Symptoms of Herpes Simplex

The symptoms of herpes infection may vary. Some individuals experience few symptoms during outbreaks. These symptoms may begin between 2 to 20 days after exposure to the virus and they may persist for several weeks. The first outbreak of herpes is usually worse than subsequent outbreaks.  

Oral Herpes

The symptoms of oral herpes are as follows:

  • Itching or tingling
  • Painful, fluid filled blisters usually around the mouth
  • Redness
  • Formation of blisters
  • Oozing and rupture of the blisters
  • Formation of a yellowish crust
The crusts fall off in time and reveal pinkish skin which heals without scarring. Cold sores symptoms usually last for 10 to 14 days. They tend to occur around the lips, nostrils and chin. They may also develop inside the mouth in some cases. Cold sores usually disappear without treatment. However it is advisable to consult a doctor in case you have a weak immune system or the symptoms are severe. Cold sores that occur too frequently may also require treatment.

If you have cold sores, avoid close contact with babies, those who have eczema or those with a weak immune system. These groups of individuals are more vulnerable to infection.

Genital Herpes

The symptoms of genital herpes may appear 3 to 7 days after sexual relations with an infected individual. The infection leads to blisters on the genitals. The blisters then break and form ulcers. In many cases they may be painless or mildly tender. But in other cases, the blisters may trigger severe pain. In men, the infection affects the penis or the surrounding areas while in women, they are usually visible outside the vagina. They may also form inside the vagina and lead to pain and discharge. Genital herpes may also result in blisters around the anus. The first outbreak of genital herpes usually leads to the following symptoms:

In later outbreaks, the symptoms tend to be less severe. Those with recurring genital herpes often experience a tingling sensation in the affected area before the blisters form. The condition is highly contagious even at this time. 
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