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Herpes is a contagious viral disease that results in sores in the affected area, usually the genitals or the lips. The disease is contracted through direct contact with an infected person, although a person may be contagious even if they are not showing the sores typical of the disease. Oral sores are quite common and apart from the discomfort, usually harmless. Genital sores are somewhat more serious. Although there is no risk of serious health complications, persons with genital herpes are at higher risk of cancers that affect the reproductive system (such as cervical cancer) and secondary infections, such as STDs and AIDS while they are suffering from an outbreak.

Herpes is incurable, but there are treatments to prevent outbreaks. These keep the virus in a state of latency, where it is neither contagious nor symptomatic. Herpes is very contagious when an outbreak occurs, and persons who come in direct contact with a person suffering from an outbreak are almost certain to become infected themselves. However, the virus does not persist in the environment for long, and it is impossible to get it from items that have been in contacted with an infected person.

Outbreaks are usually treated with anti-inflammatory creams that reduce the irritation caused by the sores. For mild outbreaks, application of a lubricant such as petroleum jelly will often alleviate the worst of the symptoms.

Pictures of Herpes labialis :[]

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Herpes labialis, also known as cold sores, is a type of infection by the herpes simplex virus that affects primarily the lip.

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Cold sores are caused by a contagious virus called herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of HSV.

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can cause sores on your genital or rectal area, buttocks, and thighs.

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Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus -- the same virus that causes chickenpox. Post being once infected by chickenpox, the virus tends to stay in the body. It may not cause problems for many years. As one gets older, the virus may reappear as shingles.