Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or 2. The part of the body affected by the virus denotes the type of infection. Herpes has cyclical episodes, with dormancy following a period of active symptoms. The first episode is usually the most severe, and symptoms may take two to four weeks to heal. Signs of herpes may not develop immediately after an individual contracts the virus, but noting symptoms and seeking treatment is essential to ensure one does not spread the infection.
Fluid-filled blisters are the most common symptom of herpes. They appear on the skin in a localized area. Oral herpes blisters develop on the face, usually around the lips. Blisters may also appear on or around the genitals. Though less common, some people may also develop blisters on the buttocks, anus, and inner thighs. Herpes whitlow causes blisters on the fingers, cuticles, toes, and feet. Regardless of the site of these sores, herpes blisters tend to break open and seep, then crust over before healing. This process usually takes take seven to 21 days, though the initial breakout may take longer.
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