Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, November 05, 2009 Miss B, Community Member, asks

Q: How long do your outbreaks last?

I was diagnosed in September with genital herpes, and I have had this outbreak for what it seems like three months. I even told my doctor that, and that my medication is slowing the outbreak. What does it look like when healed? Do the bumps just go away? Because I dont have pain, or itch, etc.. But the bumps are there, and new bumps appear, and nothing seems to be going away. How long do your outbreaks last for, and when they clear up do the bumps go away completely until the next breakout?

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Answers (9)
Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
6/ 5/14 7:45pm

Thank you for your question. 


I am not a medical professional and cannot give you medical advice. 


According to the National Institutes of Health, the first outbreak of herpes is the worst. While you might have additional outbreaks, the good news is, each one should reduce in severity.


An outbreak usually begins with bumps and blisters around the genital and rectal areas. The blisters break, leaving sores that take weeks to heal. 


There is no cure for herpes but there are some ways you can reduce the pain from an outbreak:


Take salt baths during an outbreak. Place several tablespoons of salt in a shallow, warm bath.


Apply ice directly to the affected area.


Use a hair dryer to dry the affected area.


Wear loose fitting clothes and cotton underwear. 


Use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and fever.


Reduce stress in your life. 


Remember, you can pass genital herpes to someone even when you don't have any symptoms, so make sure to use protection during any sexual encounters. 





ineedhelp, Community Member
11/ 5/09 9:26pm

ok so im 15 and i might have herpes. so im freaking out and i have done a lot of research on it. And it starts off with blisters than scabs than goes away no worries it will leave no scare. Hang in there.      If u can please answer my question its is   Do i have herpes?      And maybe we can talk on MSN or some thing i really need some one to talk to since i might have it. I cry every day for a while. I am a boy. I cant focus on my school work because of it. So i will help you out if you help me. Thanks     

rise_above, Community Member
11/ 6/09 10:45am

Hey man.  First, calm down... you may have it, you may not.  Find out if you DO have it before you freak.  Secondly, even if you DO have it, it's not the end of the world.  You can't die from it, you can still have kids, you can still have sex... it's really nothing more than an annoying skin condition, and only makes you more careful about sex - which isn't bad.


Anyway, as embarassing as it is, you need to talk to one or both of your parents.  You're going to need to get tested to know for sure, and if you have herpes, you'll need to get a prescription for Valtrex or some sort of suppresant to help control your outbreaks and minimize any risk of transmitting it to someone.  The reason you need to get them into the loop is because you're 15, and I'm guessing you don't have a ton of cash to bankroll all that behind their backs... meaning you're probably going to need to use your health insurance or get them to help pay.  Don't worry... after they get over the initial shock of "Oh my God my 15-year-old-son is having sex," they will probably be very understanding and eager to help... as long as you haven't knocked anyone up.  Just kidding.


NOW, to know FOR SURE whether or not you have herpes, you MUST get tested.  Get a blood test that tests for both HSV-1 AND HSV-2, and make sure that it's specific to YOUR blood type.  These tests now are extremely accurate, and as long as you get the right one, it will let you know for sure if you do or don't have the virus.  DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOU DON'T HAVE HERPES.  It sounds like you have symptoms to me, but even if you never had symptoms, you could still be a carrier.  I never had symptoms and found out I had it.  I'm 33 years old now, and have no idea how long I'd been carrying this around, because I never had an outbreak or anything, and assumed that I was fine.


Remember, even if you DO have it, it's not the end of the world.  A pain in the ass, yes, but nothing that will destroy you.  But if you DO have it, you MUST be honest with anyone that you may get involved with sexually.  If you want to talk to someone, you can talk to me more.  I'm on yahoo, AIM, and Skype, but not MSN.  Send me a reply on here and I'll get you the info.

