Men`s Health

Herpes on Penis: Common Infection and Its Uncommon Treatment

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There’s nothing to hide: herpes on penis is one of the commonest sexually transmitted infections that affects thousands of males worldwide. Its main signs affect the male’s organ, but when left untreated they may have a negative impact on other body organs and parts. The condition is long-term and is referred as chronic. The virus that causes it remains in the body and becomes active pretty often. In the first two years it reoccurs up to five times, yet later it becomes less active. Herpes can be treated, but it is never cured. Still it doesn’t mean you are to refuse from effective recommendations and professional suggestions.

What Can Become the Cause of Herpes on Penis?

This viral infection is triggered by herpes simplex virus. There are two different kinds of this virus:

  • HSV-1;
  • HSV-2.

Herpes on PenisThey both can become the triggers, yet HSV-2 is responsible for most cases of herpes on the penis. HSV-1 can lead to cold sores around the mouth, but it can also trigger genital herpes: when a woman with cold sores has oral sex with a male, he gets genital herpes. HSV-2 can cause both cold sores and genital herpes.

This is a sexually transmitted disease, which means that it is spread from one person to other during sexual intercourse, whether it is oral, anal or vaginal. One may get infected with the condition if his skin or penis comes into contact with a person, who has this infection.

The infection spreads by direct mucous membrane or skin-to-skin contacts. The virus is present in the secretion of genitals and mouth. The infection is likely to be contacted if a person has blisters, rash and sores. But even people with no obvious symptoms, may transmit the disease. Anal and vaginal intercourses are the most usual ways to get the disease. Getting it through oral sex is possible, too.

A male cannot get the HSV infection if he sits on contaminated toilet seat, by swimming pools or hot tubs as well as other non-intimate contacts. The condition of herpes on penis is rarely spread from one part of the body to another, so it’s better not to touch the sores. Make sure you wash your hands with soap, if you touch the sores.

There are also so-called recurrence triggers. As for now it is not clear why herpes is re-activated. Yet, most scientists agree on several triggers that may be responsible. Friction on the genital area during intercourse may lead to recurrence. Lubricants can help and they are available without prescriptions. Some of the other causes are:

  • Stress;
  • Being unwell;
  • Surgery on the genital area;
  • Drinking alcohol in excess amounts;
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light;
  • Having a weakened immune system;
  • Being after chemotherapy.

Anyway, you must be very careful, as herpes on the penis head is the condition that cannot be cured for good, no matter what meds are used and how much effort is applied.

Signs and Symptoms of Herpes on Penis

There are two separate cases to be discussed. If it is your first episode, the symptoms will differ from the ones in repeated cases.

  • The 1st Episode

It includes classic symptoms that are usually associated with this condition:

  1. Ulcers;
  2. Vesicles;
  3. Sores;
  4. Blister on penis.

These classic lesions on the penis look like small pimples that crust over that scab as if they are small cuts. They normally seem to occur from nowhere and last for up to 4 weeks.

When the first episode takes its place, it can lead to a more serious condition. Initially the symptoms are pretty mild, yet they turn into severe and serious ones, when they are ignored.  Sometimes the lesions are so mild that they are mistaken for abrasions or insect bites, jock itch or yeast infection. Most signs are unrecognized and are paid attention to only when they proceed to buttocks and thighs.

  • Recurrent Episodes

We’ve mentioned that the first episodes of herpes on penis are mild. But when they are recurrent, they all increase in severity. In most cases the initial cases are accompanied with the classic blister-like herpes lesions that soon crust over and become really painful. But in recurrent cases the process takes half of the time it does during the first episode. Besides, males have pretty subtle forms of herpes that heal up within days. Sometimes no visible lesions are noticed in recurrent episodes.

After the first episodes some lesions resemble:

  1. Razor burn;
  2. Red spots;
  3. Pimples;
  4. Hemorrhoids;
  5. Ingrown hair;
  6. Insect bites.

When there’s the condition of penis with herpes, it leads to the infection spreading to buttocks and thighs. It can be similar to what it feels when there’s fissure around the anus and this is why it is often mistaken for hemorrhoids. Recurring symptoms and signs in the anal area can be herpes too.

How to Treat Herpes on Penis?

There are effective treatment options for herpes on penis head. Usually a healthcare provider prescribes various medications that help quicken the healing process and make the signs and symptoms less obvious or painful. Though the medications are effective, they are useless in killing the virus itself. They can lower risks of outbreaks, yet they don’t prevent them for good. A correct treatment approach makes outbreaks fewer and less severe.  Unfortunately, herpes cannot be cured.

If you want to relieve your symptoms, ask a doctor to prescribe anti-herpes medications that make the sores heal much faster. When the outbreaks become very frequent, a doctor will suggest meds that lessen the number of recurring episodes and severity of symptoms.

There are several things to be done to relieve pain and discomfort:

  • Drink more water;
  • Keep sores dry and clean;
  • Take cool or warm baths;
  • Don’t douche;
  • Wash hands with water and soap;
  • Wear loose cotton underwear;
  • Choose clothes that don’t rub the area;
  • Rest more than you usually do;
  • Don’t touch and rub your eyes;
  • When urination becomes very painful, urinate sitting backwards on the toilet and the urine will not touch the lesions. You can also urinate in a warm bath;
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to cope with fever and pain.

Be sure that before the outbreaks appear again, you will notice some warning signs including itching and burning, tingling, etc. They will start several hours before the outbreak.

Soma males use the extract of echinacea plant to help boost the immune system and fight the genital herpes infection. Of course, it doesn’t cure the condition, yet still it is highly helpful in elimination of the severity and frequency of the outbreaks.

There was the study conducted concerning the benefits of a propolis-containing ointment. This is a waxy substance made by honeybees. It is proven to be effective in healing genital herpes sores. In most males the sores heal faster, when these ointments are used.

You can also try to take over the counter medications to relieve the pain. The most popular of them are ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. Sometimes doctors suggest soaking the affected area in warm water, yet most of the time the area should be kept dry.

What are the complications of herpes on the penis? In some cases blisters on penis are infected by some other bacteria. In case it happens, it makes the skin infection start spreading to other body parts (fingers, lips, hands, etc). The virus rarely spreads to eyes, lungs, liver or brain, yet it’s also possible. Men with a weakened immune system are at risks of such complications more than others.

How to Prevent Herpes on Penis?

The first and foremost advice is to avoid having sex (oral, vaginal or anal) until ulcers and blisters around the penile area clear up completely. If you have the first symptoms of the conditions, prevent having sex as at this very moment the issue is very contagious, even from a single itch or tingle.

Make a habit of using condoms. Whatever sexual intercourse you are having, use a condom. Even if all the symptoms are gone, it is essential to use it whenever there’s a chance for sex with a new partner. It is true that using a condom will help prevent the spreading of genital herpes, but it is important to remember that it only covers the penis. What if the virus is present around the anus? Then it still can be passed on during sexual intercourse. The virus will survive through the nerves of one’s skin and will be present inside even if there are no visible signs.

Always test your partner. Even today for most males this idea sounds to be strange. But if you choose the right partner, she won’t deny to be tested. Visit a genitourinary medicine clinic to be tested for the condition.

Once you’ve got herpes on penis, you’ll have to be careful and attentive during your whole life. Yet it doesn’t mean you have to refuse from sex and normal life. Besides, who knows, maybe in a few years they’ll find the solution.