The average incubation period for an initial herpes infection is 4 days (interval, 2 to 1 after exposure). The vesicles break and leave behind painful sores that may take two to four weeks to heal after the initial herpes infection. Unlike the first infection, subsequent outbreaks tend to cause less discomfort and heal much faster. Sores caused by a recurrent outbreak of genital herpes can heal in 3 to 7 days (ACOG, 201).
The number of outbreaks experienced by people with symptoms also naturally decreases over time (CDC, 202). Ulcers and sores caused by a herpes outbreak can take a long time to enter the healing phase. If a person experiences their first herpes outbreak, healing can take 2 to 4 weeks. Although healing is usually faster during subsequent outbreaks.
Herpes outbreaks usually last between one and two weeks, although the first outbreak after infection may last longer. Symptoms usually go away on their own without treatment. However, there are home remedies and prescription treatments that can help relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of outbreaks. Herpes outbreaks can continue to occur, but many people find that they become shorter and less severe over time.
Cold sores should start to heal in 10 days, but it's contagious and can irritate or hurt while it heals. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and swelling (liquid acetaminophen is available for children). Do not give aspirin to children under 16 years of age, either oral or genital. You can start treatment during any of the different stages of the herpes outbreak, from start to cure, to prevent another outbreak.
The primary infection caused by genital herpes isn't pleasant, but the good news is that those symptoms go away over the course of a few weeks. While there is no cure for herpes, treatment options are available for people with frequent outbreaks. Do not have oral sex until your cold sores are completely cured, as you could transmit genital herpes to your partner. The genital herpes virus progresses through five distinct phases, starting with the primary infection and going through the healing phase.
These recurrent herpes outbreaks usually don't last as long as the initial episode, although sadly this phase is still painful and uncomfortable. There is no stage of genital herpes that completely eliminates the chance of infecting your partner with the virus, but herpes is more contagious at some stages than others. Although there have been no sores or blisters during this stage of herpes, the skin is still highly contagious and remains so throughout the outbreak. There are antiviral creams and ointments that can be applied to relieve the burning, itching, or tingling associated with herpes blisters.
If you're sexually active, you can still transmit herpes to your partner, even if you're taking valacyclovir tablets. Genital herpes sores can appear in a wider variety of locations depending on where the virus entered the body. If you've been previously diagnosed with herpes, the Nurx medical team can prescribe an oral or genital herpes treatment online and deliver the medication to your door with free shipping. However, over time, these outbreaks may become less frequent, especially if you take antiviral medicines for herpes.
It's important to note that herpes is contagious at all stages, but it's most contagious during the ulcer stage, when the blisters pop open suddenly and there's fluid.