Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is common in the United States. It is estimated that up to twenty-five percent of American adults have genital herpes, though many do not realize they have this disease. Genital herpes is caused by a viral infection of the herpes simplex type two. What do herpes look like on a woman?
The reason many people do not realize that they have herpes is because many people do not experience any herpes symptoms. Of those who experience symptoms, the symptoms of herpes may be mistaken for other slight abrasions, an ingrown hair, or pimple.
The typical herpes rash resembles a small bump or blister. The blister can resemble a pimple or insect bite. Some herpes symptoms in women may be mistaken for blisters for razor burn, a small cut from the razor, a yeast infection, or ingrown hairs. The herpes blisters can occur anywhere in the groin area not just on the genitals. Herpes blisters may be on the buttocks, lower abdomen, or upper thighs.
Within two weeks of acquiring the infection, the first outbreak of the herpes symptoms usually occurs. The first outbreak of herpes is usually the most severe. The person may develop a cluster of blisters that turn into open lesions. Eventually, the lesions scab over as they begin to heal. The herpes sores typically heal within four weeks after their emergence. People may also experience flu-like symptoms.
Many people do not experience initial outbreaks following the infection. People may live for years without experiencing any symptoms or ever knowing that they have herpes. Some people experience symptoms that as so mild, that the symptoms are not recognized as being herpes. Men and women who have mistaken the herpes blisters for other abrasions may be unknowingly spreading herpes to others.
People may experience recurrent outbreaks of the herpes sores. The sores during subsequent outbreaks usually heal much faster than they did during the first outbreak. Herpes sores from outbreaks after the first outbreak may heal in less than a week.
Antiviral medication is used to treat genital herpes. The use of antiviral medication for herpes can cut down the length of outbreaks to one or two days. Suppressive therapy involves taking antiviral medication every day to eliminate outbreaks.
Suppressive therapy may not eliminate every outbreak, but people who use antiviral medication to suppress outbreaks have only twenty-five percent of their usual outbreaks on average. The use of suppressive medication also helps prevent spreading herpes.