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Herpes is a general term that describes both oral herpes and genital herpes. This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and it affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, as well as skin in other parts of the body. There are two different types of herpes, including HSV-1 (type 1) and HSV-2 (type 2), that each affect different parts of the body.

Types of Herpes

HSV-1 causes herpes infections that result in lesions, or cold sores, around the mouth. This type of herpes is spread through kissing or sharing cups. Symptoms include burning and itching as well as slightly raised lesions that are red or blistered. More than 50 percent of people in the U.S. have HSV-1.

HSV-2 causes genital sores, however, it does not always cause symptoms, especially in men. When symptoms occur, they occur as pain in or around the vagina or penis. This pain may be more noticeable when urinating or during sexual activity. Sores are typically red, crusty, or fluid-filled. This type of herpes is sexually transmitted, and roughly 15.5 percent of people in the U.S. ages 14-49 have HSV-2.

In both types of herpes, it is common for symptoms to appear, resolve and recur for years without treatment.


Herpes viruses are highly contagious and spread through direct contact. Once you have the infection, it may become dormant and flare up again due to another infection, fever, emotional stress, or physical trauma.

Treatment for herpes ranges from home remedies to certain medications. Bathing in salted water, applying petroleum jelly to the affected area, washing your hands, refraining from sexual activity until symptoms subside, or using ice packs.

How Our Virtual Doctors Can Help

Suffering from herpes, both HSV-1 and HSV-2, can be embarrassing and frustrating, as they may leave physical signs that you are suffering. Rather than waiting to book a doctor’s appointment in-person, our online doctors can provide you with the help when you need it the most. Depending on your symptoms, we may recommend antiviral medications. If your outbreak of herpes is recurring, a topical antiviral can help improve your symptoms and provide you with relief.

If you are currently suffering from herpes, you can speak with one of our online physicians now to ask questions, receive recommendations and obtain any necessary prescriptions.We look forward to helping you find relief.


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