It can have recurrent manifestations which can take place after many decades from its initial appearance. In most instances, the herpes infected person would not know about his or her infective state as the disease might not give rise to any symptoms at all. But, it also does not carry any treatment sensitivity and would be incurable once a person acquires it.
When to check for the disease?
The disease is caused by the virus, Herpes Simplex (HSV) which can have different modes of manifestations according to the infective strain. For many, the most painful and the difficult episode would be the initial episode which can manifest several weeks after being exposed to a partner with HSV. Thus, the identification process of the presence of this virus would be done after the symptoms appear as till such time, there is no indication to check for its presence unless the partner is diagnosed of the same earlier.
The identification process:
One of the initial symptoms that can be used to identify HSV infection would be the appearance of burning sensation and itching around the genital area, near the anus, buttocks and in the inner aspect of the thighs. It can proceed further with the appearance of blisters which will have the characteristic flattened appearance with a pinkish hue. The itching would be more around these blisters and soon it will rupture to ooze as well as to form ulcers. Unless the ulcers are secondarily infected by a bacterial infection, it will heal by itself through the formation of a scab and later shedding it as the ulcer heals. With healing of the ulcers, the itching can also go down with the burning feeling sometimes persisting for a little longer.
What are the non specific features of genital herpes?
While these signs go on in the genital region, more non specific signs can appear in a patient with HSV and these would include mild feverish feeling, headaches, muscle aches…etc and would be much similar to a viral fever that we commonly encounter.
Thus, the identification process should take into account several key things and these would include the positive contact history of a susceptible HSV positive person, the appearance of herpes blistering and ulcerations with intense itching, burning, oozing…etc, as well as other generalized signs which would indicate the presence of an infection.
But, in order to be certain, you need to visit your doctor and follow the instructions given by him or her on giving a sample of the lesions for a virus culture which would make a definite diagnosis once and for all.