It’s important to recognise the early signs of a herpes outbreak so that you can react to it quickly and tackle it. So if you are wondering what visual signs to look out for, keep reading this page.
CAUTION: Some of these images are of a graphic nature.
Herpes outbreaks can look different during each outbreak, however I have compiled some images that display the most common visual signs of an outbreak.
Herpes outbreaks can sometimes (especially if you are unfamiliar with herpes) be mistaken for other things, such as pimples, a yeast infection or canker sores. This page will help you to understand what to look for if you believe you are having a herpes outbreak.
However, the best way to achieve an accurate diagnosis is to visit your doctor. Your doctor will either take a blood test or take swabs of the infected area for analysis. These two methods are conclusive either way.
What The Herpes Virus Itself Looks Like?
Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV1 and HSV2) are both members of the same herpes virus, Herpesviridae. It contains 68 viral genes. Under high resolution under a microscope, the virus appears as a dome covered in spikes. It can replicate extremely quickly. The virus lives in the nerve cells at the bottom of our spines. When your immune system is running low, the virus strikes by travelling through our nervous system which causes an outbreak around the genital area or mouth area.
Below is a high resolution image of the herpes virus and an image showing the structure of the herpes virus virion.
HSV1 or Oral Herpes/Cold Sores
HSV1 is oral herpes and does not affect the genital area. It predominantly affects the mouth and lips. The first symptoms of an outbreak include irritation and itching of the lips. Blisters will then develop which eventually scab over. It is important to note that during these stages, you will be contagious and you should avoid kissing and oral sex during this period.
Below is an image of HSV1 infection.
HSV2 or Genital Herpes
The first visual sign of an outbreak is itchy, irritable skin around the genitals followed by small, red sores. These sores will enlarge and turn into blisters which eventually burst and leak fluid. Lastly, the blisters will scab over, leaving no real visible scaring. It’s is very important to note that during an outbreak you are highly contagious and sexual activity must be avoided during an outbreak.
Below are images of a herpes outbreak in both female and male genitals.
Oh My God, What Should I Do?!
- The first thing to do is visit your doctor and request either a blood test or swab the infected area for analysis. It may take up to 5-10 days for the results to come through, however an accurate diagnosis is necessary
- If you are in a relationship, you must tell your partner. This can be a scary proposition, however honesty is always the best policy. You may need your partner tested for herpes, and theres even the possibility they have passed the virus to you. Either way, you both need to know your herpes status in order to take preventative measures in the future
- Look at a long term herpes outbreak prevention plan. There are a multitude of simple and effective changes you can make to your lifestyle and diet. There are chemicals in our daily foods which encourage the herpes virus to replicate! There are also chemicals in foods that fight off the herpes virus and prevent future outbreaks. Knowing which foods to avoid and which to focus on can make a dramatic difference to the frequency of future outbreaks.
I hope this helps you to understand the physical and visible signs of a herpes outbreaks and empowers you to take the necessary steps to deal with it.
P.S. If you would like to discover exactly how I created the ultimate blueprint to fighting genital herpes and becoming 100% outbreak free, visit my specialist genital herpes treatment website HERE and watch my free video presentation.