Herpes Infections

Itchy spots that develop into blisters, and then ulcerate after a few days, are common in the genital region, and are often caused by the common cold-sore germ, called the herpes virus 2 (or HSV-2 for short). The irritation may be intense, and the ulcers are extremely painful, especially if urine flows over them. It often makes intercourse difficult or impossible for some weeks.

Herpes Infections Treatment

The sores automatically heal themselves. However, the application of icepacks (crushed ice in a fabric bag) for 30 minutes two to three times a day in the very early stages will often stop them from developing. This is called “cryotherapy.” and cold prevents viruses from multiplying. Idoxuridine cream, if applied Color-enhanced electron micrograph of a herpes simplex virus in an infected cell very early, may help. The antibiotic called acyclovir applied as a cream or taken orally is also dramatic in its effect.

Remember that genital herpes is often a sexually transmitted disorder, and may be spread between partners even when no active sores are present—the friction from rubbing skin surfaces may allow the virus to spread from person to person.

Herpes Simplex Infection

Conjunctivitis due to infections with herpes simplex virus (often called HSV-1) can take place. This is the virus that causes cold sores. The conjunctiva becomes inflamed, the lymph gland in front of the ear swollen and tender. Blisters may appear on the eyelid.

The eye is treated with a drug called idoxuridine in an eye ointment base that kills the virus if used early. It is applied four times daily. Sulpha eye ointments may also be used if infections by bacteria are also present. Medical supervision is necessary.

The antiviral antibiotic acyclovir will kill the herpes germ, and is given as liquid eye drops or tablets. It must be ordered by the physician, and taken under strict supervision. The earlier treatment is started with this product, the better the result.

Herpes Zoster

Chickenpox virus may remain in the system for many years after a childhood infection, and later reactivate to produce inflammation of superficial nerves of the skin, called herpes zoster or shingles. Sometimes this may affect the nerves of the face and extend into the eye. Secondary infection may also occur. Symptoms are usually obvious, with painful blisters occurring on the side of the face or forehead, and may encroach on there. If the cornea is involved, vision may be affected.

Medical attention is desirable, and antibiotics can assist. Pain in the affected nerves the face often persists for weeks, months or even years. Generally, the outlook for the eyes is good, and recurrences are rare.

Once more, the germ causing herpes is sensitive to antiviral. It must be given as early as possible in the infection, ideally within first 48-72 hours, or as soon as blisters become evident. It must be given under medical supervision.