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General Practice 2023

Is Herpes Curable?

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Is Herpes Curable?
Is Herpes Curable?

Herpes is an infectious disease that has no cure, since there is no antiviral remedy capable of eliminating the virus from the body once and for all. However, there are several medications that can help prevent and even more quickly treat a flare-up of symptoms.

In this way, the cure of herpes cannot be achieved for genital herpes, nor for cold sores as they are caused by the same type of virus, Herpes Simplex, with type 1 causing oral herpes and type 2 causes genital herpes.

Although there is no cure, many cases of herpes do not have any symptoms, as the virus lies dormant for many years, and a person can live without ever knowing they are infected with the virus. However, because the virus is in the body, that person is at risk of passing the virus on to others.

Why is herpes not curable?

The herpes virus is difficult to cure because once it enters the body it can stay dormant for a long time, not causing any kind of response from the immune system.

Furthermore, the DNA of this virus is very complex, which makes it very difficult to create a drug capable of eliminating it, contrary to what happens with other simpler types of viruses such as mumps or measles, for example.

How to identify herpes

To identify herpes, the affected site must be carefully observed. This may be tingling, uncomfortable or itchy for a few days, before the wound appears, even the first air bubbles appear, surrounded by a red border, which is painful and very sensitive.

Laboratory diagnosis is made by analyzing the presence of the herpes virus microscopically in a scraping made from the wound, but it is not always necessary. Most doctors can identify herpes just by looking at the sore.

After a few days of the appearance of the herpes wound, it begins to dry on its own, forming a thinner and yellowish crust, until it disappears completely, around 20 days. Learn how to identify the symptoms of herpes.

Remedies used in treatment

Although there is no cure for herpes, there are remedies that can be used to treat a flare-up more quickly. The most used drug is Acyclovir, which is an antiviral that is able to weaken the virus, making it stop causing changes in the skin.

However, it is also important to keep the area clean and dry, as well as properly hydrated. See other care and available treatment options.

How the transmission happens

Since herpes has no cure, the person who has the virus always has some chances of passing the virus on to others. However, this risk is greater if there are blisters and sores on the skin caused by herpes, as the virus can be passed through the fluid released by these blisters.

Some of the most common ways of transmitting herpes include kissing someone with cold sores, sharing cutlery or cups, touching the fluid released by herpes blisters, or having sex without a condom, for example.

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