This article will give you a comprehensive idea about the three stages of herpes simplex, also known as oral herpes. Herpes simplex 1 is caused by the virus HSV 1. People often confuse oral herpes with genital herpes. The symptoms are almost similar in both the cases; the only difference is that in oral herpes the sores and blisters can be found in and around the mouth, whereas in genital herpes they are found in the genitals.This infection basically causes sores and blisters to occur on the face, and has no permanent cure. But treatment options are available to make the infection less painful. After a person is infected with oral herpes there are three stages, by which it advances. It is very important to know the important of this infection, as it is highly contagious. Over the last few years, millions of people have been diagnosed with herpes simplex 1, and many children get this virus as well, as it can be easily transmitted.
Before we understand the stages of herpes, let us take a look at some of the symptoms of this disease.
1. Blisters and cold sores in and around the mouth.
4. Blisters that break out and ooze
The three stages are –
The primary or initial stage –
This is where the blisters or sores are first detected. Some of these small sores may appear individually or as a cluster. They are full of fluid and can be seen around the mouth. Usually the first attack is severe and can be very painful. Sometimes, within a few days the small blister or group of blisters may become bigger and open up, after which it automatically heals. It is at this stage that an itching and tingling sensation is felt on the sores.
The latency stage –
In the next stage, the virus will progress to a mass of nerve tissue in the spine. Here the virus lies inactive, until triggered to break out.
The recurrence stage –
It is important to know that the virus is most contagious when there is a break out. The blisters on the face usually break open, releasing the fluid inside of them. This fluid is filled with the virus, which can spread easily. It is also important to know that genital herpes can be transmitted via oral herpes, and vice-versa. Hence, it is even more important to be on the safe side. But, even when the virus is inactive it can be transferred from one individual to another. Recurrence occurs when there are certain changes, such as severe heat, illness and stress – either emotional or physical. At this stage the inactive virus becomes active again, and brings out more sores and blisters.
Many people who have this virus, go through life without experiencing any of these symptoms. But, they can still spread the virus to people. Some of the methods to prevent oral herpes are –
1. It is important to always wash the hands thoroughly before and after touching the sores.
2. As oral herpes is transmitted through saliva, it is essential to avoid using the same cups, spoons and make up, as this may lead to an infection.
3. Wearing sunscreen on your face, and especially the lips is also very important to stop a break-out from recurring.
4. Using protection during intercourse is a must.