65 Vas. Pavlou, 166 73, Voula  +30 210 89.93.800  ssymeonidou@skinclinic4you.gr


Herpes simplex is a common viral infection. There are two different types of viruses that cause herpes. Herpes type 2 simplex (HSV-2) is the one that mainly causes genital herpes, while type 1 (HSV-1) causes oral herpes (lips, mouth, face). In fact, type 1 and 2 can be found in any part of the body due to oral sex even though type 2 (HSV-2) is the main cause of genital herpes.

What are the symptoms of the genital herpes simplex?

Many people are not aware they are infected by the genital herpes virus because the symptoms are mild or non-existent. The main symptoms, when they occur, include:

• Diffuse redness around the genitals with pain, itching, numbness or stinging which appear two to ten days after the sexual intercourse with the affected person.
• Small blisters that break and create painful ulcers and crusts. These can appear on or around the genitals (penis or vagina), buttocks, thighs, anal area and in rare cases inside the urethra.

Patients may also have:

• Painful urination, especially in women.
• Headache.
• Back ache.
• Fever, enlarged groin lymph nodes and fatigue.

How is the diagnosis carried out?

The diagnosis is easy due to the clinical appearance. In cases of doubt the diagnosis is confirmed in the laboratory by:

• Specific cultures from skin lesion fluid.
• PCR, virus DNA detection technique.
• Blood test to detect virus antibodies in the patient's blood.

How is the genital herpes simplex treated?

There is no cure against genital herpes. However, there are medications (acyclovir, valacyclovir, famcyclovir) that help to reduce the pain, the discomfort and shorten the outbreak. Antiviral medications are given for five days. If the patient relapses more than five times a year, he is given a treatment regimen for six months that keeps the virus in repression. It is important to mention that the medications taken on a daily basis to suppress the virus, reduce the risk of transmission.

Why does genital herpes recur?

After the infection, the virus settles into the nerve ganglia and remains inactive.

Causes that usually provoke recurrence are those which reduce the immune’s system response like:

• Worry.
• Illness.
• Fatigue.
• Sexual intercourse.
• Hormonal changes.
• Stress.
• Surgical wounds.
• Immunosuppressive treatments (chemotherapeutic medicines, corticosteroids etc.).

How serious health problem is genital herpes?

For most people, genital herpes is not a serious threat to their health, but it is a stressful situation that:

• Creates anxiety.
• Affects a person’s self-esteem.
• Interfere with a person's sense of security and intimacy

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