The Stages of Herpes

At present, Herpes Simplex cannot be cured. The symptoms can be only managed. The root cause, a virus, remains latent in the body. There are about 25 types of Herpes. The most well known are Herpes Simplex Type 1 (oral) and Herpes Simplex Type 2 (genital).

Although the medical community continues to distinguish the virus by type, researchers have found that both viral types can manifest orally, as cold sores and/or on the genitals. Therefore, it is more useful to concentrate on the stages of Herpes simplex, which are basically the same for both types.
Knowing what to expect during each stage of Herpes will allow you to treat the symptoms and protect your sexual partner. In the following video, showing the stages of Herpes labialis, the full progression of herpes symptoms can be observed.


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First Stage: Prodome

In medical terminology, a prodome is a prelude to a disease. Because we are all unique, people have different symptoms during the prodome stage. You might demonstrate all the typical symptoms or just some of them. When you learn to recognize your unique symptoms, it will serve as a pre-warning of outbreaks and you can treat them accordingly. It begins when the body starts shedding the virus. All skin cells in the affected area, either around the mouth or genitals, include the Herpes Virus. Herpes is easily spread to other people during this stage. Here, the virus activates and travels toward the skin surface where it will produce an outbreak. You may find the affected area swells, itches, tingles and/or reddens. Your genital area may feel tender to touch. You may experience flu-like symptoms. With genital herpes, there is a potential of pain during urination.

Second Stage: Blisters

Fluid-filled blisters begin forming in the second stage. The pus can range from clear, white to yellowish or greenish. Some blisters develop in clusters and others as single lesions break out on the genitals, groin and/or buttocks. The fluid contains enormous quantities of the virus. The Herpes Virus has kicked-in full force at this painful stage, which usually persists about 2-6 days. You may experience severe itching, but you should resist impulses to scratch. Never intentionally burst the blisters.

Wear soft, loose-fitting clothing. Ask your physician to prescribe a topical ointment to ease your discomfort. Know that you are highly contagious to your partner during this interval.

Third Stage: Blisters Burst

The most powerful, most painful stage is when blisters burst and discharge their fluid, resulting in exposed, sore skin. You must keep a constant vigilance to ensure the affected area is clean and dry.
You might experience excruciating pain when you sit or urinate. Continue to apply your topical medicine. This stage lasts from 1-4 days. Do not participate in sexual activities as you will transmit the virus to your partner.

Fourth Stage: Scabbing

Healing begins here as the sores create scabs. Don’t mess with the scabs. New, sensitive skin is growing underneath. If you pick at them and pull off the scabs, scar tissue will form and your next outbreak of Herpes will be more painful. If you are dealing with oral Herpes, the cold sores on your mouth will look unsightly. Just be patient, the scabs will come off naturally in a few days.

Fifth Stage: Healing

After the scabs fall off, your skin has been restored to health. Expect the fourth stage to continue from three to seven days. You may stop treating the area topically as you will not suffer pain or itchiness during this stage. Abstain from sexual contact until all scabs disappear themselves.

Final Word: Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It is also a chronic, recurring condition. A healthy immune system is vital in helping prevent future outbreaks. Eat a nutritious diet, exercise, limit alcohol use and learn to manage stress.


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