How to Tell if It’s Herpes-and the Best Way to Treat It

How to Tell if It’s Herpes-and the Best Way to Treat It

Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2). It’s contagious and can affect people at any age. Herpes can cause a lot of pain, stress and embarrassment to the sufferers. Although you can reduce pain and symptoms with medications, herpes cannot be cured. Once you’ve contracted the virus, you will experience persistent outbreaks in future. Also, it’s very hard to diagnose herpes because it does not always show up symptoms. To know if you have herpes, you should examine your risk factors and recognize your symptoms. Then, check with your doctor and ask them for an effective solution. Below are what you need to know about herpes, how to identify, prevent and treat it.

What diseases can be mistaken for herpes?

People often think of herpes as painful, fluid-filled blisters on the skin. That’s completely true, but we may need more evidence to come to the conclusion that such symptoms are herpes. It’s very important to get a correct diagnosis due to three key reasons below:

  • Herpes can go away without treatment. This process can usually take 2-3 weeks. But then, it can recur very often, about 4-5 times a year.
  • Herpes is highly contagious. If you recognize early, you can prevent the spread more effectively.
  • In rare cases, herpes can progress into inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. If you get tested and treated early, you can prevent these serious complications.

There are several conditions that can be mistaken for herpes. If you understand them, it will help you know if you have herpes or something else. These conditions may include:

  • Canker sores

These are small and painful ulcers that appear inside the mouth. Canker sores are not contagious and they can go away without treatment. Possible causes of canker sores are stress, allergies and lack of nutrition.

  • Yeast infections

Yeast infections are caused by the fungus or yeast Candida albicans. These do not usually cause painful blisters, but share similar symptoms with herpes. These symptoms may include pain, itching and burning sensations.

Yeast infection can be mistaken for herpes

Yeast infection bumps

  • Genital warts

These are caused by HPV and can appear on the genital and anal areas. Like herpes, genital warts cause itching and burning in the affected area. They are contagious, but not always painful.

  • Molluscum

These are painless and raised bumps on the skin. They are not dangerous and can go away without medical intervention.

molluscum can be mistaken for herpes

Molluscum bumps

  • Impetigo

Impetigo causes red, painful and crusty blisters on the skin. They are contagious via close contact, but can be treated easily with antibiotics.

Related: 6 Diseases That Can Be Mistaken for Herpes

What does herpes look like?

Not everyone with herpes will develop visible symptoms. Usually, they show up several days or weeks after being infected with HSV. But sometimes, the virus can remain hidden for months or even years. Herpes is highly contagious, especially when the blisters burst over. Even when there are no visible lesions, it can be passed through a process called shedding. To know if you have herpes, focus on your signs and symptoms. For example,

  • Redness, tingling and itching around the mouth or on the genitals.
  • Painful, fluid-filled blisters.
  • Painful urination.
  • Painful sex.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headaches, muscle-pain, swollen lymph nodes.
What does herpes look like

Herpes blisters

If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor. They can identify herpes by examining you or by taking laboratory tests. During the exam, your doctor may ask some related questions, such as:

  • What are your symptoms? And when did they start?
  • Have you practiced unprotected sex recently?
  • Have you had multiple sexual partners?
  • Have you or your partner had an STI in the past?
  • Have you or your partner had an STI in the past?
  • Have you or your partner recently had a test for STIs?

If you have never had certain tests for herpes before, talk to your doctor. Common blood tests for herpes include IgG and IgM.

Related: 6 Herpes Symptoms That Every Woman Should Know

What factors increase you risk of getting herpes?

Checking for high risk behaviors can help you determine if you have herpes or not. In fact, some factors can increase your risk of getting herpes, including:

  • Kissing or directly touching herpes sores.
  • Having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • Having unprotected sex with someone who has multiple partners.
  • Having sex with a partner who has herpes.
  • Having had another sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Having physical or emotional stress.
  • Using too much alcohol or tobacco.

 Anyone can have chances of contracting herpes. If you think you are more at risk of this disease, speak to your doctor for an official test.

Related: 6 Weird Things That Can Trigger a Cold Sore

factors that can increase your risk of getting herpes

Kissing with herpes

What is the best way to treat herpes?

After confirming the diagnosis, you need immediate treatment. The following are some treatment options to relieve herpes.

Prosurx is one of the best treatment options to heal herpes sores. It can help reduce the severity and shorten the duration of herpes outbreaks. Besides, Prosurx can inactivate the HSV, thus keeping herpes from recurring. Moreover, this solution can limit your chances of passing the virus to your partner. If you apply Prosurx when you feel herpes sores are coming, these will be prevented. Even if you use it for apparent symptoms, it will be far less severe. So, apply Prosurx 2-3 times a day to get rid of herpes fast and effectively.

Prescription medications, such as Acyclovir, Valacyclovir and Famciclovir. These can work better if being taken in the early signs.

Natural remedies, like green tea, aloe Vera, tea tree oil and lemon balm. However, evidence about their effectiveness is still limited. If you’re considering using one of these remedies, discuss it with your doctor first.

Related: 7 Myths about Herpes You Should Stop Believing

Prosurx is one of the best treatment options to relieve herpes

Topical cream for herpes

Herpes is a very common and contagious skin infection. If you think you may have herpes, talk to your doctor and find appropriate treatment.  

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