Herpes Simplex is most easily diagnosed when the patient visits the doctor during an outbreak. An outbreak of Herpes Simplex is characterized by sores. If there are visible sores, most likely a dermatologist can diagnose it just by visually examining them. For a definite answer he or she may swab a sore and send the specimen to be evaluated in a laboratory. Otherwise, without the presence of sores, Herpes Simplex can be diagnosed by blood tests ordered by your dermatologist.


Herpes Simplex is caused by a virus. This viral manifestation is incurable, but can be treated to help relieve and prevent outbreaks. Many people choose to wait out their outbreaks, as the sores will clear up on their own over time. Others choose to treat their outbreaks with prescribed antivirals in either pill or topical cream form. The topical creams will relieve the symptoms of burning, itching and tingling that often times accompany an outbreak. Oral medications such as pills, are used to shorten the length of time an outbreak lasts. When taken on a regular basis, these medications can reduce the severity of a patient’s symptoms and how they frequently they happen. These medications have the ability to also help prevent patients from spreading the virus to others. The three antiviral pills that are most commonly prescribed and have had the greatest success in the fight against Herpes Simplex outbreaks are: Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famciclovir.


Not every person who contracts the Herpes Simplex Virus is going to have a major outbreak the first time. In fact, in a lot of cases these breakouts can be completely unnoticeable and will lead a person to think that, a worse break out later on down the road (maybe even years) is their first breakout.

During the first three hundred and sixty-five days after contracting the virus, a patient could have one or more outbreaks. Any outbreak after the first is referred to as a “recurrence.” As time goes on, outbreaks will become less frequent and painful or bothersome. This is because over time, a person with Herpes Simplex will develop anti-bodies to help combat the virus.

In most cases, Herpes Simplex will not cause any serious health problems. However, in the case of patients with compromised immune systems, such as those who suffer from HIV or AIDs, newborn babies and those who have undergone an organ transplant will need to seek immediate attention from a medical provider to insure that proper treatment is quickly administered.

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