Also known as: herpes simplex virus, oral herpes, genital herpes.

What is herpes?

Herpes is a disease that affects the skin i.e., mouth, lips and face or the genitals. The symptoms typically involve sores that appear on the body and develop into itchy and painful blisters.

What causes herpes?

Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can be transmitted from person to person through sexual contact or open skin from direct contact shed from oral or other skin sites. It can also be passed from a mother to baby during childbirth.

What are the symptoms of herpes?

The sores that characterize herpes can appear on the genitals, rectum or around the mouth. During the first outbreak, a person may also have a fever and body aches. The sores become blisters after a few days and become painful and itchy ulcers before healing.

What are herpes care options?

There is no cure for herpes. The outbreaks occur less frequently over time. Medication can help manage the severity and frequency of the outbreaks.

Reviewed by: Manuel Rafael Cotilla, MD

This page was last updated on: February 02, 2021 12:02 PM

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