What is herpes?

Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease, and is caused by infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

There are 2 strains of the virus, HSV type 1 and HSV type 2.

Transmission of both strains occurs through contact with infected oral or genital secretions.

What are the symptoms of herpes? 

An infection with herpes causes painful blisters and ulcers around the mouth or genitals.

A herpes episode often starts with some local tingling or soreness of the oral or genital skin.

Shortly after, blisters appear, and can burst open to become weepy painful ulcers.

These ulcers can last from a few days up to a few weeks.

The ulcerated skin then dries up and heals over.

The skin ulcers may also be accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, swollen glands, and body aches.

However, many people who have herpes actually have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.

As such, many people who are infected with herpes are unaware that they carry this infection, and can pass it onto their partners unknowingly.

What happens after I’m infected with herpes? 

After a primary infection, the herpes virus remains in the body for life.

Most people do not experience symptoms for the majority of the time, but can experience intermittent flares, or outbreaks, that are similar to the primary infection.

Repeat flares are common in the first year of infection, but become less frequent over time.

How is herpes diagnosed?

Herpes is diagnosed based on symptoms, and with confirmatory testing.

A swab of the oral or genital ulcers can be performed to look for HSV type 1 and 2.

Alternatively, in the absence of ulcers, a blood test for herpes.

How do I treat herpes?

Infection with herpes is lifelong, and there are no medications to completely cure herpes.

However, antiviral medications can be used whenever a flare or outbreak occurs, to reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms

The medications can also be used to prevent frequent outbreaks, and to reduce transmission of herpes between partners.

If you are concerned about having herpes or would like to find out more about the condition, visit any of our Partner’s Women’s Health clinics, or contact their doctors via the link below.

Need a Female Doctor?

Having Women’s Health concerns? lease visit us or contact us at our GP Plus Clinics in Singapore. We are open on weekends too. For more information, please visit DTAP Clinic website, www.dtapclinic.com or email them at hello@dtapclinic.com.sg