Pictures of HSV-1
There are two types of HSV, type 1 HSV-1 and type 2 HSV-2. The most common symptoms of the HSV-1 are cold sores. Cold sores are skin ulcers or ulcers of mucous membranes that line the nose, the mouth and the throat. The virus can also cause infection in the eyes, the hands and the brain. It can result in severe illness among pregnant women or among those with a weak immune system.
Places HSV-1 can be found in the Body
Cold Sores or blisters are usually seen around the infected person’s lips. They can also be seen within the mouth or on the face and, sometimes, inside the nose as well. Though these are the common places, cold sores can also be found in other places in the body, including the genital areas. HSV-1 should be distinguished from HSV-2, which causes genital herpes. The latter is spread by sexual contact. HSV-1 generally causes sores near the mouth, whereas HSV-2 causes sores near the genital area. However, both the viruses can cause sores in both the places.
Who is at Risk of Infecting HSV-1
HSV-1 is a very common infection and most people easily pick it up in childhood, when they kiss an adult having the virus. Everyone who is infected need not have sores, but the virus continues to remain in the body forever, without any cure. The virus spreads from skin to skin contact with someone carrying the virus. The carrier need not have sores at the time and can still spread the virus. This is known as asymptomatic viral shedding. The virus spreads through skin contact or through mucous membrane contact with the saliva of the infected person.
How Does HSV-1 Transmitted
A kiss, eating from the same utensils, sharing a towel, lip balm and razor and so on can also spread the virus. You can also catch the virus by touching the sore or if the infected person pinches a child’s cheeks. If a person has a cold sore and indulges in oral sex, HSV-1 virus can spread to the genital area and cause sores on that area. Mothers can also pass on the virus to the baby at childbirth.
What Causes HSV-1
The HSV-1 virus enters through the skin and into the ganglion, which is a collection of nerve cells. It sleeps here, but wakes up every now and then to cause cold sores. The virus can even stay dormant throughout the person’s life without ever causing sores. The reactivation of the virus can be brought about due to various causes. For instance, it can get reactivated due to fever or sunlight or due to stress, hormonal changes, menstruation, specific foods and drugs and so on.