Herpes simplex

Herpes simplex is a very common viral infection, which involves mainly debilitated malnourished and immune compromised people whose immunity is at low level especially after severe upper respiratory tract infection.

Herpes simplex virus is a DNA virus with two major antigenic types HSV-1 which is frequently associated with cutaneous lesions while HSV-2 mainly affects the genital region.

It starts in the form of small vesicles often forming blisters. There is pain and discomfort. These commonly occur on the lips, around the mouth or on the cheeks, nose and ears. The one on the lips (Herpes febrilis) generally follows after an upper respiratory tract problem.

There is soften itching and burning sensation at the site. Vesicles may rupture and form crusts. There is no enlargement of regional lymph nodes. Constitutional symptoms are unusual. Healing takes place within 7 to 10 days.

Herpes Simplex

A carrier state may persist indefinitely after an attack. Repeated attacks are common.

Genital one is an infection caused by the HSV virus. HSV type 1 virus causes oral herpes, that is in and around the mouth. Some of the common symptoms are cold sores and fever blisters. HSV type 2 generally affects the genital organs.

The symptoms may include a rash, bumps, blisters or sores in and around the area. Itching, burning, tingling or swelling are some of the affects of this infection. Once again genital Herpes simplex is spread through sexual contacts.


Topical antiviral cream (acyclovir or pencyclovir) is to be applied four times a day. Application of the drug be continued for 4-5 days even after the lesions have disappeared. In resistant cases oral acyclovir 200 mg five times a day for 10 days is given. For recurrent episodes, long-term suppressive therapy can be considered.

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