ineedhelp, Community Member
11/ 6/09 3:14pm
ok i will talk to you on the AIM thing Reply
Prezz215, Community Member
7/24/13 12:28am
How long does the herpes take to fully heal after the first outbreak Reply
scared_mother, Community Member
7/30/13 7:55pm

i was told around 2 weeks 

TheWraith1, Community Member
2/ 3/14 6:19pm
It varies for everyone mine only lasts about 4 days then it scabs ice and takes maybe 6 to 8 days to completely go away Reply
ray07, Community Member
9/ 6/13 11:23am

Im not sure if I have herpes I havent been tested yet scared and ashamed! But I think I might need someone to talk to about this 

DefineB, Community Member
11/11/13 10:05am

I was recently diagnosed with genital herpes but my only partner shows no signs of herpes . How is that possible? 

anon, Community Member
11/18/13 7:09am

i have herpes and havent had an outbreak since i first got it years ago. I had unprotected sex with someone the other day and i think i may have a small cluster of outbreak. Does that mean that he has it too? and give it to me coz he had an outbreak? 

Jenny bank, Community Member
3/18/14 6:32am
Iv just been to get checked out as I noticed very painful lumps down below, I'm waiting on my results but the doctor was 90% sure it was herpes. I'm so young and tbh feel asif my life is over. Feel like iv let everyone down, I think it would break my mum if she found out. I'm supposed to be moving countries for a year shortly and I'm thinking can I even do it knowing I have this virus? Reply
Yeet.bro, Community Member
5/ 2/14 1:25am
Hey, I'm 16 and I had unprotected sex with my girlfriend last week. And I have 6 small bumps. They're separated from each other. And now they're going away, like they're drying up. But I'm not sure if it's herpes or not. :( Can you tell me if it's herpes or not? I'm also scared to tell my dad. I've been tripping for days. Please reply back :( I really need help. Thank you Reply
ScaredAnd18, Community Member
6/12/14 2:21pm
Have you gotten any answers I have something like that. And am scared I am 18 Reply
scared_mother, Community Member
7/30/13 7:54pm

i was just recently diagnosed and i am willing to chat with you and help you through as i go through my experience 

ganzo, Community Member
11/21/13 5:24pm

Hello I think I have it do they last more than 3 weeks and this is my email

Jenny bank, Community Member
3/18/14 6:44am
How do you deal with it at such a young age? I'm only 19. Can I still go travelling??? Reply
shelbyismyname, Community Member
9/ 9/13 6:09pm

Im 15, im a girl & i have herpes too, its okay. Like %60 of people have herpes so dont freak out. For me, it becomes a big red bump & then theres blisters/cold sore looking things on it. And it burns/is very painfull. I take Lysine (an Amino Acid pill) and its suppost to reduce the number of outbreaks. I havent been able to go to school for a week because of it. If you do have herpes, you'd probably have flu like symptoms before and during the outbreaks. You could have HSV-1 or HSV-2. I suggest telling your parent and going to a genetal specialist.

rise_above, Community Member
11/ 6/09 12:06pm

Hey.  3 months?  That sounds very atypical to me... my outbreaks never last for more than 1 or 2 weeks (at their longest).  Are you sure that THESE particular bumps are herpes?  I have no doubt that you have herpes, since you were formally diagnosed, but these long-lasting bumps may be unrelated.  Have you seen a specialist?


If you're on medication and it's not helping your outbreaks, the only other thing I've heard that helps it is a diet that is high in the Amino Acids L-Lysine and Arginine.  It has something to do with those particular protiens and the virus.  I take a generic Amino Acids supplement that you can find at GNC.  Not sure how much it helps... I just take every precaution/preventative.

sas114277, Community Member
9/19/12 9:47pm

i have almost the same thing as you do i got diagnosed in feburary and i got a culture test done and when the results came back they said that there was a little bit of herpes growing.. i did not trust this because the bumps i have are not painful the only time things ever got painful was when i would have a yeast infection. so i went to another doctor 2 months later and those same bumps were still there and she said she thought it might be a condition called skeens glands, which she described as just a skin condition and it is not contagous. Also on that day i got a blood test done and those results came back negative for herpes even though i still had those same bumps.. she said if i don't feel pain or anything from these bumps then it probably really is just skeens glands.. it is now september (7 months later) and i still have these same bumps but they do not cause any pain and they don't itch.. its like there not even there.. your the first person i have heard of that has what sounds similar to mine.. i just wish i could really find out the answer.

