Category Archives: Herpes Symptoms

Information on detecting herpes and what symptoms you may have before an outbreak occurs.

What Does Herpes Sores Look Like

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.

herpes picture
Herpes Simplex on Body Picture

Herpes Symptoms – Bone Pain before Herpes Outbreak

Part of preventing an outbreak is to know the symptoms of Herpes and to act accordingly. Herpes is caused by a virus which can be lying dormant within a person and during the dormant stage, a person carrying the virus will not exhibit any symptoms of having it. However, there are some symptoms that can indicate that a person has the virus and that an outbreak is imminent. One such symptom is bone pain. However, bone pain alone does not mean that you are immediately a candidate for having herpes or that an outbreak will occur. You should look for other signs and symptoms to confirm what is causing the pain.

Bone pain and herpes, more specifically genital herpes, certainly comes with dispute. Many physicians have stated that there is no correlation, and it’s generally not medically accepted, but an overwhelming of individuals (especially since the internet) report that prior to an outbreak, they experience bone pain, in their legs, back, buttocks, spine or even joint pain. Some state that it can be quite excruciating, and others swear by the fact they can immediately tell that this pain coincides with an outbreak. Since the herpes virus does lay dormant, one theory, which is currently undergoing tests, is that genital herpes can be associated with what’s called neuropathic pain.

Neuropathic pain, in short, is pain caused by damage to the nervous system. It’s generally found in people with diabetes, people with nutritional deficiencies , hiv and cancer, but has also been found with people that have shingles, which is a type of herpes. It is very possible that any bone pain associated with an outbreak is neuropathic.

Since outbreaks may last for up to two to three weeks, one needs to be prepared to handle the situation and to be patient while this is happening, because some studies show that stress and anxiety can further aggravate or prolong the condition. Anxiety attacks and stress may even start an outbreak, so it is important for people with herpes to be able to take control of their emotions and to stay away from stress as much as possible. Aside from bone pain before an outbreak, you should also watch out for the following symptoms: red or itchy skin, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fever, headaches, and lower back pain.

Since there is no cure for herpes, the best way to fight it is by paying attention to your own symptoms, using a suppression medication, and be watchful of how your own body reacts. Discover how your body reacts to food, stress, etc. It is always important to get as much information about the disease as you can, either through your doctor or by researching on your own. Being familiar with your condition means you would be able to anticipate any complications or future issues, and that you would be able to know what to do in case anything happens. That way, you can relieve yourself of anxiety and stress and you can lessen the possibility of outbreaks from happening. Also remember that having herpes does not mean that you will always have to stay on guard. With proper treatment and medication, you can certainly lead a no-outbreak, healthy life.

What Are The Signs I May Have Herpes?

For all the sexual education that we may have, especially when we’re younger, aside from HIV, you rarely think about STDs that cannot be cured. I recall growing up and never thinking about an STD that can’t go away. Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention when they were speaking about herpes. Most people truly don’t even know what herpes is, how it looks, or even how to treat it – or if it is treatable at all. There are some things that you might want to look at if you believe that you have herpes, and the sooner you find out whether or not you have it, the sooner you can fight back against it.

First it is important to know that more than three fourths of the world suffers from the herpes virus, even though more than sixty percent don’t even know that they have it. You could have contracted herpes and have no signs at all, passing it to others without ever being aware of it. Why some people react and breakout and why some don’t is a mystery, in which can be associated to our individual genetic makeup. If you contracted herpes (verified by a blood or antigen test) and do not show signs, that means that your body has built up some immunity for the virus. This could have happened if you suffer from a lot of cold sores, or herpes of the mouth, when you are sick or stressed out.

If you are showing signs of the herpes virus, you will notice that you infected area will become itchy and burn a bit. More often than not, you’ll experience a tingling sensation before an outbreak occurs. You might also notice that your lymph glands are swollen either on the sides of your neck or in your genital region. The most visible awareness of herpes is a sore that may start off as looking like a zit or a whitehead, then burst and quite possibility lead to a painful inflamed blister. However, herpes my also be first noticed by little red bumps that later scab over or crust over and turn into these painful blisters. Symptoms such as headache, fever, lower back pain and muscle aching are commonly associated with the early stages of a herpes outbreak as well.

