It’s very likely that you know someone who deals with herpes. There are many myths that surround the infection and so many people are confused with the difference between oral herpes (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2). While most understand that one infection is present in the form of cold sores on the face or lesions around the genital region, many people are unclear as to what sets them apart from each other.
The primary distinction between HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes) is generally based on where they appear on the body. HSV-1 mainly causes oral herpes, also known as herpes labialis, while HSV-2 is mostly responsible for genital herpes. Both are considered to be sexually transmitted, but HSV-1 can be transmitted in different ways. A good example of HSV-1 transmission would be kissing.
With HSV-1 or oral herpes, those infected will get what is commonly known as a cold sore or a fever blister, which occurs on or around the lips. HSV-2, on the other hand, lives as similar-looking sores or blisters in the genital region: on the vulva or penis or around the anus. While they are located on different parts of the body, HSV-1 can also lead to genital herpes through oral sex.
It’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of adult Americans have HSV-1, in one form or another. The virus is usually contracted during childhood through kissing or hand-to-mouth contact, although that is less common. Oftentimes, the virus is asymptomatic at first, but after the initial outbreak tends to reoccur.
It should be noted that while cold sores or fever blisters while commonly appear on the lips, can sometimes develop inside the mouth or in the nose too. Before an actual sore appears, some say they feel a slight tingling sensation at the site where the sore will appear. The sore at first takes form as a fluid-filled blister, which eventually bursts, and a scab forms on top of it. HSV-1 typically heals in 7 to 14 days.
Genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. The virus is spread through sexual contact: vaginal, anal, or oral. Just like HSV-1 (oral herpes), HSV-2 (genital herpes) involves painful blisters. Compared to HSV-1, the number of blisters in HSV-2 is much higher. As with oral herpes, at the onset of a breakout, the area becomes tingly, and then small red bumps appear. The bumps then turn into blisters. When the blisters burst, a scab forms. After the scabs fall off, herpes can be considered healed.
Unlike HSV-1 where the discomfort of an outbreak is typically localized to the area where the blisters materialize, an outbreak of HSV-2 can involve flu-like symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, muscle ache, and headache. While this sometimes happens with oral herpes too, it’s much less frequently.
For those who suffer from HSV-1 and HSV-2, the ideal situation is to avoid triggering an outbreak. Easier said than done, as products currently on the market are filled with unhealthy chemicals and are designed to minimize or curtail an outbreak AFTER IT’S ALREADY OCCURRED! Who wants to worry about when their next outbreak will occur and then wait 14 days for it to go away! Finally, there’s a solution- an effective, all-natural solution for preventing oral AND genital blisters before they appear- HX-2!
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