You Might Not Have Herpes - Commonly Confused Genital Infections
Although most people that begin to notice something wrong and different around their genital region are understandably frightened that they might have contracted herpes, there are also several different common genital infections that are not herpes related but nevertheless present similar symptoms as the herpes simplex virus. If you are worried that you might have herpes, you should first discontinue all sexual activity and seek medical attention immediately. Today, there are finally accurate blood tests that can help determine with high accuracy whether or not you have been infected with the herpes simplex virus. If you haven't yet had an opportunity to take a blood test or be seen by a doctor, you can take some comfort in the fact that there are many other common genital disorders much less serious than genital herpes which can nevertheless look and feel like a herpes simplex virus infection.
Commonly Confused Genital Infections - If It's not Herpes, it Could Be Impetigo
Impetigo is a highly contagious skin disorder that can result in crusty blisters, much like those found on patients suffering from a herpes simplex genital infection. Impetigo is caused by high contagious bacteria which is very commonly and very easily passed amongst younger children, but can nevertheless strike some adults as well. Impetigo is also more common amongst athletes that play intensive contact sports such as American football, wrestling or rugby, as mutual abrasions or close skin contact can result in the transmission of the bacteria that causes impetigo.
A patient suffering from an impetigo infection may experience a variety of visible and invisible symptoms. For example, bullous impetigo, which is almost exclusively seen amongst very young school children, can present with blisters that feature red and crusty barriers which nevertheless do not become sore. These blisters will eventually crust over and form either red or yellow scabs. This is somewhat similar to the behavior and appearance of herpes sores which can erupt around the genital region when a patient is infected with herpes simplex, the virus that causes genital herpes. Once again, the only way to conclusively determine what is causing blister like symptoms and sores is to consult a qualified medical professional for examination and testing.
Impetigo itself is most commonly found on the arms and trunk or torso, which should provide some further clue as to whether any visible cluster of sores is caused by bacteria or the herpes simplex virus that leads to genital herpes. Another important clue to monitor when trying to determine whether or not you have contracted genital herpes is the period of time it takes for blisters to appear and disappear. Generally speaking, the cycle of genital herpes that results in visible and painful blisters takes about 3-14 days from the beginning of the herpes blisters emergence to their remission. Impetigo is unlikely to follow this same cyclical pattern of emergence and remission. Cyclical behavior is strongly indicative of the herpex simplex virus, which emerges as blisters, burts and scabs over on its own, and then enters remission during which period it burrows into the nerve roots of the affected area so that it can emerge again during the next outbreak.