Some symptoms of herpes are more painful than others. You could get a very painful burning sensation in your infected area. To help this, you should either use a topical cream or take a warm bath and add in some baking powder to help get rid of the pain. It is also possible to get vaginal and penis discharge. Also associated with the discharge is darken urination.The fact is, many people experienced different signs or symptoms of the herpes virus, but it’s important that if you notice something or feel different, it’s best to see your physician before the problems get any worse.

What Does Herpes Look Like?

Because of the different stages of a herpes outbreak, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what herpes look like. In the initial stages, herpes can look like whitehead, or a zit, that you would find anywhere else on your body. Embarrassingly enough, the first time I encountered herpes was on my leg, and I thought I had poison oak. I began scratching it to the point where it bled, which just ultimately caused it to spread. In my case, it looked very similar to poison oak. Some cases of this virus look like small paper cuts, and when an outbreak is in full effect it looks like a series of mosquito bites. A herpes breakout starts with an irritating rash on the surface of the skin, and then it turns into larger, zit like blisters. The skin with the issues usually becomes tender at this point, and the blisters begin to grow until they potentially form one large blister. The insides of the blisters can be clear, white, green or yellow, and the overall look of the problem will depend on the person and where the herpes is on his or her body. Once the blister breaks, herpes at that point, looks like an open sore.

When the herpes outbreak starts to heal, the blisters will begin to crust, scab and will begin to look like normal skin again. Depending on how severe the outbreak is, scaring may occur, but generally it will not. The skin that remains underneath the herpes might be a different shade than the rest of the skin, but after healing, it does all look like the same texture at least. Future outbreaks should not look as bad, with less blisters forming and a quicker healing time. Again, that all depends on the severity of your case and the treatments you are undergoing. There’s very little distinction, if any, between what herpes looks like for HSV-1 and HSV-2, they’re just at different parts of the body. If you think you may have herpes, it’s always important and can’t be stressed enough to get tested and talk to your doctor to see what treatment may be right for you.

Here’s two pictures of HSV-1, Oral Herpes from the initial stage, where zit like blisters begin to form to the time when the blister has popped and has scabbed.
pictures of HSV-1oral herpes pictures

What Are The Symptoms of a Herpes Outbreak?

The symptoms for a herpes outbreak may depend on the type. The herpes virus comes in two strains, HSV-1, which is oral herpes, aka coldsores, and HSV-2, which is gential herpes. As we know, herpes is contracted by skin to skin contact. In most people infected with the herpes virus, their first outbreak usually happens anywhere from two days up to almost three weeks after coming into contact with someone that had herpes. Because your immune system has never experienced the virus, there are no anti-bodies to help fight it off, so the first outbreak may be the worst you’ll ever experience. Initial symptoms can include:

– Swollen lymph nodes in your genital region or throat
– Inflamed blisters on the infected area
– Flu like symptoms, such a fever, sneezing, headaches etc
– Burning/tingling sensation in the infect area
– Pain in the lower back, back of legs or buttocks
– Small red bumps in the genital area that develop into blisters, which burst, then form a scab

It’s important that you do not self-diagnose these symptoms, but immediately speak with your doctor and get tested. Many times, people misdiagnosis themselves, thinking the blisters or red bumps are just an insect bite, pimple, jock itch, ingrown hair, etc. It’s very easy to make the mistake, especially if herpes is totally brand new to you.

After an outbreak happens, the physical signs of herpes could last for one to two weeks. During this time though, you should make sure to keep the infected area clean with warm water and dry it completely. Make sure that after you touch any of the infected areas that you wash your hands as you could spread your virus to different parts of your body if you are not careful.

Some people, however, are not like others and their case of herpes is generally mild in comparison. This is mainly due to the fact that these people have already dealt with a mild case of herpes before (i.e. having oral herpes and contracting genital herpes) and their immune system has fought back against this infectious disease. Sometimes you may or may not even notice the herpes outbreak if your body has fought this type of infection before. In general, mild cases can last about two to three weeks. They are usually far less severe from the first outbreak.

If you think that you have have contracted herpes, it’s important to immediately talk to your doctor and get tested ASAP. You want to make sure that you receive a professional diagnosis. You will have many questions, and you may be totally scared, and that’s completely normal. What’s important is to find out for sure if you do in fact have herpes, then work with your doctor to figure out what treatment may work best for you.