A herpes episode usually starts with a tingling sensation in the area where the sores will form. This tingling may begin up to two days before the appearance of the blisters. In some individuals, especially those who are unaware they have the virus, the sensation may be so mild as to go unnoticed. However, individuals who have had a few episodes will likely be alerted of an impending flare-up and can take measures to lessen discomfort.
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