Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Herpes

View Diane Tanaka, MD's video on Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Herpes...
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Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Herpes

So Herpes tends not to be a subtle infection. It causes pain almost every time. So you are going to know if you have a Herpes infection because you may notice blisters or what looks like bumps. May not even look like a blister, could just look like little bumps around your penis or around the vaginal area and it's usually associated with some degree of pain. Could be a mild pain, it could just feel like an itching or mild burning to more severe pain. So usually Herpes is not an infection that you are going to sit around at home and go Well, I'm not sure what this is. May be it will go away. Usually you are uncomfortable and you have to come and see a doctor and have yourself examined and tested and find out if it really is Herpes. When you go to see the doctor, the doctor is going to need to see the area that is involved because he or she needs to examine the rush and see what it looks like, and they may actually need to take a swamp and collect fluid from the lesion. So that may be uncomfortable but it's really important, because it's the only way for the doctor to know whether or not you truly have a Herpes infection. If your doctor does not ask you to get undressed and examine that area and may be or may be not did a swam,p and come back and tell you that you have Herpes I would go and get a second opinion. Because there is other rashes that could look like Herpes that may not be a Herpes. So before you are told you have an infection that we have no cure for I would personally want to go and get a second opinion. If that doctor didn't really have me disrobed and really do a careful exam. In terms of treatment for Herpes we do have medications that are out there. The most common is one called a Cycle Vere. You may have also seen the commercial for Valtrex. It's a similar medication, what it does it's it helps keep the Herpes infection under control. It kind of suppresses the virus, keeps it from running wild and creating more lesions. It will help decrease all the symptoms you are having. You will have less lesions, you will have less pain, eventually the pain will completely go away. The issue is even when you are on treatment it is still possible to shed some of the Herpes virus. That means you could still infect the sexual partner so once you've been diagnosed with Herpes, it's important to always use protection every time you have sex with the partner because you could unknowingly pass it and you might think you are safe because you don't have any active lesions. Like I said there is no cure for Herpes at this time. I've heard that there is work on a vaccine, which would probably be our best bet once that's available. But that is not something that is available right now and we are not even close. So our best bet is to use the medications that we have available. But the best way to protect yourself is really not to get the Herpes infection in the first place and practice safer sex or remain abstinent.
TEEN, Sexuality and Body Image, STDs

View Diane Tanaka, MD's video on Symptoms, treatment and consequences of Herpes...


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Diane Tanaka, MD

Adolescent Medicine Physician

Dr. Tanaka is an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics and the medical director of the Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center and the MyVOICE Adolescent Transition Program, both at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Tanaka went to University of California, Davis for medical school and did her residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Tanaka's primary speciality is Adolescent Medicine, and her clinical interests include: menstrual disorders, substance use and abuse, and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections. She currently serves at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and was awarded the Barbara Korsch Medical Education Award at CHLA in 2008 and listed in Castle Connely’s directory of top physicians in 2009.

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