Identifying Herpes Rash

Herpes rash doesn’t only occur around the genitalia.  In fact, it is quite possible to get a herpes rash on another part of your body.  Even more disturbing for those of us who are single and enjoying ourselves on the dating circuit is the fact that as many as one in four Americans may carry the herpes virus and that most may not even know they have it.

Consider this statistic from the Centers for Disease Control, the government agency responsible for tracking contagious diseases.  According to the CDC, one in ten adults aged 20-29 report having the herpes virus.  This statistic only measures those that know and report that they have the virus, however.  Strong evidence suggests that more than twice as much as twice that many carry the virus unknowingly because either they have not noticed any symptoms, or if they have, they misdiagnosed their symptoms.

Part of the reason that herpes sometimes goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed is because sometimes the initial symptoms don’t occur in the way people would expect and because the virus sometimes has a dormancy period before it first comes into full bloom.  Of course, sometimes the infected person is simply in denial of the obvious.

Classic Herpes Symptoms

Although many of those who have herpes are virtually asymptomatic, many experience the classic herpes symptoms.  The textbook herpes sufferer presents with a grouping of pea sized pus-containing bubbles on the surface of the pubic area.  These bubbles turn into painful lesions that form a hardened outer layer before returning to normal after a couple of weeks.

A percentage of sufferers present with only a herpes rash that looks somewhat like acne except for its genital location.  Some present with discomfort while peeing, while women often complain of having an unexplained discharge from their private parts.

Typically, it takes about a week after infection for the first signs of herpes to show up.  Often the sufferer will think they have the flu and may miss the increased size of the lymph glands on his or her lower regions.  Most herpes sufferers report that their initial encounters with the virus symptoms were by far the worst.  The body tends to adjust to the virus over time making the active periods shorter and the symptoms milder.

Once herpes sets in, it comes and goes unpredictably, though the typical herpes sufferer has four to five outbreaks per year.  Usually, just prior to an active period, the sufferer will notice feeling a bit of mild irritation.  They may perhaps even get a sizzling sensation around the genitals—although these can also turn to outright pain.

Atypical Symptoms

Sometimes the symptoms do not follow the “textbook” pattern, often leading sufferers into a false sense of comfort.  A common occurrence, for example, is to experience the herpes rash on the legs or buttocks instead of on the genitalia.

What is the herpes rash like when it is on the buttocks or thighs?

The symptoms are actually much the same as when they present on the pubic surface.  Typically, you will begin with a rash or bumps on the effected surface within a week of infection.  The rash will develop into uncomfortable pus-filled lesions and that will harden and then disappear after a couple of weeks.  Often the sufferer will get a series of flu-like symptoms accompanying this rash.  Typically, these will include head and body pain, feeling like you want to throw up, actual regurgitation and abnormally high body temperature.  Discomfort peeing and unexplained vaginal discharge are still possible even if the pubic area seems clear of rash or lesions.  If the sufferer palpates his or her inner thighs, he may notice his genital lymph glands are swollen.

To truly confirm that the person has herpes however, the sufferer must contact a doctor for a test for STDs.