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Medical Dermatology

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Herpes

Genital herpes infection is acquired through sexual contact. Infections may range from completely asymptomatic to mild with local irritation, to severe with multiple ulcerations. Tingling and burning may occur before the lesions become visible. A patient may complain of pain radiating to the back, hips or thighs. Herpetic lesions look like small blisters, scabs and/or ulcerations and can be painful. One can experience headache, generalized aching, fever and even burning upon urination. These symptoms occur more frequently with initial infection. Recurrent infections is often more distressing to the patient because of the annoyance, shame, and frustration associated with herpes infection. There are antiviral medications which suppress recurrent genital herpes infections and treat acute infections. Many antiviral drugs decrease viral shedding and shorten the healing time. Patients who are immunosuppressed can have atypical herpes virus infections and need higher doses of antiviral medication.