Herpes Rash: What Does It Look Like and How Is It Treated?

Herpes Rash: What Does It Look Like and How Is It Treated?

Herpes rash: what is it and why does it happen? Read on this article for more details.

A rash is a symptom of herpes that usually occurs within the first two weeks after contracting the virus. Like other initial symptoms of herpes, it’s easy to mistake this rash for a symptom of another viral skin infection. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to recognize a herpes rash and how to treat it.

What causes herpes?

Herpes viruses are very common and include more than 100 different types. However, only 8 of these viruses can infect humans and cause many types of diseases such as:

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) that belongs to the herpes virus family can be to blame for herpes. It has two main types including:

  • HSV-1, or type 1
  • HSV-2, or type 2

HSV-1 is also known as cold sores or fever blisters. It usually causes herpes that occurs on the lip or around the mouth. HSV-1 is contagious by skin-to-skin contact. It can be transmitted by oral sex and then can spread to your genital area. HSV-1 tends to recur less frequently than HSV-2.

HSV-2 commonly causes genital herpes. This virus can spread both by skin-to-skin contact and by sexual contact. HSV-2 is so common and can be transmitted even when you have no open sore.

The herpes simplex virus can’t live long outside the human body. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to get herpes from a toilet seat, or any other surface.

Herpes simplex virus

Learn more: Can You Get Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) From Toilet Seat?

What does a herpes rash look like?

A herpes rash typically looks like a group of blisters around the mouth or genitals. The blisters can be small, red and fluid-filled. When they pop, they will then break open, ooze fluid, turn into scabs and heal. In most cases, the herpes rash goes along with other symptoms such as:

  • Redness, pain, itching, burning or tingling
  • Sores or ulcers- which are also called “lesions”
  • Painful urination

If you’re first infected with herpes, you may also experience flu-like symptoms. They include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Muscle pains

It’s quite normal to get a herpes rash after exposure to the HSV. In some cases, however, the virus lies dormant and causes no symptoms. This can help explain why many people don’t know they have herpes and then spread the virus to others.

what does a herpes rash look like

Learn more: 8 Most Common Causes of Sore Throats Every One Need to Know

Why does herpes give you a rash?

Doctors and researchers have discovered the causes of herpes rash. They include:

The body’s immune system. This system plays an important role in recognizing and destroying foreign invaders. However, the HSV inserts itself into another protein and hides from the immune system. It then gets chewed up inside cells, moves to the cell’s surface and causes an infection. The herpes rash is more likely to happen when your immune system is weak.  

Several things that happen on your skin during an outbreak. The herpes rash can result from white blood cells that start to attack the HSV. This leads to small blisters that are filled with a white, or clear and sticky fluid. It’s also due to irritation of the skin or more blood flow in the affected area.

Symptoms can vary depending on every person’s immune system. As mentioned earlier, you’re more likely to develop a herpes rash if your immune system is weaker. Over time, the body’s immune system is able to fight the virus. People with herpes will then have less outbreaks and less severe symptoms.

Other factors can trigger the virus, causing a herpes rash. They can be stress, colds, sunlight, hormones and sexual intercourse.

Does herpes give you a rash

Learn more: Rash on Penis- What Could It Be?

How do you diagnose a herpes rash?

The rash caused by herpes sometimes can be confused with the rash of:

To know if you have herpes or it is something else, you should consider:

Self-Checks. Herpes can cause visible lesions on your skin. Check these lesions and look for other herpes symptoms.  

Labs and Tests. Swab testing is used to look for the virus in your lesion. Blood tests can help identify herpes even when you do not have obvious symptoms.

Positive result of blood test for herpes. Test tube with a blood test in the doctor's hands. Medical concept.

Does herpes rash go away?

The herpes rash can usually last from 2 to 3 weeks and heal on its own. However, the virus that causes herpes is incurable. Once you’ve contracted herpes, you will have this virus for life. That’s why people with herpes have 4 to 5 outbreaks per year. After an outbreak, herpes travels to the spinal cord and stays here. When something triggers the virus, a new outbreak will occur.

In some cases, untreated herpes can be serious and even life-threatening. It can last up to a month and spread to internal organs such as the liver and lungs.

Learn more: Why Do I Often Have Cold Sore Outbreaks in the Winter?

How do you treat herpes rash?

To make herpes go away faster and prevent new outbreaks, you should:

Get medical treatment. Herpes can be treated easily with antiviral medications. They can be found in topical and oral forms. Prosurx is one of the most common over-the-counter creams for herpes. It can help soothe the rash and treat other symptoms of herpes in 3 to 4 days. Besides, Prosurx is well known for stopping herpes outbreaks before they start. To do this, you should apply the cream when you feel an outbreak coming on. To buy Prosurx, go to the pharmacy or visit amazon.com. If herpes does not respond to this treatment, ask your doctor for prescription drugs such as Aciclovir and Valaciclovir. They can take several weeks to months to clear the infection.

Prosurx can help get rid of herpes rash

Relieve a rash from herpes. There are many things you can do to get of this rash, for example:

  • Wash the rash with plain or salty water
  • Use raw honey topically
  • Apply cool compresses to ease pain and itching
  • Use paracetamol if you experience pain
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing
  • Do not share lip sticks, towels or eating utensils with others
  • Avoid having oral, vaginal, or anal sex

Take preventive measures. If herpes affects you severely, or if you have many outbreaks in a year, take antiviral medications. To prevent outbreaks from happening, use preventative methods. Abstain from sex during a herpes outbreak. Use condoms every time you have sex. Avoid kissing when you or the other person has a cold sore.

Learn more: 7 Super Foods to Shorten Herpes Outbreaks


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