What does Herpes Look Like?


Pictures of What Herpes Looks Like?
This picture depicts a common lesion when the Herpes Zoster infects a region on the chest of a male patient.

Itís true that many people with oral herpes simplex virus do not have herpes symptoms. But as per an estimate about 80 percent of herpes infections are not recognized or misinterpreted as some other infection because of mild, absent or symptoms like of other diseases.

Symptoms of herpes can be mistaken for a skin irritation, pimple, razor burn, urinary tract infections, yeast infection, ingrown hair follicles, hemorrhoids, chapped lips, rough sex, abrasions or some insect bites.

People who experience first episode usually get severe symptoms then people who are having recurrent symptoms. Signs of herpes tend to gets milder upon subsequent outbreaks because the immune response recognizes the virus appropriately respond to it. This brings us to the point as to how properly diagnose herpes symptoms or what does herpes look like at the very first outbreak.

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How does oral herpes look like?

Caused by herpes simplex virus 1, classically oral herpes look like or appears as a single oral lesion (blister) or may even appear as a cluster of lesions which tend to be painful. These blisters are commonly referred to as cold sores. The blisters form on the lips but may also occur on other areas all over the face such as the nose, cheeks or chin. These typical/classical symptoms have been looked or seen in only about 20 percent of the people infected with herpes.

These blisters can easily be mistaken for a pimple, small crack or cut in the skin, chapped lips or insect bite. Sometimes herpes look like tiny red bumps on the skin that doesn't forms into blisters.


How does genital herpes look like?

By a visual examination genital herpes look like small fluid filled ulcers (lesions) that crust over and scab like a small cut on top of red, swollen skin. They may sometimes take more than 14 days or two weeks to heal completely. Where the blisters have formed the patient may have experienced itching, tingling, or burning sensation usually areas of vagina vulva, anus, penis, scrotum, or testicles are involved.

In men, signs usually appear on the tip of the penis or on foreskin or shaft of the penis or in and around the pubic area. In women, genital herpes usually appears on the lips of the vagina and in and around the area of pubic hair.

Itís important to notice while having a visual look at the herpes symptoms is that the sufferer may also show up flu-like symptoms, such as fever, swollen glands, particularly in the groin or aches (pain) in the back of the legs, the buttocks, or lower back.  Redness can be looked for on the buttocks and thighs.

These sorts of symptoms are called sensory warning symptoms (prodrome) and mostly occur before you can visibly look at the signs of herpes infection by a day or two. Some genital herpes symptoms cannot be looked at like lesions (sores) because of their location, inside the vagina or on the female cervix. But one can look for abnormal vaginal discharge or penile discharge.


In conclusion what does herpes look like whether oral or genital? Can range from:

  • One or more rashes
  • One or more small cuts.
  • One or more small blisters filled with fluid (clear, whitish, or red).
  • Early redness or the skin looks different from surrounding skin.
  • Swelling (edema).
  • One or more wet ulcers may appear when the tops of the blisters come off.
  • One or more sores that may feel tender or raw upon touching.
  • One or more small bumps on the penis or vagina.
  • Dry crust when sores start to heal.

Signs are different for each person. People must not assume that because the symptoms are not harsh and will just last a few days they are not as serious as genital herpes. Diagnosis can be made based on visual symptoms alone. But the doctor may in addition to looking at the physical symptoms, ask for laboratory tests.

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