Herpes is a chronic disease which is caused by the infection of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Mainly there are two types of herpes which include oral herpes and genital herpes. Oral herpes leads to cold sores and blisters which appear around the face and the mouth area whereas the genital herpes affects the buttock and the genital area. Oral herpes is mainly caused by the type 1 herpes virus which is also known as HSV-1 and genital herpes is caused by type 2 herpes virus (HSV2). Each of these viruses can result in both the type of diseases. The symptoms of herpes usually show within 2 to 20 days after the infection and it appears in a series of stages. Both the HSV1 and HSV2 results in same stages of herpes, though the area of infection may be different. Both of them also have identical physical characteristics.
Stage 1 is most subtle and pain free of all stages. This stage even goes unnoticed by large number of people and is characterized by redness of the genital area and little swelling. Other common signs of this stage include itchiness and sensitivity. If preventive medicines for outbreaks are taken then it should be taken during this stage. In order to prevent pain in blisters and scars, topical cream can also be applied.
The second stage results in formation of small sores and blisters which are filled with fluid. This fluid can appear white or red in color and is clear. One should not burst these blisters intentionally however if they burst on their own, then it’s fine. The blisters during this stage are very painful and itchy but itching should always be avoided. Application of topical cream as prescribed by your doctor can give some relief.
This is the most painful stage as blisters burst during this stage and reveal to open skin and sores. There may be group of small sores or one large sore but in both the cases they should not be touched. Cleaning them with warm water and applying topical cream can bring some relief.
During this stage the sores starts healing and form scabs. One should never pick these scabs as they protect the underlying skin and helps to heal properly. Picking them will result in growth of scar tissue which looks bad after the outbreak and also makes the further outbreaks painful.
After the scars have finished protecting the underlying skin they begin to fall off and evidence of the outbreak finishing will be there. During this stage you will not feel any pain or itchiness and application of topical cream is also not required.
Though there are 5 main stages of herpes but each of them do not last for a very long time. They all can be dealt with the help of medications prescribed by your doctor. Do remember that not all types of herpes medication work for everyone, so consult your doctor to have the combination of one that works best for you. The effective medication will help to make the duration of various stages of herpes to appear less significant.
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