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"How long do herpes outbreaks last?"


How long does the typical herpes outbreak last? I am dealing with a really nasty rash of blisters on my vulva which I know is herpes because I already tested positive for it. In the past, they've always cleared up pretty quickly, but these blisters have been here for two weeks at least. What should I do?


As you probably know, genital herpes is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Symptoms usually appear about a week after exposure and then last up to a month or longer depending on the state of the patient's immune system. In your case it sound like you already had your primary infection and these new ulcers are a relapse.

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These relapses should only last for 2-3 weeks. If they last for longer than a month, you should see a doctor right away. Keep in mind that there are treatments out there for genital herpes. None of the are curative, but patients to report a higher quality of life. The most commonly used medicines are acylcovir and valacylovir (Valtrex). Taking these medicines regularly can give reduce the number of attacks you experience and greatly shorten the duration of those attacks when they do come. The drugs are usually very well tolerated and should be considered in any patient with a diagnosis of genital herpes. My advise is for you to schedule an appointment with you primary care physician or OBGYN, whoever you go to for your feminine health. Discuss this issue with them. There are options discussed above which can help reduce the number and length of each attack. Good luck.

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