Readers ask: What Can Be Confused With Genital Herpes?

Herpes symptoms can be mistaken for many other things, including:

  • A different STI which causes visible lesions, such as Syphilis or genital warts (HPV)
  • Irritation caused by shaving.
  • Ingrown hairs.
  • Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
  • Pimples.
  • Yeast infections.
  • Haemorrhoids.
  • Bug bites.

Can trichomoniasis be mistaken for herpes?

Itching, burning, redness, and general discomfort of the genitals are common signs of trichomoniasis, ones that can potentially be mistaken for herpes. If you’re concerned that you may have contracted either infection, it’s important to get tested.

Can BV be mistaken for herpes?

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) It is not considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, but is more common in sexually active women. Like Genital Herpes, BV often doesn’t have any symptoms, however should symptoms arise, you might experience discharge, itching and discomfort, a burning sensation and a fish-like odour.

Is it obvious if you have genital herpes?

The most obvious signs of genital herpes caused by HSV-2 are groups of blisters (lesions). They can show up on the vulva and penis, and around the anus or inside of your thighs. You can also have blisters on the vagina, cervix, or testicles.

Can syphilis be confused with herpes?

Syphilis: A Greater Health Threat Than Herpes Like oral herpes, syphilis can also cause mouth sores, which often clear without treatment. But despite these similarities in symptoms, the two diseases differ in their causes — syphilis is caused by a bacteria and herpes by a virus — and the health risks they pose.

Are herpes bumps hard?

During a herpes outbreak, you’ll notice tiny, painful blisters filled with clear fluid. The blisters may appear in clusters and can also appear on your rectum and mouth. The blisters tend to feel squishy.

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Can herpes test be mistaken for something else?

Herpes tests aren’t the only ones with a risk of false positive results. False positives can occur for any test that diagnoses viral infection based on antibodies, i.e., your body’s immune reaction, rather than direct detection of the virus.

What color is herpes discharge?

Vaginal discharge associated with herpes usually takes the form of a thick and clear, white, or cloudy liquid. It’s most common to have discharge when you’re having other symptoms like sores.

What does a single herpes bump look like?

At first, the sores look similar to small bumps or pimples before developing into pus-filled blisters. These may be red, yellow or white. Once they burst, a clear or yellow liquid will run out, before the blister develops a yellow crust and heals.

How do I know its herpes?


  1. Pain or itching. You may experience pain and tenderness in your genital area until the infection clears.
  2. Small red bumps or tiny white blisters. These may appear a few days to a few weeks after infection.
  3. Ulcers. These may form when blisters rupture and ooze or bleed.
  4. Scabs.

How do I know if I’m having a herpes outbreak?

Symptoms for herpes can come and go. When you do have them, it’s called an outbreak. It may start with tingling, then blisters on or around your genitals, anus, thighs, or buttocks. When the blisters break, they leave sores that take a few weeks to heal.

How can you tell a girl has herpes?

The first signs may include:

  1. Itching, tingling, or burning feeling in the vaginal or anal area.
  2. Flu-like symptoms, including fever.
  3. Swollen glands.
  4. Pain in the legs, buttocks, or vaginal area.
  5. A change in vaginal discharge.
  6. Headache.
  7. Painful or difficult urination.
  8. A feeling of pressure in the area below the stomach.
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Can you have herpes and never have an outbreak?

Yes. Even when no sores are present, the herpes virus is still active in the body and can spread to others. If you or your partner has herpes, reduce the risk of spread by: using a condom every time you have sex (vaginal, oral, or anal).

What can cause a false positive herpes test?

A person who only has HSV-1 may receive a false positive for HSV-2. IgM tests sometimes cross-react with other viruses in the same family, such as varicella zoster virus (VZV) which causes chickenpox or cytomegalovirus (CMV) which causes mono, meaning that positive results may be misleading.

Can doctors tell if you have herpes?

Your doctor usually can diagnose genital herpes based on a physical exam and the results of certain laboratory tests: Viral culture. This test involves taking a tissue sample or scraping of the sores for examination in the laboratory. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.