What does herpes look like is a common question as this disease now infects twenty five percent of the U.S. population. Education is an extremely important part of the prevention and control of this virus but before we look into what does herpes look like let’s discuss what herpes is. Some of this information you may already know but hopefully you will be able to find something that you didn’t know to further your education about this virus.
There are two types of the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 and HSV-2. Type 1 is usually referred to as cold sores that appear around the mouth and eyes (ocular herpes). Type 2 affects the genital area although both of these types can reside in either areas.
When I say reside, the herpes virus never goes away. It only presents itself through outbreaks but during its dormancy it lives in the nerve endings where the outbreaks occur. In HSV-1 those nerve endings are found near the ears and in HSV-2 it’s found at the lower base of the spine. According to The American Social Health Association, under a microscope HSV 1 and HSV 2 are virtually identical, sharing approximately 50% of their DNA.
Now let’s get into the reason why you’re here. So what does herpes look like? There is a misconception that herpes looks like a pimple although in the virus’s early stages it may resemble one as it starts as a red bump. The signs and symptoms of herpes and its severity differ as some people may experience all symptoms and some experience none.
The beginning red bump is accompanied by a burning, tingling or itching sensation. This feeling is best described as feeling raw or a pain similar to a rug burn or a sunburn type sensation. After this stage the herpes virus then takes on a blister appearance as it fills with fluid. Once this breaks open the wound is then in the healing stage as it crusts over as in a scab. Herpes does not leave a scar and this whole process can take anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeks.
The best way to answer what does herpes look like is through visual images. These pictures of herpes will give you idea of what this virus looks like and hopefully won’t scare you too much as the internet is filled with worse case scenarios. I have tried to give you the best representative pictures to help you find your answer. If you do feel like you have contracted the virus please seek the advice and diagnosis from your physician so that you can learn how to either control or prevent from getting this virus.
As someone who has lived with genital herpes for 28 years I can tell you life does go on if you do get this disease. There are so many ways to help you control the virus these days that it is not as bad as it once was. The key is to educate yourself in the prevention of this disease and eliminating herpes outbreaks.