- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Signs and Stages of Herpes
Herpes is viral infection caused by either of two types of viruses, herpes simplex virus type 1 or herpes simplex virus type 2. The signs and symptoms of the viral infection are seen on the face and genital areas. Oral herpes is the most common form of herpes and is caused by HSV-1 and its most common symptoms are fever blisters or cold sores. It may show up on the face, inside the mouth or lips. Herpes in the genitals is caused by HSV-2 and is characterized by pimple or wart like blisters on the area surrounding the genitals. It is important to learn the stages of herpes to prevent infection and spreading.
The herpes virus can be spread easily through contact with the person that has been infected. The virus can enter the body in several ways.
It can be through wounds, skin on the mouth, cervix, opening in the urinary tract, anus, vagina or penis. Viruses are highly contagious during its active phase wherein the symptoms are present, like blisters and sores. Any form of sex, even oral, can transmit herpes to another person. Herpes can be spread to any body parts. A mother can also transmit the virus to the baby upon giving birth.
There are three major stages of herpes regardless of where the virus is located on the body. These are the primary, latent and shedding stages. The primary stages of herpes appear up to 8 days after the first day that the virus was acquired. The visible signs are groups of tiny and painful sores or blisters. The color of the fluid inside the blister is from clear to cloudy and the area surrounding the blisters is red.
Sometimes blisters are hardly noticed as they look like pimples, then break easily and eventually form into blisters. Blisters or sores in the genital parts may cause pain when urinating and you may even get a fever. There are some that experience tremendous pain with the symptoms of herpes, but some people do not.
Some people are not even aware that they have herpes until there is a breakout on the body. The latent stages of herpes are when there are no more visible signs and no other symptoms are felt. The virus at this stage is busy as it travels to the nerves near the spinal column. It is searching for a place where it can hide.
The last stage, which the virus is shedding, is when it is already starting to mutate in its hiding place in the nerves. The virus multiplies and gets into the fluids of the body like semen, vaginal fluids and saliva. There are still no signs and symptoms present in this stage, but the virus is highly transmittable.
Almost seventy percent of herpes infected persons have subsequent attacks regardless of the the stages of herpes. The blisters and sores on the recurrence of herpes are not as painful as the first time they appear. Though there is not much pain in the next instances, the virus is still as highly likely to spread as the first time.
The recurrence of herpes often happens when the body's immune system is low. That is why you need to do whatever you can to make sure you remain as healthy as possible. A balanced diet and exercise can work wonders. Also, stay away from people that stress you out. You will be much calmer.
Stages of Genital Herpes
Menstruation and too much exposure to heat can also trigger an attack. The most common signs of genital herpes when it is about to recur are itchiness and a burning pain sensation on the same area of the first infection site. Once the early stages of herpes are seen, immediately consult a physician. Herpes are easy to diagnose in its early stage where the sores and blisters are still starting to appear on the skin. If this happens, the treatment can be started sooner which might lessen the pain and discomfort caused by the viral infection. Though herpes is not fatal, this medical condition is not curable.
Even when the signs are not visible, that means that the virus is just hiding in the nerves and is waiting for is triggering factors to attack again. The genital herpes symptoms in women are the same as genital herpes symptoms in men. A pimple like mark will appear on the skin and then it will bloom into a blister. The blister may puff up and get larger for the next week or so. Then the blister will form a scab and the scab will eventually go away and so will the tingling or pain that accompanies it. There are many topical treatments, vitamins and drugs that can be taken to get rid herpes. There are some treatments that work well for some people and not so well for others. The trick is to know what the stages of herpes are and to find out what will work the best for you if an outbreak occurs.