What is Herpes simplex?
Herpes is an infection caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV. HSV Type 1 most commonly causes cold sores around the mouth or face.
HSV Type 2 is the usual cause of genital herpes. Genital herpes affects the genitals, buttocks or anal area, and is a sexually transmitted disease.
Herpes can also affect the eyes, skin and other parts of the body.
How common is Herpes simplex?
Herpes simplex is common. Currently, just over 30,000 new infections are seen each year at British genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics. Over 18,000 of these are women and almost 12,000 are men.
What are the symptoms of Herpes simplex?
Symptoms of herpes may start with itching, tingling and discomfort in the affected area, sometimes accompanied by flu like symptoms.
On ordinary skin herpes causes blisters, spots or red bumps, which burst and form sores, rest spots or ulcers. On mucous membrane the virus causes ulcers which heal directly into the skin.
Most people have outbreaks several times a year, which become less frequent as time goes on.
How is Herpes simplex treated?
An outbreak of herpes usually clears in time. A doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to speed up healing and reduce the severity of an episode.
If you have not received treatment or advice, or suffered any symptoms in the past five years choose a moratorium product.