Early symptoms tend to happen around 2 to 12 days after infection. There are two phases, latent and prodrome.
- Latent phase: Infection has occurred, but there are no symptoms.
- Prodrome (outbreak) phase: At first, the symptoms of a genital herpes outbreak are typically mild. As the outbreak progresses, the symptoms become more severe. The sores will typically heal within 3 to 7 days.
What to expect
You may feel a light itchiness or tingling around your genitals or notice some tiny, firm red or white bumps that are uneven or jagged in shape.
These bumps may also be itchy or painful. If you scratch them, they can open up and ooze white, cloudy fluid. This can leave painful ulcers behind that can be irritated by clothing or other materials than come into contact with your skin.
These blisters can show up anywhere around the genitals and the surrounding areas, including the:
- vaginal opening
- upper thighs