herpes simplex virus (HSV) invades a part of the body
other than the genital area, it may cause disease in that part of the body.
In general, complications are rare. And they usually occur with the first-time
genital herpes outbreak. Some of these complications
Meningitis, an infection of the fluid
(cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF) and tissues (meninges) that surround the brain
and spinal cord.
Encephalitis, an inflammation of the
brain. This is usually the result of a viral infection.
of the lower spinal cord and surrounding nerves. This may result in an
inability to urinate, loss of feeling and muscle strength in
the legs, and constipation.
Other areas of the body that can be infected with the herpes virus
The lips (herpes labialis). These outbreaks are often called cold sores or fever blisters. They are usually mild but may be treated
with antiviral medicines if they become severe or more
The hands and fingers (herpetic whitlow). Plastic or
rubber gloves prevent its spread.
The anus (herpes proctitis).
Herpes proctitis is often more severe than other types of genital
The eyes (herpes keratitis). Herpes can be transmitted from
the mouth or genitals to the eyes. This can cause blindness if it is not
treated early. If your eye is very irritated or if you feel pain in your eye,
see your doctor as soon as possible.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerJeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH - Infectious Disease Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Kevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology