Herpes symptoms are fairly easy to recognize when people know what they’re looking for. There is some difference in expression of symptoms depending on type of herpes, or where the herpes infected the skin. People with genital herpes can get herpes symptoms on the face, or those with oral herpes may get herpes blisters on the genitals. With this in mind, it’s simply important to determine how herpes looks and feels when it appears on the face or the genitals.
Oral symptoms may begin, especially the first time with flulike symptoms that could include a mild fever, achiness, and swelling of some of the lymph nodes. These symptoms don’t always repeat in subsequent expressions of the illness. Most often people might note a tingling or itching sensation usually in one specific area around the mouth or under the nose. In a few days, a red bump develops which can get covered with tiny blisters; these ultimately break or weep, and then crust over. The sore may feel painful or uncomfortable until the scabbing has healed.
Genital herpes symptoms may be slightly different, but they also may begin with fever, achiness and swollen lymph nodes, especially in the groin, and particularly during a first herpes outbreak. Any part of the genitals could be affected, and the herpes could occur inside or outside of the vagina, the anus, on the testicles, the buttocks, or on the penis. Sometimes infections occur in the groin or thigh area and are misdiagnosed as jock itch.
Like herpes on the face, herpes on the genitals usually start with the tingling sensation where the infection will break out. Those who have this condition and know it are strongly advised to pay attention to this symptom. It heralds an outbreak and means most people are contagious during this time.
After the tingling sensation passes, people might notice a clustering of blisters, which will ultimately weep, break, and scab over. The first few outbreaks a person gets may cause very painful blistering, and as people have the condition for longer, outbreaks may be less painful, though they’ll still be noticeable. The number of outbreaks is unpredictable. Some people have them frequently and others have very few.
One of the most important herpes symptoms that bears mention is that of contagiousness. At all times that lesions are present, people should avoid skin-to-skin contact with others. There is growing evidence that people who have this condition may be contagious at all times. Medications like Zovirax® can help lessen frequency of outbreaks and may help in preventing spread of the disease at all times.