Learn what you need to know about treating these common infections.
  • Vaginal infection
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infections
  • Staph infections
 

 
 

 

Herpes Symptoms


Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) (oral herpes)
The first symptoms usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after contact with an infected person. The lesions of oral herpes, also known as cold sores or fever blisters, usually last for 7 to 10 days, and then begin to resolve.
Warning symptoms of itching, burning, increased sensitivity, or tingling sensation may occur about 2 days before lesions appear.

Symptoms of an outbreak include:

  • Skin lesions or rash around the lips, mouth, and gums
  • Small blisters filled with clear yellowish fluid
  • Blisters on a raised, red, painful skin area
  • Blisters that form, break, and ooze
  • Yellow crusts that slough to reveal pink, healing skin
  • Yellow crusts that slough to reveal pink, healing skin
  • Mild fever may occur

Recurrence is usually mild, and may be triggered by menstruation, sun exposure, illness with fever, stress, or other unknown causes.

Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) (genital herpes)
Within a few weeks of exposure to an infected partner, initial symptoms of genital herpes can include generalized symptoms such as:
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Decreased appetite
Localized symptoms may also appear such as:
  • Small red bumps that may rupture and scab around the genital area, buttocks, or inner thighs

When the infection reactivates, prior to the appearance of blisters, increased skin sensitivity, tingling, burning, itching, or pain at the site where the blisters will appear may occur. The skin may then erupt with multiple small blisters filled with clear, straw-colored fluid. The blisters then break, resulting in shallow ulcers that are very painful. These ulcers eventually crust over and slowly heal over a period of 7 to 14 days.

The infection may reactivate at any time, at which point the individual once again develops painful blistering over the genitals, anus, inner thigh, or mouth. A variety of events may trigger the virus to become active, including mechanical irritation, stress, menstruation, and fatigue.

Recurrent attacks can occur as seldom as once per year, or so frequently that the symptoms seem continuous. Recurrent infections in men are generally milder and of shorter duration than those experienced by women.

Many people have herpes symptoms that are so mild that they may be mistaken for:

  • Insect bites
  • Abrasions
  • Yeast infection
  • Jock itch
  • And other conditions.
It is best to seek the opinion of a health care provider to be tested if a break or irregularity of the skin is present. This can easily be swabbed for a culture test or for other tests.