Herpes and What You Need to Know About Shedding
At times when your herpes virus infection is not active and driving you crazy, it is dormant, taking a siesta in your tissues and nerve cells. The rule of thumb is that the herpes virus cannot be transmitted to another unless the infection is active and exhibiting one of its lesions. And that is true for both herpes 1 and 2. But, recent research has given us a reason for the fact that transmission can happen at times other than during an active outbreak.
So They Call it Shedding
Dogs shed, cats shed, and I guess we can also. But no, we are not shedding our skin just our infection. At times not necessarily understood by those in research, our herpes virus awakens and takes a trip down the nerve ending to the site of our infection. It may happen a few days before we notice the first swelling and eruption of the red area.
Perhaps this is what the prodrome is, the strange sensation of itching or burning of the infected area just before a herpes eruption. But this “shedding” has also been found in persons who did not develop a lesion. But the important thing is that, during this shedding, a person is contagious. Even if there aren’t any symptoms that we can see, they are still contagious.
This shedding is what makes the use of a condom, even when there is no apparent lesion, absolutely necessary at all times. And even though the area has crusted over and this has fallen off, the infection may still be shedding for another week. Some herbs such as Olive Leaf may help to lessen the shedding period. Be aware of any unusual sensation of the infected area and assume that your herpes infection may be gearing up for an attack. With herpes it is better to act on the side of caution and do not take any chances.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Be honest with any potential sexual partner. And be inquisitive with anyone who may become a sexual partner. And am I saying that “one night stands” are not a good idea, which is exactly what I mean. That is unless you want to play Russian roulette with the rest of your life. And I do mean the rest of your life. There are treatments but there is no known cure for herpes.
Should You Seek Advice?
There are some out there who feel their herpes infection is only their problem and do not feel that they need to advise anyone else. So ask questions, inquire about last social contacts. And be specific if the party admits that herpes is a problem. Usually within the first year of the initial attack there may be several with this number lessening as the years go by. If you are the carrier professional counseling may be in order. Or better yet a herpes support group may be of help. Being able to share your story with others and to receive advice from other who truly has the same problem may make you feel you are not alone.