Herpes is a viral infection that is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 or 2. The part of the body that is affected decides the type of herpes infection. Herpes has cyclical episodes, where dormancy follows a period of active herpes symptoms. The first episode is usually the most severe. Symptoms typically take between two to four weeks to heal. Signs may not exist immediately after contraction of the virus. It is essential to be vigilant and to get treatment so that further transmission is prevented. #5 is rarely known.
Fluid-filled blisters, the most common symptom, appear on the surface of the skin in a localized fashion. With oral herpes, they appear on the face, usually around the lips. Blisters also appear on or around the genitals. Less commonly, but also possible, they may appear on the buttocks, anus, and inner thighs. In some cases, blisters may appear on the fingers, nail cuticle, toes, and feet; this condition is called herpetic whitlow. Regardless of the site of these sores, herpes blisters tend to break open, ooze over, and then develop a crust before healing. They usually take seven to 21 days to heal, but the initial breakout might be longer.
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