Herpes simplex, what it is and its psychological implications

Herpes simplex, what it is and its psychological implications

Herpes is considered an endemic infection due to the large number of affected population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 67% of people under 50 years of age worldwide are infected with HSV-1; they also consider that the 11% of the global population between 15 and 49 years of age have HSV-2 (2012), the symptoms of genital herpes usually go unnoticed, sometimes people can minimize the risks of their manifestation due to various causes, including: associated social stigmas and lack of information.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of patients with genital herpes are unaware that they have the virus, it is important to emphasize that It is contagious even though there are no visible clinical manifestations, so medical treatment is advised; Immunocompromised people tend to suffer more from symptoms. Due to the large number of population with the virus, it is convenient to know a little more about it and know how we can protect ourselves


  • 1 What is a herpes infection?
  • 2 Nervous system and herpes
  • 3 Types of Herpes Simplex
  • 4 Ozone therapy to treat Herpes
  • 5 Herpes and psychological factors
  • 6 Psychological phases of a patient with herpes
  • 7 10 recommendations for the herpetic patient

What is a herpes infection?

It is a type of infection caused by a Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), which causes 'fever blisters', lip ulcers in the mouth or around it, and it is also capable of infecting other body regions. Such injuries, vesicles or blisters filled with fluid, can be in different parts of the skin, too they can be located in the rectum or even in the genitalsWell, once the ampules rupture they become ulcers or sores, they are usually very painful and uncomfortable for the patient.

Other symptoms that patients with Herpes Simplex virus 1 and 2 may present are: fever and pain that when it persists beyond three months becomes another condition that must also be treated as it further complicates the infection of the virus: chronic pain.

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Nervous system and herpes

How does the virus remain latent even if there are no visible symptoms? The virus 'winter' or remains in inactive mode, in the membranes of the mucous membranes, the skin or near the spinal cord inside the nerve cells (ganglia); sometimes, the virus 'wakes up' or 'reactivates' in the nerve node and then travels through the nerve fibers to the skin to produce skin rashes, usually in previously affected areas.

When it is believed that there may be brain infection a lumbar puncture can be done to take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and a nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMR) of the brain.

Types of Herpes Simplex

Herpes simplex is divided into two categories:

Herpes Simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)

It is common to be acquired during childhood, by contact with the oral mucosa, producing cold or oral herpes, occurs frequently in the mouth or eyes; Some symptoms that precede the visible "sores" may be tingling, itching or burning around the mouth. Cutaneous manifestations may appear in other body regions.

Herpes Simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)

It occurs in the genital or anal area, although there may also be infection in the mouth and eyes. It is usually transmitted sexually, there may be a tingling sensation in the legs, hips or buttocks before the appearance of genital ulcers, it is usually transmitted by contact with the genitals, skin, wounds or secretions of a person infected with the virus, although it does not show visible manifestations. In case of having HSV-2, precautions must be taken to avoid contagion with the sexual partner, such as: condom use, protective gloves and dental protectors.

The neonatal herpes, it happens in approximately 10 out of every 100 thousand births; however, much attention should be paid, as it can reach cause neurological dysfunction for life. The risk of infecting the child is very low, however, it is suggested that pregnant women seek medical advice in this regard, to avoid the risks that are in their hands to prevent.

The herpes virus, can produce outbreaks and recurrences, so it is very important that the recommendations that the doctor has made for the patient are taken into account, since the treatments can vary depending on the location of their lesions, the type of herpes and other variables that they as health experts , consider.

Ozone therapy to treat Herpes

Although the virus will always remain latent in the person, the healing of the lesions is slow and for many patients it is uncomfortable, because There are certain types of herpes that affect facial regions and can leave a scar, when they are in the trunk, sometimes they become so painful, that the patients hurt the simple contact with the clothes; In herpetic keratitis, the eye is infected with the virus.

When the patient follows the medical recommendations for his health, he can refer his symptoms with the classic treatments, what other therapeutic options are there to treat herpes successfully? Ozone therapy is an excellent option for the treatment of lesions caused by the herpes virus: ulcers, sores, infected ampules can heal in less time, without harmful effects to the organism, while the patient can strengthen his immune system through ozone autohemotherapy.

Herpes and psychological factors

The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus is very common, it can bring psychological implications that in turn exacerbate herpetic symptoms, leading to outbreaks and recurrences with some periodicity manifesting very reactive pictures. There are some psychological factors that must be taken care of: stress levels, sleep hygiene, are very important aspects, because when they are not taken care of they could be a trigger rather than exacerbate a herpetic outbreak.

