Herpes is a painful condition. Although it is not a fatal condition unless it becomes a contributing factor to other illnesses, herpes is painful. Both forms, HSV 1 and HSV 2 are painful in their own way. Many times, the area surrounding the infection or outbreak may be so tender that just touching it can cause a searing pain or even a shooting pain leading away from the area. This is due to the form of the body as well as where the virus will affect it. While you may notice the symptoms of a herpes outbreak on the skin, it is deep within the skin that the virus lies and that is where it encounters nerves.
If you think of your body has being comprised of many different wires that all lead to your spinal column and then to your brain, you will want to focus in on the smallest of these wires, the ones that come closest to the skin itself. These nerve endings are what tell you if something is hot or cold or what something feels like. When there is pain in any form, these nerve ends send a pain message through the network to your brain in such intensity that you immediately move your hand to keep it from burning, for example.
With the herpes simplex virus, the activation of the virus causes the development of irritations, blisters and even open sores on the skin. Initially the pain starts out as limited but it may develop into something that is far more painful, especially as the outbreak progresses. Eventually, the development of blisters and sores leads the body to deliver constant signals to the brain of the pain. This tells the brain to activate the immune system to fight the infection. Without it, your body might not know how to fight the infection.
If you have cold sores, which are often located on or in the mouth, the pain from them can be so intense that even the wind can cause a twinge of pain to run through your face. Because of the location of the virus, the nerves are so close that any type of movement is a trigger for the nerve ending to let the brain know that the area is in a compromised position. Within genital herpes, the same is true. Rubbing up against clothing, irritation from sweat and even the buildup of moisture all contribute to the pain that you feel when you have a herpes outbreak.
As the body's immune system gets in place, it develops antibodies, which wage war against the inflecting herpes simplex virus. The goal of the immune system is to stop the virus from spreading by destroying it. However, in the process, the immune system also starts to rebuild the layers of skin where the virus broke out. This helps to reduce the pain and within a few days it may even heal over well. There is no doubt that the herpes virus hurts since it affects your body intensely.