Sexual Health Monday June 13, 2011

Herpes simplex can affect other areas of the body

The herpes simplex or HSV commonly cause infections on the mouth, face, genitals, buttocks and anal area. Herpes simplex type 1 mostly affects areas above the waste and is also known as cold sores and genital herpes or herpes simplex type 2 tends to affect areas below the waste. However, both herpes simplex type 1 and 2 is capable of infecting the skin on any area of the body.

Herpes infection of the lips

Most people get herpes simplex type 1 as children either through kissing or coming in contact with a person who is experiencing cold sores symptoms. Adults may contract the virus in the same way later in life. A herpes simplex infection on the lips can also be passed on from a person with genital herpes if you were to perform oral sex on them.

Herpes infection of the eyes

Herpes simplex stays inactive within the nerve ganglion in the facial area and when it becomes active it travels along the nerve branch towards the lip where it normally causes what is known as a cold sore, but sometimes, the virus travels down the nerve branch to the eye where it can cause in infection.

Most commonly HSV causes the cornea to become infected, a condition which is known as keratitis, but if it starts effecting deeper layers of the cornea it can cause scarring of the cornea or other more serious sight problems involving the iris or retina. In some cases inflammation of the conjunctiva or eyelids may occur in conjunction with the cornea.

Herpes infection of the nipples

Although rare, herpes simplex can also affect the breasts. This is normally caused by herpes simplex. It's dangerous because it can spread from a mother to her child when she is breastfeeding. It's signified by fluid filled blisters covering the central area of the nipple and sometimes moves to the nipple, which then turns into ulcer-like sores, however sometimes you may not notice the blisters until the ulcers have started to develop.

Herpes infection of the fingers

A herpes infection of the fingers is usually known as herpes whitlow. A herpes infection of the fingers normally affects one or more fingers and is caused by HSV type 1 but can also be caused by HSV type 2. It normally spreads from one person to another through contact with infected bodily fluids, which is why in adults it mostly tends to be caused by HSV type 2.

Herpes infection of the buttocks

A herpes infection of the buttocks is more than likely due to genital herpes. Sometimes an outbreak on the buttocks may occur without any sign of an infection in the associated genital areas. It may also be a sign that an outbreak is about to start.

If you think that you may be infected with the herpes simplex virus, it's best to speak to a doctor and get a genital herpes test, especially if it's affecting your eyes or if it's likely that it'll spread to another person. There are anti-viral pills or treatments that can help with recovery, although the virus will never fully go away. In most cases, if you've experienced an initial outbreak, you may experience recurring outbreaks, but there are ways in which these can be controlled, through medication or lifestyle changes.

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