Herpes simplex

Herpes simplex Overview:

Herpes simplex is just one of 70 different species in the Herpes family of viruses. There are 2 main types of herpes simplex in terms of human infection; HSV-1 and HSV-2.

Herpes infection is widespread, estimated to be present in about 20-40% of the population in the United States.

Herpes simplex is characterised by recurrent clusters of blisters that can appear most commonly around the mout and genital region but can appear anywhere on the skin.


Aetiology:

Herpes simplex is a virus that infects nervous tissue. In most cases, infected individuals are able to defend against outbreaks of this virus, but the body will never be completely void of infection once it is within the body. 

During periods of stress, low immunity, certain frug triggers, food allergies, sun exposure, or menses, the Herpes virus can become activated and undergo viral shedding. This involves what is known as an outbreak of Herpes simplex which forms blisters filled with viral particles to potentiate infection to other individuals. These outbreaks last between 1 and 4 weeks. 

+ HSV-1

Mainly occurrs on the face around the mouth, but can also ocurr around the genital region.

+ HSV-2

Most commonly affects the genital areas.

Thought to be present in as many as 1 in 8 people, but is asymptomatic in up to 80% of individuals infected.

 

Symptoms:

Recurrent An-Genital Blisters

Pain In The Blistered Area

Erythema With Itching/Tingling

Urethritis

Procitis

Cervicitis

Symptom


Diagnostic Considerations:

  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT)
    • Swab taken at the base of ulcers
      • Requires visible lesions to be present

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Inhibit Viral Replication

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  • Nutritional (High lysine, low arginine)
  • Antivirals ()

2. Support The Immune System

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  • Immunomodulators ()
  • Nutritional (Zinc)

3. Remove Exposure To Known Triggers

Such as food allergens, drugs, sun exposure, stress.

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Differential Diagnosis:

  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
 

Cautions:

Caution advised, very contagious, especially in wheeping stage.

 

Complications:

  • Neuropathic bladder
  • Psychosexual morbidity
  • Enhanced HIV transmission
  • Neonatal herpes (acquisition in last trimester of pregnancy)
 

Herbs For Herpes simplex:

  • Licorice (topical)
  • Lemon balm (topical)
 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: November 2017


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