First things first, the symptoms of the herpes virus may vary quite a bit from one infected person to another. There also seem to be a number of factors that affect the symptoms you experience while being infected with herpes.
Usually, one of the most important factors turns out to be whether it’s your first outbreak or a recurrent one. The first outbreak is usually the worst, while the ones that follow are considerably less severe. However, it’s also to be noted that most people with herpes do not experience any symptoms at all. Hence, it’s believed that about 10 – 25% of people infected with the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) aren’t even aware of it.
Also, in many cases, the symptoms are very mild, and can easily be mistaken for another health condition. However, the fact is still that even in the absence of symptoms or while experiencing only mild symptoms, people infected with herpes may still end up transmitting the virus to others around them.
Symptoms While Dealing with Genital Herpes
For patients who do experience symptoms, the first outbreak is usually in around 1 – 2 weeks of getting exposed to the virus. It first starts with just a tingling sensation in or around the genital area, which quickly develops into small red bumps and further into blisters. More blisters appear over the next 2 – 3 weeks, eventually bursting out into painful open sores.
The lesions dry out soon though, without leaving any scars. However, if the lesions have developed in moist areas, it may take longer to heal. Also, while even the lesions may feel itchy, the feeling will get milder as they heal.
There are also some other considerably common symptoms of herpes, including flu-like discomfort, fever, swollen glands, headache, muscle aches and more. Some patients also experience difficulty in urinating, while some women with herpes experience vaginal discharge.
As mentioned earlier, the recurrent outbreaks are usually considerably milder than the initial outbreak. The duration, too, is significantly shorter, lasting just around 3 days compared to around 3 weeks the initial outbreak may last for. Similarly, the symptoms are less severe as well, with many women just having minor itching, and men having even milder symptoms. This may, however, not turn out to be the case for everyone though.
Also, as far as the average is concerned when it comes to recurrent outbreaks, it seems to be around four outbreaks a year. However, it varies quite a bit from one infected person to another.
Similarly, it’s also believed that the recurrent outbreaks, too, get considerably less frequent with time. However, it also depends on which one of the two common herpes viruses has caused the infection. Generally, the HSV-2 is known for causing more recurrent outbreaks than the HSV-1.
Symptoms While Dealing with Oral Herpes
Oral herpes, sometimes also known as herpes labialis, is usually caused by HSV-1, though even HSV-2 is responsible in some cases. When infected with oral herpes, the symptoms appear on the lips as well as the mucous membranes in the mouth. They may also develop on the cheeks or even in the nose, but it’s not very common.
The symptoms may be very painful during the initial stage, especially when it comes to children. Here’s a little overview of how the process may turn out to be.
- While the blisters usually tend to develop on the lips, they may also end up erupting on the tongue
- Similarly, the blisters may even burst out into open sores, which can be very painful, and take as much as 3 – 14 days to heal
- The patient may also experience increased saliva and foul breath
- Some of the uncommon symptoms also include muscle pain, chills, difficulty in swallowing and even hearing loss to a certain extent
While children tend to experience the symptoms in the mouth, in adolescents, they usually develop in the upper part of their throat, resulting in a sore throat.
First things first, most people with oral herpes who deal with recurrent symptoms usually only have a couple of outbreaks a year. In some people, however, they may be more frequent. People infected with HSV-2 tend to have lesser recurrent symptoms than the ones infected with HSV-1.
Another important thing to note here is that the recurrent symptoms may usually be considerably milder than the initial ones, and are referred to as fever blisters or cold sores.
Usually, the cold sores appear on the edge of the patient’s lips, and in some rare cases, also end up affecting the throat or gums. They can also actually be mistaken for another different type of lesions that have nothing to do with herpes.
The Recurrence Course of the Virus
Most people with herpes have to deal with recurrent outbreaks. The frequency (and also the severity) of the outbreaks may depend on the infected area as well as the type of herpes virus you’re dealing with.
The following is a detailed overview of the recurrent course the herpes virus tends to take:
Prodrome: Before the outbreak occurs, you’re likely to go through the prodrome stage. You would experience some of the symptoms such as a tingling feeling or itching, or even pain in the infected area. Similarly, while not as common, you may also come across other symptoms such as the ones common while dealing with flu, as well as headache and enlargement of lymph glands. As far as the duration is concerned, this stage may last for just a couple of hours to a couple of days.
Outbreak: When it comes to recurrent outbreaks, you may end up dealing with pretty much the same symptoms at the same infected area as you did during the initial one, but they tend to be considerably milder and heal more quickly. To be a little specific, they may go away in 3 – 10 days. Similarly, there’s also a possibility that the symptoms may even turn out to be much different from what you experienced during your primary outbreak, which may seem like just general inflammation or even as skin fissures.
Treatment: Doctors are still working researching to find 100% cure for this virus, But Dr christine Buehler claiming she has found the cure for HSV-1 and HSV-2 and she revealed it in her HSV eraser E-book.