The common name for the viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Two types of herpes simplex exist. Unsurprisingly, they are called Herpes simplex type I and Herpes simplex type II. Type I is oral herpes and type II is genital herpes and they are different strains of herpes simplex but have been known to cross infect, especially in this day and age where oral sex is more prevalent.

Medically, the cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the Varicella Zoster virus (VZV) also belong to the herpes virus family. EBV causes infectious mononucleosis, otherwise known as the 'kissing disease' while VZV is the cause of chickenpox.

There is no 'cure' for herpes (of any type) but acyclovir and other antiviral agents have been shown to dramatically improve symptoms.

Herpes Simplex II, when dormant, resides in the lower lumbar region of the spinal column. While pharmacological advances have been made in its treatment, many can cause unwanted side-effects. There are methods of relief (not cures) that can help alleviate outbreak symptoms and promote healing.


Hygiene and Comfort

Herpes thrives in warm, moist environments.
The best course here is to stay clean, cool and dry.

  • Bathing
    • Shower or bathe in lukewarm or cool water
      Use a gentle, hypoallergenic, non-scented soap or gel
      Dry gently, but thoroughly with a clean, soft towel
      (do not share towels during outbreaks
      as this may spread the virus!)
      A light application of corn starch based body
      powder may also reduce discomfort.
  • Clothing- Keywords here are loose and breathable
    • Cotton undergarments
        Boxers for men
        Briefs for women
      Loose slacks, dresses, skirts of lightweight fabric.
For nuclear outbreaks, ice pack therapy is suggested.

Her"pes (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. , fr. to creep.] Med.

An eruption of the skin, taking various names, according to its form, or the part affected; especially, an eruption of vesicles in small distinct clusters, accompanied with itching or tingling, including shingles, ringworm, and the like; -- so called from its tendency to creep or spread from one part of the skin to another.


© Webster 1913.

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