What are the symptoms of HSV-1?
HSV-1 first causes a blister on the lips, around the mouth or inside the mouth. The blister becomes a fluid-filled blister that crusts over during the healing process. Individuals have to be aware that the clear liquid in the blister is ladened with active virus and can be infectious. The classical signs of a herpes blister is a clear vesicle on a red, irritated base. Infection can cause fatigue, slight fever, and tingling or pain at the infection site. Individuals can have frequent episodes of re-activation throughout their lives. An exposed or infected individual should seek medical attention and advice.
How painful is herpes?
A herpes infection can be painful. When an outbreak or infection occurs, the pain is due to a reaction or reactivation in nerves. The degree and duration of pain varies among individuals and the location of the infection. It is common for doctors to prescribe pain medication along with an antiviral medication. Prompt treatment can assist in pain control as well as the duration of pain. Unfortunately with serious infection, pain can be persistent for a prolonged period of time. While symptoms can recur for years, they often become less frequent, and the sores heal more quickly as time passes. This happens because the body is producing antibodies to fight herpes.
What’s a herpes outbreak or reactivation?
An outbreak or reactivation of a herpes infection means the dormant virus has become active and the symptoms of the illness reoccur. The first outbreak of HSV-1 or HSV-2 can be significant and an individual should seek prompt medical attention. The frequency of outbreaks or reactivation varies from person to person, based on their underlying health condition, stress levels, and other medications they’re taking for other medical issues. With any outbreak or reactivation illness, it is important to seek medical attention.
With genital herpes, an outbreak can cause these symptoms:
- Aches and pain in the genital area, burning pain and difficulty urinating
- Pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs
- Discharge from the genitals
- Itchy, tingling, burning and tenderness around the genital area, lasting until the infection clears and the outbreak ends
- Painful small blisters (may be red or white) develop into sores that ooze or bleed
Complications from genital herpes can occur and can be worse if the patient is immunocompromised. If the infection is not treated or not treated promptly, the chances of complications increase. A herpes uro-genital infection during pregnancy can lead to serious complications for both the fetus and the mother. Always tell your doctor immediately about outbreaks. Complications of herpes infection can affect many organ systems including, but not limited to, the uro-genital tract, the brain causing meningitis or encephalitis, and the gastrointestinal tract. Due to the inflammatory response that accompanies herpes genital infection, individuals can be at increased risk for other sexually transmitted infections such as HIV.