About 100 different types of herpes exist, but only eight are known to infect humans. These herpes viruses can lead to cold sores, genital warts, shingles, and even cancerous lesions on your skin.
If you’re having herpes-related skin problems, the team at Z-Roc Dermatology, led by Drs. Matthew Zarraga and Khongruk Wongkittiroch, wants you to know that we can help.
Herpes simplex viruses
There are two types of herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) that can affect your skin:
This herpes virus leads to oral herpes and the development if cold sores around your lips and inside your mouth.
This strain of the herpes virus causes genital herpes, transmitted through sexual contact. When you have an outbreak, you may develop a rash around your genitals.
With these types of herpes, your treatment plan should include medications and topical ointments that can help relieve the sores and rashes.
If you had chickenpox as a child, you might be at risk for developing herpes zoster when you’re older — 10%-20% of people who had chickenpox will develop it. Also called shingles, this condition affects your nerves but also shows up as a rash on your skin.
To treat herpes zoster, which can be very painful, we provide you with antiviral medication and topical ointments that can help relieve the discomfort in your skin.
HIV-related herpetic issues
If you have a weakened immune system due to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you’re more susceptible to viruses, in general. As dermatologists, our concern is viruses that affect your skin, which is why we offer specialized HIV dermatology.
First, people with HIV are more prone to problems with the herpes viruses we mentioned above — oral and genital herpes and shingles.
Our other concern is Kaposi sarcoma, cancer that stems from blood and lymph cells and is associated with HIV/AIDS.
Kaposi sarcoma typically first reveals itself as tumors on your skin (or in your mouth), which are usually red, brown, or blue in color. These lesions usually form on your face or on your legs.
As with any cancer, we must excise the cancerous cells as quickly as possible. For Kaposi sarcoma lesions, we can turn to Mohs surgery, a specialized technique in which we methodically clear away the cancerous lesion and its margins while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.
No matter the type or cause of your herpes-related skin issues, we want you to know that we’re here to help and have treatment options. To learn more, simply contact our office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to set up a consultation.