Herpes Simplex - Introduction

Introduction Causes Symptoms Treatments

Herpes simplex is an infection of the skin with the herpes simplex virus. This can be caught from another person after direct skin-to-skin contact, mouth contact, or sexual contact. The first time the virus is caught, it does not always show up on the skin, but can lie dormant within special parts of the sensory nerves (the sensory nerve ganglia). Later in life, the virus can become active again and appear as herpes simplex on the skin. The commonest areas to be affected by herpes simplex are the lips (as cold sores) and the genital area (as genital herpes).
  • Herpes simplex is not hereditary.