Genital Herpes Blisters


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The most obvious symptom that is associated with genital herpes is large painful blisters on the infected area. They are generally irritable and last throughout the duration of the outbreak, turning into painful sores after a period of time. The infection varies between individuals as some may have numerous blisters on multiple areas of their body whereas some people may not experience any blisters at all.

How do blisters occur?

The Herpes simplex virus causes the formation of the blisters when it is present on the skin. Firstly, you will notice a rash on the area, which will soon develop into lumps. These lumps become fluid filled blisters and these blisters usually arise in clumps in the affected area. The blisters are usually between 1-3 mm in diameter. After a certain period of time, these blisters will burst causing painful sores that leak fluid. There is a high risk of infection at this point because effectively the sores are open wounds. As the outbreak continues, these sores will eventually dry and scab over as the start to heal. Once all the sores are healed, the outbreak is over and the virus is no longer present on the skin.  More and more lesions can occur approximately one week after the first blisters were present, making the outbreak a long process.

Risk of spreading the infection

When the blisters are present on the skin, the virus is present within them. Therefore, there is a high risk of passing along the infection when the blisters or sores are present. If anyone comes into contact with these areas, the virus can easily be transmitted. There is always a chance of passing on the virus, even when the blisters are not visible.

Treating the blisters

As the blisters cause a great deal of irritation and pain, there are a number of ways in which to relieve the pain. Oral acyclovir can speed up the healing process and acyclovir ointment can also be applied to help the blisters heal. Anaesthetic creams can also be applied to the area in order to reduce the pain. Vaseline is also a good remedy if applied to the blisters as it can create a protective layer over the blister to stop urine from coming into contact and causing pain. Ice may also reduce swelling in the area. The blisters are at risk of becoming infected when they are open so keeping the area clean with water is important.

Blisters are important in diagnosis

The blisters that the herpes simplex virus causes are an important diagnostic when it comes to diagnosing the infection. They are an obvious symptom from which a good sample can be collected. The virus resides in these blisters when it causes infection, so a swab of the fluid can be taken and cultured to look for its presence.


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