The symptoms of genital herpes differ greatly from person to person, with many people
experiencing no noticeable symptoms(asymptomatic) .
Genital Herpes Symptoms:
* The first outbreak and other herpes symptoms* Recurrences* What delivers on or "triggers" an
outbreak and recurrence?
* Prodrome(warning symptoms)
* Cycle of a typical outbreak or recurrence* Routine Check- ups* Mistaken symptoms
The first outbreak. . .Largest STD Dating Service - free STD ads, h. message boards, international search and instant
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* signs of herpes symptoms normally develop within 2 to 20 days after contact* may continue up to 2 weeks* may
be so mild it goes unnoticed* might take longer or be less severe in some people, especially in those with partial
immunity to the virus from having facial herpes, e. g. cold sores.
* inside the first attack sometimes causes visible sores* continue between 10- 21 days
The first episode is the most severe as most people have not been exposed to the virus before and antibodies
will not have been produced to trigger the immune response.
If the herpes virus gets into skin cells it reproduces itself and starts to multiply, making the skin red and
sensitive. Blisters or bumps may appear on the genital area, the blisters first opening, then healing with the
regeneration of new skin tissue.
The infected area:
* is usually painful and may itch, burn or tingle, throughout the outbreak.
Other Herpes symptoms include:
* swollen lymph glands* painful inflamed blisters develop around infected area* headache* muscle ache* fever*
vaginal or penis discharge* infection with the urethra causing a burning sensation for the duration of urination* a
burning sensation in the genitals* lower low back pain* small red bumps may appear in the genital area following
earlier symptoms, later developing into painful blisters, which crust over, form a scab, and heal.
No Herpes Symptoms:
Around 60% of people who have genital HSV show no signs of the disease and are unaware that they are infected,
but are capable of transmitting the virus to others(asymptomatic viral shedding) .
Next recurrences with the virus may cause an outbreak of blisters.
* may be usually shorter and less severe than the initial episode* might decrease in both severity and frequency
over time* are usually preceded by warning symptoms(also known as prodromal symptoms)
Afterward the lesions have healed, and the symptoms of recurrence have ended, pain and discomfort in the genital
area is still sometimes felt(post- herpetic neuralgia) .
Non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs are used to treat this condition. Some people find these drugs effective
for the discomfort of the prodrome, and for the duration of the outbreak.
How common are recurrences?
* 80% of individuals having a first episode caused by HSV- 2 will have at least one recurrence* 50% of
individuals with HSV- 1 will experience a recurrence* The most common scenario is occasional recurrences(about 4
attacks per year)
* Generally, your first year has the most viral activity
Any recurrence takes place when the virus replicates in the nerve ganglia and particles of virus travel along
the nerve to the site of primary infection in the skin or mucous membranes(inner, moist lining of the mouth, vagina
You will find very subtle forms of recurring herpes symptoms found on the penis, vulva, anus, thigh and buttocks
or anywhere in or around the genital area that heal very quickly(within a matter of days) .
Signs of Recurrent Outbreaks:
* Breaks or irregularities inside the skin, like a cut, red bump or rash* Small sores or blisters that form a
crust may occur anywhere in the region between the legs- - thigh, buttocks, anus, or pubis* Healing occurs in half
the time as the first outbreak.
What brings on or "triggers" an outbreak of vaginal herpes or recurrence?
Although it is not known exactly why the virus reactivates at various times, both physical and/or psychological
factors can bring on an outbreak.
Physical factors differ from person to person, but may be caused from:
* staying run- down* suffering from other genital infections(affecting the local skin area)
* menstruation* drinking a lot of alcohol* exposure of the area to strong sunlight* illnesses that compromise a
person's immune system(where the body's immune system is not functioning normally)
* prolonged periods of anxiety* ultraviolet light* friction or damage for the skin, caused by, for example, sexual
intercourse, may also lead to a recurrence* surgical trauma* anything that lowers your immune system or causes
local injury can trigger recurrences.
* periods of prolonged stress causes more frequent recurrences* it is also common to experience stress and
anxiety as a result of having recurrences.
A warning signal (prodrome) is experienced by many people in recurring outbreaks. Warning symptoms, which
indicate the virus is becoming active, and is on its way to the skin's surface, may consist of:
* itching* tingling* numbness* burning* standard fatigue* flu- like symptoms* fever* swelling of the lymph nodes
in the area of outbreak* headache* painful urination* pain inside buttocks, back of legs, lower back
Cycle of a conventional outbreak or recurrence
The symptoms of an active herpes outbreak or recurrence may occur in the following phases.
Symptomatic Course with the Disease:
Swelling, tenderness, and/or redness that may appear before the actual outbreak, and may include itching, and
sensitivity. The inflammation may never progress to blisters.
One or several small fluid filled lesions, tiny red bumps, or rash may form and can resemble small fissures,
especially near the anus.
When the skin breaks on the blisters, small, round, wet looking, ulcers leaking clear to milky colored fluid can
be seen* Crust
Your sores begin to dry, scab, and crust over beginning the healing process. The virus may possibly still be
present until the ulcer has completely healed, and the scab falls off.
NOTE: the sores fail to always crust before healing.
Fresh skin is formed and may look slightly red, or silver. Viral replication is complete, the virus has left the
skin's surface, and the skin is now safe to touch. Healing of the skin does not ordinarily leave scarring. The
virus then retreats into the nerves and lies dormant.
Routine Check- ups
A check up for signs of herpes is crucial because:
* lesions may be overlooked* lesions may be invisible to the human eye
Herpes outbreaks might be mistaken for:
* insect bites* jock itch* abrasions* razor burn* yeast infections* hemorrhoids* ingrown hair follicles
You will find lots of ailments and STDs which are often confused along with herpes symptoms. Should any of these
herpes symptoms occur, consult your physician or other healthcare provider right away. Genital herpes should be
diagnosed as well as treated professionally.
Dating With Herpes