Luv_K, Community Member
8/ 2/13 2:17am

hi ive had this for about 10 years .i contracted it the first time i ever had sex...when i found out like some others i cried every day and thought it was the end of the world. i have since then been deaking with it rather well...ive had a boyfriend for 6 years and he still does not have doesnt end ur life it only makes u si much more aware and cautious...if any one wants or need to talk jus reply.

mariana923, Community Member
8/ 5/13 10:19am

I got diagnosed 5 days ago she said they looked like it so the next day i noticed them disappearing and by the second day the where completely gone it havent even been a whole week and they are gone do u think they could still be that?

Effort, Community Member
8/22/13 12:32am
How is it possible to have a relationship for that long, and not giving your partner the dieses? Reply
HopeThisHelped, Community Member
11/14/13 8:01pm
Being extra cautious. There are signs & I can tell when I'm abt to have an outbreak so I start taking my meds. I have maybe 2-3 outbreaks a yr so I'm on medication as needed. When i do have 1 we refrain from sex because it is spread by touching the infected area. You can also take medicine everyday so you will never get an out break. I have had it for 6 years & my partner of 7 years still is hsv negative. Reply
nikkiblondiee, Community Member
11/23/13 12:58pm

My husband gave me gential herps I'm scared

nikkiblondiee, Community Member
11/23/13 2:38pm

Its hurts when I shower how am I suppose to wash down there

13yearsGoingStrong, Community Member
3/ 5/14 7:10pm

I've had it for 13 years. I contracted it the first time I had sex too. Nice to know I'm not the only one. And I've never given it to any sexual partners either.

13yearsGoingStrong, Community Member
3/ 5/14 7:18pm

P.S. Having herpes has actually made me a healthier person. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your stress levels at bay, which in turn keeps herpes dorment for longer. In the 13 years I've had this virus, I haven't had a reoccurance till this past week. It was triggered by a medication I took for a UTI.

JEYNET23, Community Member
3/ 6/14 10:06pm



Kathy Armstrong, Community Member
3/25/14 4:03pm
Hi. I am so scared that i might have herpes. Iv been with my boyfriend for around a year and a half. We are both faithful to each other. 2 days before my period, i felt itching near the opening of my lady part, close to the anus. I felt it was a little bit swollen inside. After sexual intercourse, i felt dome cracks or tears close to the opening of the vagina. On the day that i got my periods, i noticed like an ulcer on the top lip of the vagina, the next day, there was three more over there. The inside of the vagina has some deep cuts. I went to the doctor and got tested for herpes. I am waiting on my results and am super scared. After applying the viaderm cream and taking pills, i feel better. I do not have any pain. It never hurts me when i pee, nor does it burn. And i did not get any flu like symptoms. It's just that i noticed white vaginal discharge a couple of times over the past months, sometimes its very think and sometimes just watery. I am praying that i have just a yeast infection. And also since 2 days, i noticed like two tiny pimples on the thighs, but they dried on their own the next day. Can you please guide me through what are the symptoms you went through with herpes? Thank you so much! Reply
jennny, Community Member
12/ 2/13 11:36am

I have had it for ten years.  I first got it in my first relationship when I was pregnant and he always have me oral sex.  A week later, I had my first outbreak.  Usually just would have no outbreaks after that one, until recently the past two years one each year.  I am breastfeeding so I imagine my immune system is weak because of that.  Yes, you must keep it clean so please take a shower, air dry that spot, I sit in front of a fan.  I also dab some hemorrhoid pads on the blisters so they will dry up faster and heal.  This outbreak I'm having now is the worst by far.  I have over twenty blisters on my labia abd it was so swollen.  I not sure what triggered it?  Could have been me shaving my vagina, my period coming, stress, unhealthy foods.... I just don't know.  I feel so gross right now.  If you're a teenager reading, please wrap your stuff up before sex.  Even if you get herpes, it's not the end of the world.  I also have hpv.  Those warts rarely come though.  The doctor said they were the mild warts.  I don't want my kids to have sex with anyone when they get order.  I will teach them about my mistakes.good luck to you all

