Herpes lives in your nerve cells. Viral shedding is a term used to describe the process of the virus traveling up the nerves to the skin right before causing blisters to erupt. Shedding is also called the prodromal phase. This prodromal phase or viral shedding can happen without ever showing signs of an active breakout. This is referred to as asymptomatic shedding.
Those who have suffered frequent breakouts come to recognize this phase as when headaches, back aches, tingles and skin sensitivity occur. It’s also when emotions may be a little harder to control. Excessive impatience or sudden tears may be an issue, which are usually explained away by the appearance of blisters. But, sometimes, the blisters never appear. All of the signs are there for a breakout that never evolves. This is viral shedding. And, viral shedding can be contagious while the herpes is in route to surface, whether or not blisters ever appear.
In addition, blisters never appearing doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Herpes blisters can appear where you cannot see them, inside the vagina and the rectum. Rectal herpes mimic hemorrhoids. Vaginal herpes can cause sensitivity or ache when sitting that sometimes feels like a pulled muscle in the pelvic area.
So, any time you feel as if you are coming down with herpes symptoms, even if you can’t see any substantial symptoms, avoid being physical intimate with others, until the symptoms or feelings pass.
But wait, what if you have no symptoms of viral shedding what-so-ever? No ache, tingles, headaches, back aches or moodiness? What then? This is why careful self- monitoring is necessary. It’s also why it’s important to have safe sex. No one can ever be 100% sure they won’t pass herpes on to someone else accidentally.
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