Herpes Symptoms Pictures - 45 Photos & Images
Symptoms of herpes usually develop within 2 to 20 days after contact with the virus, although it could take longer. These symptoms may last up to several weeks, varying from one person to the next. In many people, the first infection is so mild that it goes unnoticed. It is possible that a person becomes aware of the “first episode” years after the infection is acquired. Many people who contract HSV are not aware of their infection.
If symptoms occur during the first outbreak, they can be quite pronounced. The symptoms can be very severe as many have shared their experiences on this site. Some people couldn't walk, were in bed for days, having excruciating pain radiating down their legs with weakness and flu-like symptoms. Others didn't even know they were infected.
Usually the first attack causes visible sores with a myriad of other symptoms mentioned below, and commonly more intense than recurrent outbreaks. When the sores are completely healed, the active phase of infection is over. When the skin heals, the sores usually leave no scars. Whether a person has symptoms or not, the virus retreats into the nervous system and lays dormant. Asymptomatic shedding (shedding without symptoms) can still occur when no sores are present. Subsequent recurrences of the disease usually cause lesions but may not have the extreme pain and flu-like symptoms as the initial outbreak.