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Genital Herpes Treatment

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus which is transmitted through sexual contact. Generally, the virus attacks the cervix, genitals as well as the skin on other areas of the body. Herpes is typically a condition that is chronic in nature but there are treatments that help control the infection and outbreaks. To learn more about genital herpes and its available treatments, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

Is there a way for a mother to avoid passing genital herpes to a baby during labor?

Usually, there is little risk to the newborn if the mother contracted genital herpes prior to becoming pregnant. The risk is also minimal if the mother doesn't have an outbreak during the delivery. However, if the mother contracted genital herpes late in the pregnancy, the baby may not have had a chance to build antibodies to protect itself from the herpes and could contract the disease. In some situations, the woman's doctor will prescribe anti-herpes medication such as Zovirax. This medication should be taken prior to delivery to ensure that a herpes outbreak doesn’t occur. In several cases where the woman has an outbreak during delivery time, her doctor may discuss the possibility of a c-section to avoid exposing the baby to genital herpes.

What can be used to treat the infection and encourage healing for genital herpes?

While genital herpes can be managed, there is typically no cure for the infection. Antiviral medication such as Acyclovir is what is commonly used to control the disease. Dibicaine helps in numbing the affected areas to lower the burning sensation while Neosporin and Bacitracin help treat infected bacterial sores. Betadyne and saline lotion are other products that help in keeping the sores clean. In this situation, antiseptics should generally be avoided when a person has blisters and ulcers due to an increased risk of irritation and burning of the skin.

Is the genital herpes virus present in bodily fluids?

Generally, genital herpes isn't present in bodily fluids because herpes isn't a blood borne illness. The person becomes infectious when the virus is shed through an active lesion. However, there is a 3-5 day window when a person with genital herpes is able to shed the virus and transmit the virus without an active lesion.

Genital herpes is usually spread sexually via vaginal, anal or oral sex. If the herpes is oral, the virus can also be contracted in the act of kissing an infected person. In rare cases, herpes has also been contracted by sharing wash cloths, wet towels or even a toothbrush. In very severe cases, if a patient has a bad attack where the infection is disseminated and their immune system is compromised, the virus could even travel to the blood stream.

Can genital herpes appear in the upper thigh area and is genital herpes like shingles?

In most cases, genital herpes will continue to return to the same location where it appeared the previous time which could possibly be in the upper thigh region. While shingles is a member of the herpes family, it doesn’t cause genital herpes. Shingles is spread by the same virus that infects people with chicken pox known as the varicella zoster virus. Herpes, on the other hand, is spread by the herpes simplex virus. However, testing for both viruses are the same although they are different entities.

Can genital herpes continuously appear in the same place?

Herpes generally occurs in the same location repeatedly. In many cases, if a person uses Valtrex at the onset of an outbreak, the medication can help control the outbreak effectively. Valtrex can also be taken daily to help avoid outbreaks. In several cases, a couple could be affected by genital herpes but one of the parties may be able to fight the virus better due to a stronger immune system.

Genital herpes is typically one of the more common STDs and is very contagious during an outbreak. As is the case with any disease, a person infected by genital herpes should be equipped with the right information to tackle the disease and lessen the symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns regarding genital herpes, ask an Expert for medical insights and suggestions for proper treatment based on the details of your case.
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