What Does a Herpes Skin Rash Look Like?

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The skin rash caused by either oral or genital herpes can present as red bumps that can turn into painful and itchy sores or blisters that may contain fluid, which later burst and crust over, relates the American Academy of Dermatology. The two forms of herpes virus that can cause these infections are herpes simplex virus 1 or herpes simplex virus 2. Oral herpes is caused by HSV-1, and genital herpes is caused generally by HSV-2, explains the American Skin Association.

Besides bumps and blisters forming in this stage of a herpes infection, some other symptoms can be a fever, muscle pain and lymph node inflammation. In cases of genital herpes infections, difficulty in urination may also occur, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Depending on the type of herpes infection, symptoms will manifest on different areas of the body. Oral herpes affects the areas around the mouth and face. However, the infection can be transmitted to other body areas through direct contact. Genital herpes tend to appear on the genital organs of both men and women, but the infection can also spread to other skin areas.

However, before the symptoms of red bumps or blisters develop, a person can have other symptoms like a burning or tingling sensation in the affected area. The first symptoms of an initial infection can appear between 2 to 14 days after exposure to this virus, reports the University of California, Santa Barbara.