Jon Doe, Community Member
12/18/13 3:20pm

It's relieving to hear other people's stories. I'm in the military and got this from a local after dating her for about a month. I take responsibility for my actions and don't blame her because I should have used a condom. I got a blood test a few days ago but still waiting on results. At first there were only two seperate, small bumps for a week. As of now, little bumps filled with a liquid surround the initially bumps. The doctor didn't see it like it is now, so he thought I had my junk caught in my zipper. 


It's hard not to get depressed over it. It feels like my sex life is over. From reading other people's responses, I have hope that I can still have sex. But rather than multiple women it'll probably be 1 that's understanding and compassionate. I guess that's growing up. 


After speaking with a few medical personel confidentially, I was told that for events that may be shocking and highly stressful, it's not frowned upon to take Prosac or some related medicine for a short period of time. I'm not one to throw pills at a problem, but taking a few pills for 3 weeks beats slipping into depression for a longer period of time. I'm also lucky enough to have a mentor to talk to. It really helps to share the frustration and have an alternative view on it. 


If anyone wants to talk about it with me, it'll help me out as well. 

indiangirl2011usarmy, Community Member
12/29/13 8:50pm

I'm also in the military and I just found out two days ago that I have herpes. I'm not sure when I got it. But I noticed pain in my vagina on 23 December and I thought maybe it had just ripped from having sex. I had sex again on Christmas and the pain was unbearable so we stopped. I continued to check to make sure there was nothing unusual and there wasn't. Until I checked on the 26th. That's when I noticed I had blisters and I freaked out. So when I got back to Campbell from leave I went to the hospital and they said I had herpes. I'm almost positive I got it from the guy I work with. We had been hooking up almost every night for 3 weeks then when I went home I met up with my ex fiancé who I hadn't seen in almost a year and had sex with him. He now also has symptoms. He promised me we would get thru this together. I honestly thought about ending it all because I felt so shitty for passing it to him. But I had NO idea whatsoever that I had anything. I instantly started checking my vaginal area to make sure there were no bumps, blisters, or anything abnormal down there. And I never saw anything until I looked on the 26th. I was so embarrassed to go to the doctor but I'm thankful I did. My pain was unbearable. It hurt so bad to piss I had to make myself stop. (I also found out I had a UTI). But the doctor gave me medicines to help and also gave me gel to rub on the sores to numb the pain and it makes my pain go from a 10 to a 1. I'm embarrassed to talk to someone about it here but I feel like if I was able to, it would help me out a ton. Because I've been in a state of depression since I found out. 

A_n_i_l_a, Community Member
12/31/13 7:29am
Hope you start to feel better. I was diagnosed beginning of November 2013 with HSV1. I have been with the same person for 9 years. It transferred through a cold sore he had, but didn't have any symptoms of. I felt pretty depressed in the beginning. Don't worry, it will get better. I'm finally starting to feel better ( they say the first outbreak is the worst of them all) I was diagnosed November but didn't have the signs til December. I have been taking Epsom salt baths which stings in the beginning, but it really helps the sensation after if you dry it really good. I also bought witch hazel estringent (wal greens) and wipe (stings) but feels better and really dry it. I also tried baking powder after the bath and the witch hazel and it helps keep that area dry most of the day. I did notice before I did the baking powder that it would sting and burn because that area gets moist all the time. So every time I dry i applyb the baking powder. I know I haven't had it very long like others, but what I have been doing recently is helping. I'm finally starting to feel this will pass and I can have my life back. Don't lose hope. I hope you both get through this soon. I forgot to mention I am taking meds as prescribed and doing the rest. I have been ashamed and embarrassed to share this with anyone I know besides my bf. But we need to vent. So don't be afraid to open up. I'm on here because I can't talk to anyone I know as well. Hope some of this helps and gives you hope. Take care -A Reply
13yearsGoingStrong, Community Member
3/ 5/14 7:29pm

Same way happened to me. Fortunately simplex 1 is less severe and usually doesn't reoccur as often.

kittykat_101, Community Member
7/20/14 9:56pm

Can it go away with out meds? Can it go away completly in 5 days. Im waiting for my results. But it was 2 small spots looked like a spider bite. It was lil itchy. No symptoms no pain nothing. It seems like it went away to quick and easy for it to be that. Iv also been crying hard to keep composure taking lorazapam atm it seems to help a bit to caulm me down. 

