What Causes Genital Herpes
People who give oral sex to people with genital herpes can get cold sores in their mouths.
Genital herpes spreads more easily when a person has blisters and open sores, though it is also possible to spread the virus when no symptoms are present.
Certain triggers can make genital herpes outbreaks more likely to occur, such as:
Home remedies to help reduce the pain of genital herpes during an outbreak include:
- Use a portable bath or your bathtub and sit in warm water for about 20 minutes. Avoid bubble baths.
- Keep the genital area clean and dry.
- Avoid tight clothing.
- Over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help with the pain.
What Are The Risk Factors For Herpes
Some risk factors for herpes may include:
-Having unprotected sex
-Having sex with multiple partners
-Kissing someone with a herpes virus that is active
-Abuse of cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs
-Spreading the virus by touching a cold sore and then touching something else
-Having an autoimmune disorder or illness, such as hepatitis or HIV/AIDS
-Poor eating habits that cause nutritional deficiencies
What Does The Beginning Of Genital Herpes Look Like
The onset of symptoms typically occurs within 1-2 weeks of infection. This stage is identified as the prodrome or beginning stage, as the appearance of inflammation indicates the virus has progressed to the surface of the skin.
Men may feel a burning sensation when urinating if an outbreak of genital herpes occurs in the urethra. Women experiencing an HSV-2 outbreak may also deal with painful urination as well as unusual vaginal discharge. Inflammation of the cervix may also indicate genital herpes infection.
The itching or tingling sensation in the genital areas signifies the progression of the virus, as it travels from the ganglia directly adjacent to the spinal rope in the lower back, to the surface of the skin via nerve paths. Since the nerves in the genitals, upper thighs and buttocks are linked, a genital herpes outbreak can occur in any of these regions.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Hiv From Herpes
Herpes Rash On The Finger
Herpetic whitlow is a painful infection of the finger, caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 . Small blisters form on the hand and fingers, usually around the fleshy area of the fingertips. Symptoms of herpetic whitlow include swelling, pain, blisters, sores, and a change in the skin tone on your finger.
How Long Does Shingles Last
Shingles blisters usually scab over in 7-10 days and disappear completely in two to four weeks. In most healthy people, the blisters leave no scars, and the pain and itching go away after a few weeks or months. But people with weakened immune systems may develop shingles blisters that do not heal in a timely manner.
You May Like: How To Heal Herpes Outbreak Naturally
Don’t Miss: How To Know If I Have Herpes Or Not
Stage Three Formation Of Blisters
The next stage of a herpes outbreak is the formation of blisters. Blisters are filled with fluid and can be white, red, or clear. They will appear on the swollen area of the skin and remain there for around two days.
Sometimes they develop in clusters and other times they will develop separately. They can be very sensitive to the touch, so patients are advised to avoid touching them.
What Are The Herpes Outbreak Stages
- Lauren Stuttaford
Herpes, otherwise known as the herpes simplex virus, is categorized into two types: herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 .
The first is mainly transmitted through oral-to-oral contact causing oral herpes but can also cause genital herpes. While HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital herpes. Both types of the infection are lifelong.
A person infected with herpes, whether oral or genital, might show no symptoms or could progress through the different herpes outbreak stages from blister development to herps healing. However, most herpes infections are asymptomatic.
According to the World Health Organization , an estimated 3.7 billion people under 50 years old have HSV-1 infection globally, and an estimated 491 million people between the ages of 15-49 have HSV-2 infection worldwide.
Astonishingly, the virus causing genital herpes or HSV-2 increases the risk of contracting and transmitting HIV, putting millions at greater risk of contracting an HIV infection.
Lets take a closer look at the herpes outbreak stages.
Also Check: How Long Does Herpes Last For
What Does Shingles Look Like On Your Buttocks
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
Typically, the first herpes outbreak is worse than later outbreaks. Your immune system builds up antibodies that fight against the herpes simplex virus. With time, outbreaks tend to occur less often and they become milder.
How Do You Prevent Genital Herpes
Practicing safe sex includes:
- Telling your sex partner you have herpes
- Using a condom every time you have sex
- Condoms may not fully protect against getting herpes
- Not all herpes sores occur in areas covered by a latex condom
- Herpes virus can be shed from areas of the skin without a visible herpes sore
Taking antiviral medicine every day may also reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Read Also: How To Tell.someone You Have Herpes
When Is It Time To See A Doctor For Genital Herpes
Its important to see a doctor if you suspect you have genital herpes. Your doctor may collect a sample and test it for the herpes simplex virus and other STIs. Once your herpes diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor can help you select a medication or treatment best suited to minimize the impacts of genital herpes on your health and quality of life.
