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Chances of Getting Herpes from Kissing

can you get herpes from kissing

As defined, herpes is another type of illness or infection triggered by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The first type of infection is the main cause of what is known today as oral herpes. It includes fever blisters and annoying sores involving the mouth. Meanwhile, the second type triggers itchy sores surrounding the genital region, from which it derives its term genital herpes.

The following are the most common symptoms of the said illness. Learn which of these are manageable and which of them are not.

  • The tingling sensation involving the skin. It happens for several days or even weeks.
  • Painful sores emerge, which last for about 10 days. These sores or blisters often grow in number. For oral herpes, the blisters emerge on the mouth. Meanwhile, for genital herpes, blisters or sores appear on the vagina, penis, or anus.
  • The appearance of flu-like symptoms.
  • Urination problems. It usually occurs in women with genital herpes.
  • Herpes keratitis or infection of the eyes.

To clarify the question if an individual gets the illness herpes from kissing, the answer is YES. Also recognized as cold sore, contracting oral herpes is likely to happen, most especially if an active sore is present. While HSV-2 is usually triggered by vaginal or anal sex, HSV-1 is still capable of bringing about genital herpes if an action called oral sex is performed with an existing cold sore in the mouth.

HSV transmission through kissing

Contracting oral herpes is by engaging in skin-to-skin contact with an individual who has the herpes simplex virus. Kissing someone who has an active cold sore or blister is even more dangerous and will result in acquiring HSV. Whatever the type of kiss is, it won’t matter. Whether it be a simple peck or kiss on the cheeks, a smack on the lips, a single-lip kiss, lower-lip sucking kiss, a French kiss, or even a full-tongue business, acquiring oral herpes is very possible.

Note that acquiring herpes is not limited to kissing only. Any form of oral sex, such as performing fellatio or the act of stimulating the penis using one’s mouth, is another way of latching onto herpes. It is why using protective barriers, such as condoms or dental dams during oral sex, is still advised.

Using shared objects

The rate of herpes transmission is high when there is an outbreak. It is one of the main reasons why sharing things or items like eating utensils, towels, razors, and even food and drinks with someone who is experiencing an outbreak is prohibited. Anything or anyone that has contact with an infected individual’s saliva has a high chance of getting the said infection. To prevent inevitable herpes transmission, it is always advisable to utilize your own lip balm or lipstick, or even other personal items.

With regards to this information, there is also an exemption that experts suggested and identified about the condition. The infection is not contracted if someone has contact with the following:

  • Blankets, linens, or beddings
  • Small or big swimming pools
  • Public restrooms, especially toilet seats

Note that even if there is no outbreak, there is still a high potential of having the said virus if certain precautionary measures are not met. It is always a necessity to keep safe and be reminded of the complications that individuals can get from the said infection.

Causes and Complications

Just like other infections, herpes can also trigger different health complications. If no treatment is given to individuals who are diagnosed with the illness, several diseases are likely to emerge. When this occurs, it becomes difficult to administer the right treatment as there will be more than one illness to provide the needed medical aid or therapy. It is also one of the reasons why getting tested early and obtaining immediate medical treatment is necessary to address the major health concern and prevent other medical dilemmas from emerging.

The most common complication of having herpes is the acquisition of the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. There has been a lot of cases today supporting this fact, making HSV-infected individuals also candidates for the massive effects of HIV. Other than that, different sexually transmitted infections are also likely to appear, given the impact of engaging in oral sex or fellatio. Furthermore, diseases involving the liver, joints, and lungs are also possible, especially to individuals whose immune system has been impaired or damaged.

Treatment and Prevention

Similar to other illnesses today, herpes triggered by the herpes simplex virus can be treated using different treatment options. One of the major approaches in combating this infection is by taking antiviral drugs. The type of drugs that they need to consume will depend on the diagnosis of the healthcare professional. However, the usual drugs prescribed are acyclovir and valacyclovir.

Aside from the availability of these drugs, topical creams are also accessible. These creams are simply applied to the affected area to alleviate the symptoms of the illness, such as inflammation and itchiness. Moreover, a cold compress is also used to mitigate the agony from having painful blisters or cold sores.

In preventing yourself from acquiring herpes, the main action to do and maintain is to boost your immune system. A healthy immune system is highly capable of fighting off infections. With the support of the mentioned antiviral medications, it becomes easier to get treated and recover.

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