What are some psychological implications of herpes?

Herpes can damage the self-esteem of the person suffering from it; There are many sociocultural prejudices and stigmas around herpes, especially due to the appearance of clinical symptoms, when the person has a large part of an affected body area, such as the face, may experience shame, some adopt bad adaptation mechanisms, instead of practices for emotional well-being, such as resorting to affective isolation, which can increase your emotional discomfort and in turn exacerbate herpetic symptoms.

When the infection is caused by HSV-2, it is also conflictive for the patient, especially when he is young, it can be confusing and not knowing who to approach for help, it is common for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to cause shame, fear and sometimes even blame, which makes them omit to talk about it and do not request medical advice necessary for their condition. However, this should not be an impediment, The most important thing is your well-being, you could have an unnecessary health complication.

Psychological phases of a patient with herpes

When the person has herpes, they usually go through certain phases, they need to be transcended so that they take responsibility for their own health and take appropriate management measures for their well-being:

  1. Negation: when the person minimizes the risks of the symptomatology that manifests, even with a medical diagnosis, staying at this stage can be very harmful for their well-being and that of their sexual partner (s), since the patient does not He is responsible for his own health, nor is he careful with people who have contact so as not to spread them.
  2. Anger: patients infected with the virus may resent themselves, when their skin lesions begin to affect their selfconcept. They may also experience anger towards the person they believe was infected by the virus, this happens especially when it was for VSH-2. You can be sure that your partner is the only one with whom you have sex, but ... could you ensure that he or she 'never' has had unprotected relationships with another person (s)? To "heal your emotional wounds," it is necessary to transcend anger and feelings of self-pity: "remember that the responsibility of taking care of one's health is for each individual", VH-2 is very common among the population, so it is most convenient to maintain safe sexual practices: "Faces we see, sexual relations we don't know".
  3. Sadness, shame and guilt: in this phase the patient is affected in his mood, experiences feelings of disappointment, often begin to worry because the latent presence of symptoms may be more evident; some in this phase begin to think about attending the doctor or "start paying attention to him". It is important that the patient does not fall into a loop of anxiety and despair, since self-feeling feelings only further complicate the patient's mood, damaging their self-esteem. In any case, something positive about these emotions and this phase is that the person can do introspection.
  4. Acceptance, awareness and accountability: It is when the patient becomes aware of his condition and future complications, so he chooses to adopt healthy, intelligent and adaptive coping strategies. At this stage, it is beneficial for the patient to abandon resentments, guilt and feelings that contribute to his discomfort, here the forgiveness It is also very healing. In this phase he turns to health professionals and tries to follow the suggestions made for his health.

10 recommendations for the herpetic patient

  1. Assist with a trusted doctor and follow the prompts, Do not minimize your symptoms, before the manifestation of any symptoms, the healthiest thing is that you contact your treating doctor, if you are thinking about doing the “remedy” that someone suggested, before you should consult it, “each organism is different”.
  2. Protect yourself from photodamage: With sun screens, hats, umbrellas and more. Sun exposure can cause damage to the skin of patients with herpes virus lesions, complicating their reactive conditions.
  3. It is recommended that everyone be done medical checkups at least once or twice a year, to monitor the state of your health, including sexual; before the manifestation of symptoms or problems, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
  4. Look for information in reliable sources about your condition and the ways in which you can obtain a better quality of life.
  5. Maintain good body and sleep hygiene. It is important to sleep enough hours a day to help your immune system.
  6. Follow feeding guidelines healthy to strengthen your immune system.
  7. The correct use of condoms to maintain sexual intercourse can help prevent the spread of genital herpes, it is worth mentioning that there may be outbreaks of genital herpes outside the areas covered by the condom, some patients use gloves and dental protectors to protect and protect their partner (s) ( s) sexual (s).
  8. Strengthen your self-esteem, your talents and your virtues.
  9. Carry a thank you diary, this can help you "see" all those things for which you are satisfied, as well as happy with yourself and others.
  10. In case you cannot transcend any phase of the aforementioned and believe that this complicates your physical and emotional health more, it is necessary to ask psychological assistance. Psychologists are health professionals who can help you transcend these stages and find faster healing of your "heart" and your mind, while treating your body.

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