV-1. However, the OLE group experienced less bleeding (P = 0.038), itching (P = 0.002), and pain (P = 0.001) on the third day as well as less irritation (P = 0.012), itching (P = 0.003) and color change (P = 0.001) on the sixth day compared to the acyclovir group. The treatment course for participants in the OLE group was shorter than in the acyclovir group (P = 0.001). Conclusion: The evidence from these trials suggests the OLE cream is superior in the healing of episodes of HSV-1 over the acyclovir cream. Future studies are recommended to investigate if OLE could be an adjunct to acyclovir treatment.