You may also want to see a doctor if your recurring genital herpes outbreaks are causing you intense pain and discomfort. Though herpes isnt a dangerous condition that causes serious health problems, ongoing outbreaks may become a nuisance or cause embarrassment and pain.
You May Like: Can You Donate Blood If You Have Herpes
What Causes Shingles In Your Mouth
Shingles can affect the skin and mucosa, or tissues that line your body. This includes the inside of your mouth.
The cause of oral shingles is the same as shingles in general. The disease develops when your immune system becomes weakened. A compromised immune system is unable to control the virus, allowing it to multiply and cause shingles.
Several things can weaken your immune system and activate shingles, such as:
- emotional stress
Visit a doctor if you develop mouth lesions or mouth pain of any kind. You should also see a doctor if you have mouth lesions and:
- severe tooth or mouth pain
- unusual sensations, like tingling, burning, or prickling
- the mouth lesions are oozing or bleeding
If your doctor thinks you have oral shingles, theyll use several tests to make a diagnosis. This may include:
- Physical examination. Your doctor will check the lesions in your mouth for redness, blistering, and crusting. Theyll also examine your skin for other signs of shingles.
- Medical history. To determine your risk of developing shingles, your doctor will ask questions about your health. Theyll also want to know if youve had chickenpox before.
- Swab test. Your doctor may swab the blisters in your mouth. The swab will be sent to a laboratory, where technicians will analyze it for the varicella-zoster virus.
- Blood tests. A blood test is used to check your blood for signs of infection. This includes antibodies, which your body creates in response to shingles.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get Medication For Herpes
How Can I Best Learn To Cope With Herpes Simplex
Some people feel distressed or embarrassed about their herpes simplex infection. Its important to understand that the herpes virus is common. For most people, herpes doesnt significantly interfere with daily life.
To cope with negative feelings, you may consider:
- Connecting with others through support groups or online forums.
- Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
- Speaking with a therapist.
What Are The Stages Of Tongue Herpes
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 50 to 80 percent of adults in the United States have HSV-1, even though they might never have experienced any symptoms. And about 16% of people age 14-49 have HSV-2, notes the Centers for Disease Control ., and those without visible lesions can spread the virus.
Herpes can remain dormant until triggered by a fever, emotional stress, fatigue, an injury or surgery, menstruation, or persistent sunlight exposure. Once triggered, you might experience these herpes stages, which in total might last two to three weeks:
Recommended Reading: Does Herpes Get Better Over Time
Read Also: Do Normal Std Tests Check For Herpes
What Is A Herpes Rash
A herpes rash, also known as an outbreak, is the bodys response to the presence of the herpes virus. This virus causes small sores to develop on the skin, often around the nose and mouth or genitals, although they can develop anywhere on the body. The location of the outbreak often depends on where the affected person was first exposed to the virus.
At this point, no cure is available for herpes, which means people can experience outbreaks of the herpes rash at any time. The first outbreak is often the worst and most painful, with future outbreaks lessening in severity.
You May Like: How To Live With Herpes 2
Recognizing The Signs: The Prodrome
Early in the phase of reactivation , many people experience an itching, tingling, or painful feeling in the area where their recurrent lesions will develop. This sort of warning symptomcalled a prodromeoften comes a day or two before lesions appear. To be on the safe side, its best to assume virus is active during these times.
Recommended Reading: Dr Sevi Cure For Herpes
How Genital Herpes Is Spread
You can get genital herpes if you come into contact with:
- Saliva from a partner with oral herpes
- Genital fluids from a partner with genital herpes
- Skin around the mouth or genitals of someone with a herpes infection
You can even get herpes from skin-to-skin contact with someone who has no symptoms and who may not even know they have herpes.
Pimples Test Negative For All These Tests
What do I do now?
Once you successfully identify the nature of your sores, which should be an easy task now that you know what herpes looks like, the management is not that complex either. Since pimples are a hygiene issue, it only means a more thorough cleaning with effective products such as acne ointments, antibacterial soap and creams, oil ointments for inflammation, and patting with a warm, wet cloth a few times a day.
On the contrary, if you have even a little doubt that your sores may be herpes, you should visit your primary care physician and get an anti-viral prescription. Herpes may be incurable but anti-viral is more than enough to stop it from affecting your quality of life at all. Early identification is the key to a better life.
