Herpes simplex is a viral infection that typically affects the mouth, genitals, or anal area. It is contagious and can cause outbreaks of sores and other symptoms. Herpes simplex virus HSV is a highly prevalent infection globally, with the most common type affecting around 3. It spreads rapidly through direct contact with a person who carries HSV.
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Herpes sores can affect many areas of the body, including the mouth, genitals, and eyes. Knowing what herpes looks like across the body can help people diagnose the condition. Herpes is a skin condition caused by the herpes simplex virus. The symptoms include sores that come and go over time. Different types of herpes affect different body parts.
Genital herpes is a recurrent, lifelong skin infection caused by the herpes simplex virus HSV. Herpes lesions on the face, sometimes referred to as cold sores, are primarily due to HSV Both types of HSV produce 2 kinds of infections: primary and recurrent. Because it is so contagious, HSV causes a primary infection in most people who are exposed to the virus. Appearing 5—6 days after a person's first exposure to HSV, the sores of a primary infection last about 2—6 weeks. These sores heal completely, rarely leaving a scar. Nevertheless, the virus remains in the body, hibernating in nerve cells. Certain triggers can cause the hibernating virus to wake up, become active, and travel back to the skin, causing a recurrent infection. These outbreaks tend to be milder than primary infections and generally occur in the same location as the primary infection.
Anal herpes is an infection caused by the herpes virus that erupts as sores or blisters around the anus, the opening through which bowel movements pass. Syphilis , chancroid , and donovanosis are infections that can cause different types of lesions around the anus. The same virus that causes genital herpes can cause lesions in the genitals, anus, or perianus. But, not everyone with genital herpes has anal herpes. If you have obvious symptoms of anal herpes, your doctor may decide to treat you after a physical exam.