Identifying the Symptoms of
infected with HSV often experience symptoms within days of
exposure to the virus, but it is possible to live with herpes for a long
period of time without being aware of having been
infected. Investigating the various types of herpes
symptoms, from mild to severe, and understanding
the hidden symptoms of asymptomatic shedding, goes a long way
in identifying and treating herpes. When identifying
herpes, other STD symptoms should also
be considered. Also common mistaken
symptoms can be insect bites, jock itch, yeast
infections, and ingrown hair follicles.
simplex virus type 2
(HSV-2) is commonly the cause of genital herpes. However, HSV-1 can
also cause genital herpes and incidents of HSV-1 genital
infection account for a significant portion of genital herpes
initial infection of herpes transmission
with HSV-1 or HSV-2, also known as Primary infection, gential
herpes symptoms can start within 2-15 days. During the first outbreak
the initial sign can be a tingling sensation in or
around the site of infection. The skin may
become irritated and red, and this is often followed
by blisters. The blisters can look
like small pimples and will rupture thereby forming an
ulcer which will then crust
symptoms in women, the lesions during a first episode can
occur on the lips of the vagina (the vulva), urethra, cervix,
upper thigh and around the anus. With symptoms in men, lesions
can occur on the penis, urethra, scrotum, upper thigh and
around the anus.
These lesions can be painful for a full week and can
take up to 2-3 weeks to heal completely. During primary
infection symptoms can include flu-like
symptoms along with fever, muscle
pain, tiredness, and swollen lymph
nodes around the groin.
these herpes signs and symptoms as soon as possible is
important and you should visit your physician
swab can be taken from the blister to confirm diagnosis or a
blood test may be performed to detect for HSV antibodies. Herpes
treatment can help to shorten the duration of the
the initial infection, the virus travels up the nerves to
establish residency in nerve bodies (ganglia) near the spine.
This is known as latency. Recurrent outbreaks are caused when
the virus periodically emerges from latency to cause another
outbreak. These recurrences tend to be less
severe than the primary infection outbreak.
onset of a recurrent episode can often be detected by a
tingling feeling in the skin known as
prodrome. These sensory feelings
often indicate that the virus is active and traveling through
the nerve ganglia to the skin infection site. It is during this time
that herpes medication such as antiviral therapy is most
effective in stalling out the virus to shorten or prevent the
outbreaks often occur in the same region or location of the
body. This is
because the virus is transported from the nerve ganglia along
the nerve paths to the skin, which limits where a recurrence
can take place (generally below the waist if the genital area
is infected). However, the symptoms do not always occur in
exactly the same place.
Once the blisters burst, small ulcerations or sores
remain and can be painful.
patients infected with genital herpes do not always display
the classic symptoms of herpes blisters as seen in herpes
experience symptoms that are very mild and can even
go by unsuspected by the primary physician. Having recurrent
symptoms in the same location of the genital region is a
strong indication that HSV infection may be the
with genital herpes often shed the virus even when no obvious
symptoms are present.
This is known as asymptomatic shedding and the virus is
active and can be spread to infect others during this
do not offer complete protection from transmitting the virus
as the virus may shed in an area that is not protected by a
skin such as dry cracked skin or small cuts from the use of a
razor allows the virus to more easily infect a person or
spread over the skin.
be spread during oral sex from the mouth to the genital
genital herpes caused by HSV-1 can be transmitted via
genital-to-genital contact just as HSV-2 can be
Of people who have a first episode of genital herpes,
as many as half of the cases are the result of HSV-1
experiencing genital herpes caused by HSV-1 may experience
less pronounced symptoms and may have fewer and less severe
recurrent genital herpes outbreaks.
simplex virus type 1
(HSV-1) is usually the cause of cold sores or herpes in and
around the mouth.
The virus is transmitted via direct skin to skin
which is most commonly associated with genital herpes
infections may also cause cold sores. Both symptoms in men
and women are similar.
infection with HSV-1, also known as Primary infection,
typically occurs during childhood. Primary infection
carries no symptoms in approximately 75% of individuals. When symptoms do
occur, they often include flu-like symptoms such as fever and
swollen lymph nodes.
Oral symptoms include blisters
or ulcers can appear in the mouth, gums, tongue and on the
blisters or ulcers can be painful but are often mild and can
last for up to 10 days.
Typically around day 5 the ulcers peak and then begin
to decrease. When
primary infection occurs during teenage years and older, the
symptoms can be more severe compared with primary infection
acquired during childhood.
infection will permanently remain latent in the body and when
active can cause recurrent cold sores. While the majority of
the global population is infected with HSV-1, only 20-40% will
develop cold sores.
Those that do experience cold sores may have 2-3
recurrent outbreaks per year. These recurrences tend
to be shorter in duration and symptoms less pronounced when
compared to primary infection. This is because the
body’s immune system has developed antibodies to defend
against the virus.
triggers that cause the herpes virus to activate and cause
recurrent outbreaks are still not fully understood. It is believed that
certain triggers include stress, sunlight or UV light, a
compromised immune system, and diets high in amino acid
herpes symptoms are recognized it is important to complete genital
herpes testing with your physician to make a
conclusive herpes diagnosis . While there is no
herpes cure, there are treatments available to manage the
of this site's content or referral resources constitutes any
form of medical advice or diagnosis. All patients are
encouraged to seek medical advice from their own