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Herpes Green icon of lips with herpes outbreak

Herpes simplex viruses (HSV), categorized into HSV-1 and HSV-2, are DNA viruses responsible for herpes infections. According to Mount Sinai Medical Center, HSV-1 predominantly causes oral herpes, including cold sores, but can also result in genital herpes. Conversely, HSV-2 is primarily associated with genital herpes but can cause oral herpes as well (Whitley et al., 1998, Clinical Microbiology Reviews). Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that often goes undiagnosed due to a lack of noticeable symptoms (Fleming et al., 1997, Sexually Transmitted Infections).

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) context, genital herpes is considered a damp-heat syndrome influenced by factors like wind, dampness, and heat, alongside liver fire and kidney deficiency (Zhu, 1995, Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine). TCM posits that the onset stage is dampness and heat-dominant, while recurrent episodes, causing heat injury to body fluids, lead to Yin deficiency during the remission stage. Western and TCM perspectives offer unique insights into the etiology and management of herpes infections.

Image of woman looking into circular mirror examining her cold sore on lip.