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We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this , we may earn a small commission. Herpes sores can affect many areas of the body, including the mouth, genitals, and eyes. Knowing what herpes looks like across the body can help people diagnose the condition. Herpes is a skin condition caused by the herpes simplex virus. The symptoms include sores that come and go over time. Different types of herpes affect different body parts.

This article will explain what herpes is, how people get it, and what herpes looks like with pictures. Most people with HSV are asymptomatic, meaning they will not experience any symptoms. Others will notice sores or lesions. These sores look like blisters filled with fluid. Over a few days, the sores break open, ooze, and form a crust before healing.

People may also notice a tingling, itching, or burning feeling a few days before the sores appear. Some people may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as:. Someone who has contracted the virus will usually have their first sores, or an outbreak, between 2 and 20 days later. The sores may last up to a week or 10 days.

An outbreak may involve a single sore or a cluster of sores. They often affect the skin around the mouth, the genitals, or the rectum. The blisters can take between 2 and 4 weeks to heal. The symptoms will usually reappear from time to time, though they do not tend to be as severe as the first time. The following sections discuss the symptoms of herpes that arise on commonly affected body parts.

People develop herpes after being exposed to the herpes simplex virus HSV. There are two types of this virus:. People can contract both herpes viruses through bodily fluids, including genital fluids and saliva. Once someone has the virus, the symptoms can flare up from time to time for the rest of their life. While the sores can be uncomfortable and even painful, they are not usually dangerous for otherwise healthy adults. In oral herpes , most blisters appear on the lips or mouth. They can also form elsewhere on the face, especially around the chin and below the nose, or on the tongue.

At first, the sores look similar to small bumps or pimples before developing into pus-filled blisters. These may be red, yellow or white. Once they burst, a clear or yellow liquid will run out, before the blister develops a yellow crust and heals. Females with genital herpes may develop sores on the vulva, which is the external part of the genitals that includes the outer lips labia , or inside the vagina. It may be difficult to see sores that develop inside the vagina.

Genital sores vary in size and , but as with oral herpes, they look like pimples or blisters filled with fluid. They will burst and develop a yellowy crust as they heal. Females are more likely to have trouble urinating during a genital herpes outbreak than men. They may experience a burning sensation while passing urine. They may also notice they have swollen lymph nodes in their groin. Males with genital herpes may develop sores on and around the penis. Small red or white pimples develop into larger, fluid-filled sores that may be red, white or yellow. As with oral herpes and female genital herpes, these sores tend to burst before crusting over.

Both men and women with genital herpes may develop sores or blisters on the buttocks or around the rectum. Herpes sores may also appear around the rectum, and a person may also develop swollen lymph nodes in the groin. Herpes blisters can also develop on the fingers.

This is called herpetic whitlow and is most common in children who suck their thumb. Herpes can cause one or more sores to develop around the fingernail. A person will often experience pain or a tingling sensation in the area before the sore develops. If multiple sores appear, they tend to up and become one large, honeycomb-like blister within a week. They may also spread to the nail bed. Herpes keratitis refers to a herpes infection in the eye. It may affect one or both eyes and causes:. Anyone who suspects herpes keratitis should see a doctor.

Without treatment, the infection can scar the eye, leading to cloudy vision, or even vision loss. Herpes is a mild skin condition caused by the herpes simplex virus. It causes blister-like sores to appear anywhere on the body. The most commonly affected areas include around the mouth, the genitals, and buttocks. There is no cure for HSV, and people who have contracted the virus will usually experience breakouts from time to time. The sores usually clear up on their own, though people can help treat outbreaks using antiviral medicine, such as:. These treatments, which are available as creams or pills from drug stores or on prescription, can shorten the duration of a herpes outbreak.

To avoid transmitting herpes to other people, avoid skin-to-skin contact during flare-ups of symptoms, especially when the sores are open. When a person has genital herpes, they can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by using a condom between outbreaks. People with oral herpes can reduce the risk of transmission by avoiding kissing, sharing tableware, or performing oral sex during an outbreak.

Antiviral medication is available for purchase online. Read the article in Spanish. Herpes can cause painful blisters and sores to the mouth and genitals. Learn about treatments and when to get tested here. Valacyclovir is a medication that can help to treat infections caused by the herpes virus. Read on for more. Cold sores are common, and they can sometimes appear under the nose. Learn about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of cold sores under…. Herpes gladiatorum is a transmissible viral infection that spre through skin-to-skin contact, often during contact sports.

Learn more here. What does herpes look like? Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph. Appearance What is herpes? Share on Pinterest The appearance of herpes will differ depending on the area of the body it affects. What is herpes? Female genitals. Male genitals. Share on Pinterest Children who suck their thumb may develop herpetic whitlow. Hypertension, gut bacteria, and sleep apnea: Is there a link?

Why are scientists massaging mice with robots? Molnupiravir vs. Related Coverage. What to know about valacyclovir Valacyclovir is a medication that can help to treat infections caused by the herpes virus. What causes cold sores under the nose and how to deal with them. Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph. What to know about herpes gladiatorum. Medically reviewed by Alana Biggers, M.

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