The complexity of the virus that causes herpes often leads people to ask: What is herpes? In actuality, there are two viruses that cause the condition to develop in men and women: simplex 1, or HSV-1, and simplex 2, or HSV-2. These two strains are very similar, and yet very different from one another.
When broadly asked the question of what is herpes, one can answer by saying that it is a virus that results in reoccurring appearances of “outbreaks, " which are clusters of small blisters and ulcers similar to cold sores. The virus is not always active, and may remain dormant in a person for months or even years. There are no known cures for it, although there are numerous medical and natural treatments available to help remedy the often painful physical effects of the virus. There is an oral variety as well as the more feared genital case.
What is genital herpes?
It is a *** transmitted disease affecting the genitals and anal areas of both men and women. This form of herpes - usually HSV-2 - is far less common than the oral form of the virus, HSV-1, but the progression of the sores is generally the same, as is the means of transmission. The skin to skin contact of a person who is currently suffering from an outbreak to another person during *** intercourse is the main cause for transmitting the disease.
Unlike HSV-1, the spread of the HSV-2 virus usually occurs later in life, and most people who have the second form of the virus don’t get it until they reach adolescence or adulthood. Studies regarding the HSV-2 virus have indicated that about 20% of the American population is afflicted with the virus.
What is oral herpes?
This form of the virus is commonly visible to the general public. It is basically the formation of cold sores on ones lips, mouth, or surrounding areas. It is often contracted by children at a young age, although it can be contracted during adulthood as well. What is oral herpes spread by? Skin to skin contact with an individual in the midst of an outbreak causes the spreading, although not all outbreaks are visible. In rare cases, the HSV-1 virus can contaminate the carrier’s eye, which results in the development of ocular herpes.
Studies have reported that almost 80% of Americans have the HSV-1 virus within their body, although the development of immunities to the virus in the body often suppresses the formations of sores as people age. By the time most people with the virus reach adulthood, the HSV-1 is usually lying dormant within the body.
So these are the general answers to what is genital herpes and what is herpes in general, as it refers to any part of the body that is infected, either with or without symptoms.
The treatments for both forms of the disease are almost identical. These treatments include a variety of prescription medications, as well as natural home remedies. Because prescription medications often result in varying degrees of unwanted side effects, more people have been turning to more natural methods to ease the symptoms of the virus. Studies have shown that vitamin C, lysine, and St. John’s Wort are all effective ways to treat both forms of the herpes virus.
So now when someone asks you what is herpes, you have the answer for them!
Sheldon Miller is a health researcher who has been studying natural remedies for various disorders for many years. He is a regular contributor to Herpes Treatment Guide . Find out the answer to what is herpes as well as treatment options on our site.