Herpes simplex is a common but contagious viral infection. In fact, every person who has had a cold sore or fever blister has contracted herpes simplex, meaning more than half the population has the virus. It is believed that most affected individuals contract the infection during childhood, but people of any age can contract and spread herpes.
There are two common types of herpes simplex: Oral (HSV-1) and Genital (HSV-2). No matter what type of herpes you have, it is important to know that there is no cure for the virus. Rather, herpes simplex treatments work symptomatically to help for Herpes sufferers. With the help of a dermatologist, you can find a solution to shorten and suppress outbreaks when they occur.
Herpes Simplex Causes
The herpes virus is very contagious, spreading by skin-to-skin contact or from wet surfaces where the virus is present. This includes while contact sports, from drinking glasses and toothbrushes, as well as kissing and sexual contact. The HSV-1 infection is more commonly found on the face, around the mouth, and on the nose. HSV-2 has historically been the cause of genital herpes, but HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes.
The herpes virus is spread initially to the skin but eventually moves to reside in the local nerves. Usually, when this virus is activated or reactivated, it produces a lesion. This lesion, which will take the form of a fever blister or cold sore, sheds the virus. That said, the viral shedding may happen without a lesion present.
The herpes virus can remain dormant (inactive) in the nerve for long periods of time. It may also be triggered by illness, stress, sun, surgery, menstruation, or acidic foods. Outbreaks are recurrent, but the frequency of outbreaks will usually decrease with time.
Symptoms of Herpes Simplex
The first outbreak is usually the worst, but it can also occur without herpes simplex symptoms and go unnoticed. If the first outbreak goes unnoticed, a later outbreak may be confused as the first. This can cause stress and confusion, especially in HSV-2 outbreaks.
Herpes symptoms can include burning, tingling, swelling, pain, redness, and blisters. Lesions more commonly occur on or around the lips and nose, chin, cheeks, genitals, buttocks, lower back, and posterior thighs although lesions have the potential to occur anywhere on the face or body. Outbreaks may last from several days to several weeks.
Herpes Treatment Options
Although there is no cure for herpes, medication is available to decrease pain and the duration and frequency of outbreaks. Over-the-counter medications are available to soothe the pain and burning of mild cold sores. More painful outbreaks may require topical or oral prescription medication. In most cases, herpes treatment is effective at managing symptoms. Recurrent, frequent, and severe infections of HSV-1 and HSV-2 may need ongoing suppression therapy with oral antiviral medication to prevent outbreaks. If this describes your experience with herpes, consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist.
See a Doctor for Severe Cases of Herpes
Our doctors can provide these types of advanced treatments and therapies, which can make a big difference in how your herpes manifests. Don’t wait to find some relief from your current course of herpes symptoms. Contact us to schedule an appointment or virtual visit today.
*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.
Zel Skin & Laser Specialists – Plymouth ★★★★★ on Google
5:27pmFelt COvid safe ... always a great experience working with professionals
Dr. Zelickson is thorough and patiently attentive to my concerns. Such a great practice and so easy to deal with. A great emphasis on safety during this pandemic which I really appreciate.
Brian brings a unique combination of medical science, clinical expertise, integrity and compassion to his patients. He provides the latest technology available in the field of dermatology but with a personalized touch for each patient. He is highly respected by his colleagues throughout the country for his expertise and sincerity.
Everyone I have met at Zel is amazing!
It is rare to find a dermatologist who is as knowledgeable about the many facets of clinical and cosmetic dermatology as Dr. Zelickson. Because of his knowledge and honesty, doctors worldwide know they can depend on his assessment of new therapies, procedures and medical devices. This, in turn, has made him a much sought–after speaker for the plethora of professional medical society meetings and engagements that we have throughout the year. I am honored to know Dr. Zelickson and consider him a friend to the profession.
Dr. Brian Zelickson was one of our initial Thermage investigators and helped us understand the mechanisms of non–invasive skin tightening. He is a renowned expert on how collagen can affect skin tightening and wrinkle reduction.
Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of this country’s leading laser experts. Not only is he unparalleled as a laser surgeon, it is not an exaggeration to state that his superb research helps determine the future of dermatologic laser surgery.
Dr. Zelickson is a highly regarded skin/light expert in our industry. When Candela looks for both medical and scientific advice for new laser applications, we often turn to him for his counsel. The input he provides us always starts with patient safety and satisfaction. We feel fortunate to be able to tap into Brian as an independent resource. The patients who are treated with Candela devices are often the beneficiaries of Brian’s input to us.
Most patients prefer seeing a doctor who is known for a particular specialty or procedure, but all patients want to see the doctor who invented the procedure or therapy. Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of the most respected physicians in the field of cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic medicine. He has lectured around the world and is one of the most sought–after speakers for all major meetings in dermatology.
I would rate Dr. Zelickson's clinic 10 stars!
We have felt honored to have Dr. Brian Zelickson, a world–renowned dermatologist who is distinguished as a high–quality care physician, serving as the investigator evaluating Syneron non–invasive skin tightening technology
I trained with Dr. Zelickson at Mayo Clinic, and I found him to be a very bright and creative dermatologist and scientist. Later, he was our best advisor when we set up our clinic in the Basque Country in Spain. I call him the ‘paparazzi of dermatology.’ His contribution to our speciality is probably among the best of this century.
Tuve la suerte de conocer al Dr. Brian Zelickson en Minneapolis hace muchos anos y desde entonces acudo regularmente a compartir sus conocimientos. Es un científico honrado, brillante, creativo e innovador. Nunca deja de sorprenderte agradablemente.
Dr. Zelickson is a very well–respected dermatologist, not only in the U.S., but also in Europe. He is famous for being the author of relevant dermatological studies published in many prestigious medical journals and for the improvements he’s made on minimally invasive cosmetic procedures that are being used by dermatologists all over the world.
Our view from Europe of Dr. Brian Zelickson is that he is one of the leading four or five U.S. laser dermatologists. His research contributions, his superb lectures and his expert knowledge of laser skin surgery make him a valued friend, colleague and guest.
Dr. Brian Zelickson is one of the world’s leaders in cutaneous laser surgery. He has performed groundbreaking research over the past decade, advancing the field as well as expertly providing the most up–to–date laser treatments for his patients.
Brian Zelickson is a world–renowned laser expert who helps develop the lasers and treatment parameters used by the rest of the world. He is where others turn to learn the latest techniques in laser surgery. If you want the best treatment available, delivering the best results in the safest environment available, there is no need to look anywhere else.
I have met many laser experts in my 20 years of teaching, lecturing and running a busy practice. There is no one who I respect more than Brian. If I have a clinical question or research idea, Brian is one of the few individuals I call, as I know I can count on his intellect, integrity and common sense.
Dr. Zelickson is one of America’s most knowledgeable laser experts. He has done pioneering work with many of the laser and light–based technologies developed in the world over the last 10 years. He is a giant in the field.
Dr. Zelickson is one of the world’s leaders in the field of lasers for the treatment of the skin. His many years experience in treating thousands of patients with lasers and other medical devices makes him one of the most sought–after doctors in this field. Innovation and caring are his trademarks.