The signs and symptoms of herpes can vary widely from full blown outbreaks to no symptoms as all. It is very important to educate yourself about genital herpes symptoms as it is a sexually transmitted disease and now infects 25% of the U.S. population.
Approximately 90% of those infected are unaware because they either don’t have genital herpes symptoms or they are so minimal they do not associate the symptoms with the virus. The fact that you are here reading this is an important step because the more you know about the signs and symptoms of herpes the more prepared you are in recognizing the disease.
The early symptoms of herpes include a burning, tingling or itching sensation in the genital area which is best described as feeling raw or a pain similar to a rug burn or a sunburn type sensation. This symptom can sometimes be mistaken for a yeast infection in women. Pain or burning around the buttocks along with flu-like symptoms which include a fever and headache, and depression or irritability are also symptoms of herpes.
Other genial herpes symptoms can include painful urination, vaginal discharge and muscle aches. Lymph nodes, specifically those located near the genial area, may become swollen and tender. These early genital herpes symptoms indicate that the body is fighting an infection and is a warning that an outbreak is about to happen.
After a few days, the most common genital herpes symptom of small blister like sores will begin to appear in the genital area. They first appear to be small red bumps which can often be mistaken for other skin diseases, rashes or insect bites by those who are unaware that they have been exposed. These small bumps will then develop into blisters that mature to painful open lesions. Typically the signs and symptoms of herpes will last anywhere from 2-10 days.
A very common question asked is what does herpes looks like but when looking on the internet for pictures it seems that all you see are the worst case scenarios. Don’t let those pictures scare you, most cases do not look that way. Here are some pictures of genital herpes that will give you an idea of what the lesions look like. If you feel that you may be having any signs and symptoms of herpes, please do not try to diagnose yourself but seek the advice of a physician.