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Does Herpes Itch?

Does herpes itch?  Well, to answer that question, you should first understand a bit about the disease and how it is divided.

In the United States, herpes is the most popular sexually transmitted disease.  The infection is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and the Herpes Simplex Virus Type II.

Approximately 90 percent of Americans are believed to be affected by type I which offers the result of cold sores.  So does herpes itch?  Type I does not.

How Is Herpes Spread?

Over half a million of Americans find themselves diagnosed with the Herpes Simplex Virus Type II every year and since it is highly contagious, it spreads very fast.

Herpes can be spread by direct skin contact including kissing, touching and sexual contact.  Moist areas are easily infected such as the throat, mouth, vagina, anus and eyes.

It can pass from one person to another or from one of your own body parts to another.

Herpes spreads the easiest through open sores and it can even spread before any blisters form.  A baby can be infected with herpes from their mother during childbirth so pregnant women should always be sure that their doctor is aware that they are infected.

Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

To answer the question, “Does herpes itch?” it is best to review all of the symptoms.  Becoming infected with herpes often will not cause symptoms until after the infected person has passed it on.  Symptoms can take up to 20 days to appear after the virus has entered the body.

“Primary herpes” occurs during the first infection where you may experience itching and tingling in the genital area.  Therefore, this answers the question of, “Does herpes itch?”

This itching may be accompanied with soreness or pain in the legs, groin and buttocks area.  Often painful, small bumps will then appear on whatever area the virus used to enter the body.  These bumps will later turn into open sores and blisters.

Other symptoms may include burning, inability to urinate, tender and swollen lymph glands in the throat, underarms and groin area, muscle aches, fever, headache, nausea and an achy feeling that is similar to having the flu.

Often, symptoms will diminish within three weeks or even sooner if you are treated with medication.  Sores will scab over and usually heal without scars however, even after going away, the herpes virus stays present in the body.

Symptoms Of Oral Herpes

The question of, “Does herpes itch?” was positive for genital herpes but it is negative for Herpes Simplex Virus Type I.  Often there are no symptoms at all but it can cause sores around the mouth, gums and teeth that are characterized as fever blisters or cold sores.

Flare-ups generally occur from fevers, colds or sun exposure and the virus can be spread during kissing and oral sex.


Your health care provider will prescribe you medications that will quicken healing time and make symptoms less painful.  These medications will not cure the virus.

Once you are infected with herpes you will have it for the rest of your life.  In addition to the medications, if you have oral herpes you should apply a sunblock around your lips to lessen the chance of an outbreak occurrence from sun exposure when you are outside.

There are also a few things that you can do to help with the pain or discomfort such as:

  • Keep the sores clean and dry at all times.
  • Wear loose clothing and cotton underwear to lessen chaffing against sores.
  • Apply a cool compress to the sores several times per day for minutes at a time.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with fever or pain.

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