I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Herpes Outbreak Getting Worse
How Does Genital Herpes Affect A Pregnant Woman And Her Baby
Neonatal herpes is one of the most serious complications of genital herpes.5,16 Healthcare providers should ask all pregnant women if they have a history of genital herpes.11 Herpes infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth, or babies may be infected shortly after birth, resulting in a potentially fatal neonatal herpes infection. 17 Infants born to women who acquire genital herpes close to the time of delivery and are shedding virus at delivery are at a much higher risk for developing neonatal herpes, compared with women who have recurrent genital herpes . 16,18-20 Thus, it is important that women avoid contracting herpes during pregnancy. Women should be counseled to abstain from intercourse during the third trimester with partners known to have or suspected of having genital herpes. 5,11
What Treatment Options Are Available For A Herpes Rash
Although herpes cannot be cured, it can be managed to prevent rashes and sores. Many people with herpes do not develop clinical signs, though its still possible to spread the infection even when no symptoms are present. If you experience repeated or severe outbreaks, your healthcare provider might prescribe antiviral medications that can help shorten outbreaks or make them less frequent. You can take an antiviral pill every day to prevent outbreaks, which is called prophylaxis. Healthcare providers often recommend this treatment to patients who have frequent, painful outbreaks. If youve been previously diagnosed with herpes, Nurx can prescribe oral or genital herpes treatment online and deliver the medication to your door with free shipping. To request herpes treatment from Nurx, get started here.
Antiviral ointments and creams can also treat the symptoms, which include tingling, itching, burning, or pain. The most commonly prescribed antiviral medications include valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir. Over-the-counter creams and ointments are available, which may lessen symptoms and shorten the healing period.
Read Also: Can You Die From Genital Herpes
What Are The Types Of Herpes Viruses
Herpes is a group of contagious viruses. All of these viruses cause blisters and sores. Some of the more common herpes viruses include:
- Type 1: HSV-1, or oral herpes, causes cold sores to form on lips, gums, tongue and inside the mouth. It can cause genital herpes in some cases This type usually spreads through saliva when you kiss someone with open herpes sores. You can also get HSV-1 by sharing items like toothbrushes, lipsticks or eating utensils.
- Type 2: HSV-2 causes genital herpes.
- Herpes zoster: This virus causes chickenpox and shingles.
Recommended Reading: What To Put On Herpes On Buttocks
How Do People Get Genital Herpes
Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8
Also Check: Does Hydrocortisone Help With Herpes
When To Call The Doctor
Even though HSV sores can hurt and be unsightly, most cases of herpes do not cause serious illness. The sores go away in a few days. Contact the health provider if:
- Sores are present and you think it might be a first herpes infection. The diagnosis is usually made by examining the sores. If the sores have not healed, sometimes a laboratory test is done.
- Sores do not heal by themselves or show signs of infection such as pus, spreading redness or fever.
- Sores are near the eyes.
- You have another health condition with a weakened immune system.
Read Also: Is Doxycycline Used For Herpes
What Is A Cold Sore On Lip
Cold sore. Cold sores, often called fever blisters, are clustered, small, fluid-filled blisters. You may feel a tingling on your lip before a small, hard, painful spot appears . In a day or two, blisters form, which later break and ooze . Healing usually occurs in two to three weeks without scarring.
Also Check: How To Cure Herpes Forever
Can I Still Have Sex If I Have Herpes
If you have herpes, you should talk to your sex partner about their risk. Using condoms may help lower this risk but it will not get rid of the risk completely. Having sores or other symptoms of herpes can increase your risk of spreading the disease. Even if you do not have any symptoms, you can still infect your sex partners.
You may have concerns about how genital herpes will impact your health, sex life, and relationships. While herpes is not curable, it is important to know that it is manageable with medicine. Daily suppressive therapy can lower your risk of spreading the virus to others. Talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns and treatment options.
A genital herpes diagnosis may affect how you will feel about current or future sexual relationships. Knowing how to talk to sexual partners about STDs is important.
Symptoms Are Often Fairly Mild And Unlike Many Herpes Photos On The Internet
The truth is, herpes can be as insignificant as a tiny pimple, a paper-cut or just redness and inflammation in the area.
The typical symptoms, however, tend to consist of a small sore or cluster of sores which develop into a blister which then burst, scab over and heal.
These links will give you more information:
You May Like: Will The Shingles Vaccine Help With Herpes