Many people with the herpes virus do not experience any symptoms when they are first infected and, as a result, do not know that they have it.
If you do experience symptoms it usually takes between two and twelve days after contact with the virus for the first symptoms of genital herpes to appear. Although sometimes symptoms may not appear until months, or sometimes years, after you have been infected.
Symptoms consist of multiple spots or red bumps around the genital area. These can be very painful. In time, these swellings can break open and form sores or ulcers which gradually crust over, forming new skin as they heal.
Just like with cold sores, genital herpes can come back after the first episode.