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What are some tips for recognizing herpes blisters?

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Quick Answer

Herpes blisters are painful and soon break open, ooze and form a crust, American Academy of Dermatology says. Itching, burning or tingling sensations often precede the emergence of herpes blisters by up to a day. The blisters first appear between two and 20 days after contact with an infected person and typically last between seven and 10 days. Swelling in nearby lymph nodes or flu-like symptoms may accompany an outbreak of herpes blisters.

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Full Answer

Herpes blisters can appear almost anywhere on the body but most often occur in the mouth or genital regions, American Academy of Dermatology explains. Mouth blisters are mostly due to the oral herpes virus, HSV-1, and can appear on the lips or tongue, in the general mouth region or elsewhere on the face. Symptoms of oral herpes usually last between two and three weeks.

Common sites for blisters from the genital herpes virus, HSV-2, include the buttocks, penis, vagina and anus, notes American Academy of Dermatology. Problems urinating sometimes arise in people with genital herpes, and this problem is especially common in women. Symptoms of genital herpes usually last between two and six weeks the first time they occur. Herpes occasionally infects one or both eyes, which causes light sensitivity, discharge and a gritty feeling. Herpes eye infections can cause scarring and vision problems.

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