Herpes Simplex Signs and Symptoms

The herpes simplex virus appears in the form of watery blisters on the skin on mucous membranes (such as the eyes, mouth or lips) or the genitals. "Mat" Herpes can affect any part of the body. It is often confused that the virus is limited to the face and genital areas only. An infection on the lips is familiar and known as a cold sore or fever blister.

This should not be confused with a canker sore.
Canker sores appear on the inside of the mouth and not caused directly by the herpes simplex virus.

Here are some things to expect if you have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus.

  • Symptoms occur about eight days after initial exposure
  • Fever can be expected during the first episodes.
  • Enlarged glands like swollen lymph nodes
  • Clusters of fluid-filled blisters surrounded by redness
  • The blisters may or may not be painless
  • Sores and blisters usually heal within 7 to 10 days
  • Once infected you are infected for life
  • May have periodic outbreaks
  • You can transmit the virus even when not showing symptoms
  • Triggers of outbreaks include weak immune system or stress