Signs And Symptoms Of Herpes

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Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause cold sores and blisters on or around your genitals or mouth. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) while most incidents of herpes labialis, also called cold sores or fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Even though many people know it when they have genital herpes, a majority do not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of every five people in the United States has genital herpes, but only 90% are aware that they carry the virus. This is because most people with herpes have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or are mistaken for something like else, like pimples, ingrown hair, or the flu.
While the most common signs of herpes are sores on the genitals or lips, some people have no symptoms at all. Herpes symptoms come and go, but once you have been infected with the herpes simplex virus, it stays in your body for life. However, though there is no cure, the infection can be managed.
Keep on reading to find out the symptoms of herpes that may go unrecognized and help prevent the spread of the disease.

The First Outbreak

It’s possible for you not to experience any symptoms when you first get the herpes simplex virus, but it’s a herpes outbreak that will cause the signs and symptoms. The first outbreak, also called the first episode, initial herpes, or primary herpes, usually occurs within two weeks after you get infected with the virus, although in some cases, it takes years before the first outbreak happens, and some people carrying the virus might never get outbreaks out all.
The first herpes outbreak is usually an itchy or painful inflammation on the skin which shows up as painful sores and blisters that may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms like a fever and swollen lymph nodes. The initial outbreak may last two to four weeks, and during this time, you may experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including sores that break open, release fluid, and become crusted before they eventually heal without leaving any scars.
The virus becomes dormant following your first episode, but it can be triggered again. While it is common to get repeat outbreaks, particularly in the first year you get infected, the primary outbreak is usually the most severe, and repeat outbreaks are often shorter and less painful.