Herpes Prodrome Symptoms: What to Do


Are you wondering whether you are experiencing herpes prodrome symptoms? What are herpes prodrome symptoms? Herpes prodrome symptoms are basically the warning signs in your body of an impending outbreak. They often include tingling, pinching, itching sensations in the genital area (for genital herpes, usually caused by HSV-2). Some people experience prodrome symptoms with no outbreak taking place — in other words, it doesn’t develop into lesions or sores.

Herpes Prodrome Symptoms

What to do for herpes prodrome symptoms?

These prodromal symptoms can serve as a good reminder to check in with everything you are doing that may be triggering for you and adjust accordingly. There are also things to avoid during the prodrome stage, as well as steps to take to ensure you get better faster.

Take a Break from Sex

These warning signs are a good indicator that, if you are in a sexual relationship (with an informed partner, right?), you should stop having sex. That’s because any warning signs of an outbreak mean the virus is becoming active and can become more contagious. Even if you aren’t having an outbreak and just these “odd” prodrome sensations, this can be a sign of viral shedding. Asymptomatic viral shedding refers to any periods in which there are no outward signs of an outbreak, like sores, but the virus is becoming active and capable of spreading to others. Read our detailed article about viral shedding rates here. Always practice safe sex to keep your non-infected partner free of herpes.

And even if, say, your partner already has herpes as well, the friction of sex can worsen your symptoms and trigger the outbreak into taking place. And that would just be uncomfortable and possibly completely unnecessary.

Find Your Triggers

This is also a good time to check in with yourself on your diet and outbreak triggers — have you done something differently that may contribute to an outbreak? Common triggers are stress, arginine in the diet (almonds, chocolate), coffee, acidic foods, poor nutrition for herpes management, or a weakened immune system (from poor diet or stress, for example). This is a good way to find problem areas and fix them. If you find the culprit, weed it out. Either way, now is a good time to improve your diet, relax with meditation, yoga, or soft music, and anything else that helps you personally.


If you’re using Valtrex, acyclovir, or whichever prescribed antiviral, this is a good time to start taking it. The sooner you start taking it at the first sign of symptoms, the more likely you are to stop the outbreak from happening. Of course, you should always seek your doctor’s advice about using medications or any alternative treatments.

Examples of Possible Herpes Prodrome Symptoms

  • itching in the area
  • “tingling” or “pinching” sensations
  • muscle tenderness
  • in some people, nerve pain in the leg

In Conclusion

Herpes prodrome symptoms can manifest differently for different people, and are sometimes hard to describe. Always be in tune with yourself to learn what the signs are, and what to avoid. Be proactive in your management of herpes outbreaks and symptoms. And check out our articles about diet and natural remedies that also help to ward off outbreaks. You may also be interested in outbreak pain relief methods.