The symptoms of mild genital herpes or HSV-2 are so infrequent and mild that most patients tend to overlook. Mild case of herpes can easily be mistaken for a rash or ordinary itch since there is hardly any appearance of blisters. Identifying the symptoms of mild case of genital herpes would help a person avoid the possibility of transmitting the disease to another person through sexual contact.
If you are wondering what does mild herpes look like then keep reading this article where we are going to discuss everything you need to know about a mild herpes outbreak.
The virus which causes mild cases of herpes is called the herpes simplex virus which has 2 serotypes- HSV1 which leads to oral herpes and HSV2 which is genital herpes.
The signs of symptoms of mild herpes generally tend to vary from person to person. Shingles or herpes zoster on the other hand is caused by the varicella zoster virus which is mostly seen in individuals with a weak immune system. They usually appear in the form of a thin strip on a side of the face or the body.
For many females the symptoms are so slight that many mistake it as rashes, insect bite or yeast infection. In case there is blister formation within the vagina then it might go unnoticed altogether. In the case of the male patients the genital herpes manifests itself in form of irritation in the scrotum or the penis.
The man could also feel itchy in the areas around the buttocks and the thighs. However the slightness of the symptoms allows them to go unheeded.
The first episode of herpes
Genital herpes usually appear in the form of an episode and therefore is interspersed with periods without symptoms. Although a person can pass on the infection s/he might not even notice the symptoms. On the other hand the recipient of the infection might notice the symptoms within a few days/week after getting infected. The first episode of this infection generally occurs within 1-2 weeks after the virus has been transmitted.
Some of the classic symptoms of genital herpes are mild herpes rash, sores and ulcers. These typical lesions of genital herpes look just like tiny pimples which crusts with time and ultimately scabs like a minor cut. It might take somewhere between 2-4 weeks for these lesions to heal.
During this period some individuals might experience a second bout of lesions while others might experience symptoms resembling a flu. This could include fever and swelling of glands especially in the lymph nodes around the groin. Other symptoms of the first episode might also include difficulty and pain while urinating and headache.
Although the first episode of genital herpes could lead to considerable illness, the symptoms of the initial infection is mild in most individuals and can be easily overlooked or mistaken for something else. The lesion can be so mild that you could mistake it for an insect bite, yeast infection or abrasion. Always make sure to look out for the signs and symptoms in and around the vulva, penis, anus, thighs and buttocks.
Recurring genital herpes
People who have already experienced the full blown symptoms of the first episode are already familiar with the signs and symptoms of this infection. However the first episode is usually the most painful and the signs and symptoms of the recurring episodes are usually milder and also tend to heal much faster (10-12 days).
Some individuals repeated herpes outbreaks with all the classic symptoms like blisters, lesions which harden and tender sores. In case of recurrent herpes however these symptoms last almost half the time than that of the first episode. Some people might have an extremely subtle kind of recurring herpes where the symptoms disappear within just a few days. It also needs to be mentioned that this infection can reactivate itself without the manifestation of any visible lesions.
Lesions in recurrent herpes can resemble a red spot, an ingrown hair, pimple, insect bite, haemorrhoid or a razor cut. Though genital herpes is mostly accompanied by signs and symptoms on the genitals, it could also create symptoms in the nearby areas. It is not uncommon to find herpes blisters between the buttocks (which takes a long time to heal) or on the thighs.
Always keep in mind that any soreness around the anus and genitals could well be cases of herpes lesions. However in some cases individuals with herpes don’t find any symptoms in the form of lesions. According to some researches there are patients who don’t get any lesions although the virus is active. The ability to recognize lesions and other symptoms of herpes is undoubtedly important but this is not a full proof way of knowing if the virus is still active.
Cure and treatment of herpes
Presently there is no cure for this infection since it can always recur when your body is weak or stressed. However the good news is that mild herpes can be managed more easily. All one has to do is keep away from all the factors which might trigger an outbreak such as smoking, excessive exposure to sun, less sleep and stress.
To put it simply this infection is not as deadly as many people believe it to be. Think of it as a mild skin condition which bothers you from time to time. Plenty of rest, a healthy diet and an exercise regimen are some of the things which would help you stay away from recurrent outbreaks.
Sexually active individuals with mild herpes who have a non-positive partner should ideally go for an antiviral suppressive therapy. This would not only supress the virus but also diminish the risk of transmitting the disease to someone else.
While most patients go for medications like Acyclovir there are many who opt for alternative medicines to keep the symptoms at bay. You might also consider giving a boost to your immune system by regular intake of Lysine – an essential amino acid which helps to fortify the body against the virus.
Can it kill someone
I think I have herpes and I’m devastated. I don’t even want to know. It’s mild but annoying. My first outbreak was one lesion on the left side of my labia about 10 months ago. I left work one day to go get it tested at the local clinic but no nurses or doctors were in that day so I left and the lesion went away. Life went back to normal. Last week, I shaved my genitalia and felt myself knick myself by my left labia. It stung a little in the shower and after that I was careful drying it and wiping after using the bathroom. A couple days later, the pain felt worse so I took some pictures and saw a red mark. Then I noticed white centers inside that red mark that was roughly the size of a pea. It never itched but there was some type of sensation, letting me know it’s there. Just as before, common sense told me an Epsom salt bath, which I’ve since learned is used in treating herpes outbreaks. It has helped the healing I think but days later, this mark that I believed initially was from shaving is still there and looks exactly like the scare I had 10 months ago that I’d long forgotten. I guess now’s the time to pull myself out of denial and get to a doctor….but I fear the symptoms are too faded for a swab test. It’s a Sunday and it’s improving by the day. So then all I can do is wait for a possible third outbreak to be sure. This time, I had some aches on my right hip/backside area that I don’t remember having 10 months ago…and I’ve recently read this can be a herpes symptom. The aching and tension felt like a mild case of sciatica which I’ve struggled with in the past. Although this outbreak is less painful, I think I notice the lesion being more mature (meaning 3 white centers instead of one) than last time but almost exactly the same look. (I still have pictures from last episode.) I’ve read that symptoms are supposed to improve over time but what if mine are getting worse? I am a naturalist who always goes for the more holistic approaches, so naturally I just want my immune system to do it’s job to the best of its ability. I’ve known I’ve had herpes antibodies for about 10 years. Do you suppose the virus is just now rearing its ugly face in other ways as I get older and my immune system weakens?? I’m still trying to face this. I’m still sort of in denial. I’ve told no one yet, even though I will. I need time to do that, and as long as I’m not having sex, I feel as though that is my perogative.