What are Herpes Long Term Effects?

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection; it's a very common disease in the world. In practically all countries, there is the herpes simplex virus HSV, and because of how the virus manifests, it is easy to transmit from person to person. We know that the herpes virus has no cure (we will explain it in more detail), in this article, we will focus on analyzing the question of what are herpes long term effects. Before going into details, let's first look at what herpes is more deeply. This is a sexually transmitted infection; it affects the external genitalia, the region of the anus, mucosal surfaces, and some other parts of the body. You should know that there are two types of herpes, herpes type 1 and herpes type 2. There are some slight differences between these types of viruses, but in the end, they are very similar, and both act in very similar ways.

Some Myths

The word myths on an index card in a paper in filing system

It is important to clarify some myths that exist about herpes to avoid stigmas and prejudices that can psychologically affect a person suffering from this disease:

  • Practicing oral sex with a person who has cold sores does make it possible and is risky
  • There is no chance a person will get genital herpes from a public toilet seat
  • The virus does not live in the blood and is only transmitted through skin-to-skin contact

What Are Herpes Long Term Effects?

An illustration of a young woman is taking a hot bath to help ease herpes long term effects
A Hot Bath

Herpes is an incurable disease, which means that once it is acquired, it remains in the person for life; however, there is the question of what are herpes long term effects? The answer is: it depends.

There are multiple treatments for this disease that help control and decrease symptoms and the time between recurrences. If herpes is cared for and treated, there will be no sequelae, and that the person can have a high-quality life. On the other hand, if herpes is not treated, there may be long-term lesions that affect the infected areas with more recurrent marks and infections, although it is known that over time recurrences tend to appear less frequently. There are some occasions when HSV can cause bladder problems, causing infections up to the urethra, and also cause inflammation of the rectum. Meningitis has also been associated with the herpes virus. There are herpes long-term effects associated with other disease viruses, and we must be aware that they can occur; this is why we must have constant check-ups and prevent them with treatments. Some home remedies can help you overcome recurrences and reduce the intensity of symptoms, among them are:

  • Saltwater baths
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching the affected area.
  • Hot baths in general.
  • Apply a specific cream to the urethra in case of dysuria.
  • Applying petroleum jelly to the area.
  • Avoid tight clothing 
  • You should not have sex until the symptoms have disappeared.
  • Intake of paracetamol or ibuprofen.


Symptoms of genital herpes vector illustration
Herpes Symptoms

Herpes is a virus of the nervous system and is found in our nerve ganglia. It remains there without manifesting itself, but when it leaves this place, symptoms appear in the infected area. Most people usually do not experience symptoms as soon as the disease is acquired, but they appear within months or years afterward. When the disease does manifest itself as soon as it is acquired, the person will notice it between 2 and 12 days after acquiring the disease.

This disease is divided into two stages; these are the primary infection and the recurrent infection. The difference is mainly symptomatic. It is also known that when a person acquires herpes, recurrences are very frequent at the beginning of the disease, but with time they tend to lengthen the periods of recurrence and become less severe.

Primary Infection

3D image of lymph node which can become swollen and tender due to herpes long term effects
Lymph Nodes

A person is in the primary infection when he/she becomes infected with HSV and has its first end of the disease. In this case, there may be severe symptoms, and more intense symptoms may be experienced. Among them are:

  • High fever
  • Red blisters or cold sores on the skin.
  • Dysuria
  • Pain and itching
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Blisters and ulcers on the external genitalia, vagina, or cervix
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
  • General malaise and tiredness

In most cases, the ulcers usually heal, and the individuals will not have lasting scars.

Recurrent Infection

A woman with cold sores on her lips, a recurring symptom and herpes long term effects
Cold Sores

After the primary infection, the symptoms go away. However, they can reappear frequently, and with time the recurrence decreases. Symptoms of recurrences are usually less severe and intense, and in most cases, they do not last more than ten days. Among them are:

  • The appearance of ulcers and blisters on the cervix
  • Red blisters
  • Cold sores
  • Burning or tingling sensation around the genitals, before the appearance of blisters
  • On some occasions, less frequent and severe recurrences may appear


Medical vector, contraceptive icon condom for safer sex
Safe |Sex

To reduce the risk of transmitting or developing genital herpes:

  1. Use protection (condoms) 
  2. Do not have sexual intercourse while the symptoms are present 
  3. Do not kiss when having cold sores
  4. It is recommended to not have more than one sexual partner.

Things such as stress, anguish, poor diet, and an unhealthy life can generate the appearance and manifestation of the virus since the immune system must be high at all times to avoid these recurrences.

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