Mika33, Community Member
1/ 7/14 4:46am
Well I got anal and vaginal herpies and it was very embarrassing... It was with a guy I was dating.. I was stupid. I asked if he had had anything and he said he didn't and was tested yet he gave it to me. Lied to me. It sucks and it makes me a bit nervous to step back into the dating world.. I feel gross and if I tell someone it have it they'll be disgusted by me... But then I started to notice how common it was. I mean a simple thing of trusting a guy u were dating can mess u up. Always use protection. Don't be the silly girl like me. And if u truly get serious with someone.. Get checked together at the doctors to know what ur partner has f they anything so u can be careful not to pass it to one another. It does make dating a bit harder but u r more aware now and it's not a big uncommon thing. Some ppl are born with herpies tho.. Carriers. May not even show symptoms so it's always good to get tested and have ur partner tested too. Bit of all things safe sex. Believe me anal herpies hurts way more the vagina... But luckily I'm on medication and outbreaks are not often(: Reply
Azia, Community Member
3/11/14 9:06am
I was 16 and he was a much older and very desired... I played no games about using condoms because I watched my best friend's father die of AIDS. The time came, I handed him the condom, watched him put it on, but by the end he had slid it off! I was mortified... I asked him right then what he had that made him not care what I had... Two weeks later I felt like I had the worst yeast infection ever! It got so bad I broke out a mirror... My discomfort turned to terror when my once beautiful lady parts were covered in blisters... Crazy enough the doctor I saw told me it was not herpes because there were no clusters... Despite what I believe to be a misdiagnosis I have never slept with a man who did not know this story... And I have never had man decide not to deal with me because of it! I feel like people have a right to know the risk and make an informed decision. I was infected 19 years ago when Zoverax had a wonderful cream that calmed the itchy pain and made the blisters go away in a day or two but it was discontinued due to the spreading hazard...then the Zoverax pills we're take two like 5 times a day... The Valtrex only helped when I was on it but as soon as I was off an outbreak came... Plus both prescriptions gave me terrible headaches! I just manage my stress, eat right and avoid peanut butter and harsh soaps... Carmex kills the itch and neosporin heals it...whitch hazel is good too... At first I totally refrained from sex because I was afraid to inform a potential partner... Fortunately my first experience went well! I would suggest taking the time to really get to know your partner so you are not revealing yourself to someone who will tell everyone or make you feel bad about it. I have been happily married for 11yrs and have 3 healthy children... A happy life after herpes is very possible! Reply
faith, Community Member
4/ 5/14 9:46am

I just don't know what to do..... I have been infected for several years and haven't been in a relationship. I also wanted to be married and have children. I don't feel like anyone will be with me, once I tell them. I don't want to live my life alone.

2kris3, Community Member
4/23/14 12:07am

hi Azia. i'm just looking for an advice on thing herpes thing. i was diagnosed with it 2 days ago.. this is actually the 4th day of my first outbreak. i just noticed that it keeps on spreading and the pain is not tolerable anymore. I've been taking valtrex for two days now. i just want to ask if the pain is normal, and do you have any tips on how to wash it.You're story is truly inspiring btw. i hope you could reply to me at

Savvymartinez, Community Member
4/29/14 11:18am
Hi I just found out I had herpes, because my boyfriend had a cold sore and gave me oral. I'm having and outbreak, my first one. I just started taking Valtrex or however you spell it. How long should my outbreak last and how often should I expect to get them? Reply
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By Miss B, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/02/14, First Published: 11/05/09