What are the symptoms of herpes?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 24, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What are the symptoms of herpes?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

There are three types of herpes, which are herpes simplex, genital herpes, or herpes zoster, so I will go over the symptoms of each.

Herpes simplex is also known as cold sores or fever blisters. These are painful blisters that show up on the lips, mouth, or nose.

Genital herpes usually shows up as a cluster of small blisters on the vagina, penis, buttocks, or thighs that turn into painful sores. Sometimes symptoms are mild, but other people will get a flu-like illness (fever, swollen glands in the groin area, general malaise) with the first outbreak. Unfortunately, once you get this virus, other outbreaks may occur.

Herpes zoster is also known as shingles. This virus actually is the chickenpox virus. Once someone has been infected with it, it can lie dormant in the nervous system for years. The re-infection is characterized by a painful red skin rash with tiny blisters that form on one side of the body, often in a stripe (as they follow the dermatome of the spinal nerves).

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have genital herpes, that show up on bottom of pelvis area, not on penis, and not painful. On no medication since 1977.