Herpes is a condition that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can be transmitted through the saliva or through sexual contact. The causative agent enters the body through cuts or cracks in the skin or mucosal surfaces. The virus can attack and reproduce in the nervous system. It can remain inactive until it is triggered by a stressful incident, another infection and/ or trauma. It is a common infection although some people who get infected are not aware that they have it because they do not manifest any or some of the usual signs and symptoms. The most common manifestations of this infection are fever, body aches, weight loss, blisters or lesions and swollen lymph nodes. So now you may be wondering, what does herpes look like?
Herpes pictures of oral herpes which is caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 will show a solitary oral lesion or blister. At times it may appear as a clustered lesion with associated pain. They are usually referred to as cold sores. Although these blisters are often seen on the lips or around the lips, they may also affect areas such as the cheeks, nose and/ or even the chin. These symptoms do not manifest in all patients with oral herpes. At times, these lesions are mistaken for acne or pimples, a cut or small crack in the skin, an insect bite or even chapped lips. In some cases the lesions do not progress to its blister like appearance, they simply appear as tiny bumps on the skin and are reddish in appearance.
Genital herpes pictures on the other hand will show ulcerations that are small and are fluid filled. These lesions crust over and eventually scab looking like small healed cuts with reddish and swollen skin surrounding it. The infected individual may then experience tingling, itching or sometimes a burning sensation on the affected part of the vagina or penis, the anal area, testicles or the scrotum. For the males, indicators of a genital herpes infection will be seen on the foreskin or the head of the penis, on the shaft and anywhere in the pubic area. For females, it appears on the labia and in the region where pubic hair grows.
It is very important that you check with your physician as soon as you notice any of the signs and symptoms of herpes whether oral or genital. And this is especially true if you are one who enjoys more than one sexual partner. Physical assessment is always the first step but in cases wherein the symptoms are no longer present, a blood test may be done to determine the presence of the causative agent. But this test is only possible after 3 months from exposure. Although there is no cure for this infection, antivirals may be given to lessen the extent of the outbreak and prevent the reproduction of the herpes virus.