What does herpes look like? That depends somewhat on where the herpes outbreak is located. It is difficult to describe exactly what herpes look like because symptoms can vary in appearance and intensity. Some people are asymptomatic or experience very few symptoms, and might not even suspect that they have the virus. For others, the initial stages can cause painful lesions and skin eruptions.
Oral herpes is caused by Herpes simplex virus type – 1, and genital herpes or vaginal herpes is due to Herpes simplex type – 2 infections. Generally, all herpes infections start out as a single sore or blister; sometimes they lead to cluster formation. The infection of HSV-1 is more commonly known as cold sore infection. The cold sores are usually seen on the lips, mouth, nose, eyelids and oral cavity. Only two out of 10 people infected with Herpes type 1 virus shows clinical symptoms of the disease, as most infected individuals remain asymptomatic. Also, many think of symptoms of cold sores as canker sores, another type of blister-related skin condition.
Genital herpes is sexually transmitted disease caused by the Type 2 herpes simplex virus. It is usually the initial outbreak of symptoms that can be very severe, and recurrent herpes symptoms tend to be milder. To properly diagnose herpes symptoms, it may be best to discuss, and also, ask: what does herpes look like?
The herpes virus can cause sores and lesions that appear around and even inside the genital area; the vaginal area for women and on the penis and/or scrotum on men. This can spread beyond the genital area to the thighs and buttocks.
Genital herpes often appear as a cluster of fluid-filled blisters. When these small blisters break they form painful sores that will, in several days, begin to crust and heal. However, not everyone gets sores and some people might have no symptoms at all. Some symptoms might be mild and mistaken for an ingrown hair, razor burn, jock itch, pimples, hemorrhoids or even mistaken as a vaginal yeast infection.
Once you have the herpes simplex virus, symptoms can flare up from time to time. The initial outbreak is typically the worst and some people might only have a few outbreaks throughout their life.
When these herpes blisters are present, affected people experience itchiness, tingling sensations, burning feeling, which happens on the penile, vaginal, anal areas, and also in the testes, scrotum and pubis areas. For men in particular, the foreskin seen on the top of the penis, foreskin and shaft are usually seen with herpes ulcerations and sore. While for women, genital herpes more often than not develops on the vagina lips and inside and around the pubic triangle. Along with these evident skin outbreaks, herpes infection can also include symptoms like fever, flu-like manifestations, swollen glands, and redness of the thighs and buttocks. These are called “prodromal” symptoms and are common with the initial herpes infection.
It takes around two weeks for a herpes infection to heal naturally without treatment or health plans intervention.
Although different people can develop varied signs and symptoms of herpes infection the proper diagnosis of a herpes infection can be done by medical professionals by undergoing laboratory and diagnostic tests. About eight out of 10 cases of herpes infection are mistaken as some other ailment due to the absence or mildness of the herpes symptoms that may come along with herpes virus infection.