​​Herpes vs Ingrown Hair ​​Herpes vs Ingrown Hair

​​Herpes vs Ingrown Hair: Differences and Treatment

 

Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate between ingrown hair (folliculitis) and another sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes. Is there a way to distinguish between the two?

 

There are several types of skin irritations, including herpes, ingrown hairs, and others. This article will explain their differences. Besides covering herpes treatment, it will also explain when to seek medical attention.

 

Herpes vs Ingrown Hair: Symptoms

Bumps or blisters on the genitalia are never welcome. They can form for several reasons, some more serious than others.

 

Ingrown hairs and genital herpes can cause bumps or blisters in the genital region, so knowing the symptoms can help you treat them properly.

 

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) Symptoms:

HSV-2 is most commonly responsible for genital herpes, but HSV-1 (the virus that causes cold sores and oral herpes) may also be responsible. In an outbreak of herpes, painful blisters or sores can appear in, on, or around the genitals, anus, or inner thighs. The mouth can also be affected by herpes blisters.

 

Herpes infection symptoms include:

 

  • Before the appearance of sores, there may be tingling, itching, burning, or other sensations

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Fever

  • General achiness

Ingrown Hair Symptoms

The most common cause of ingrown hairs is a bacterial infection of the hair follicle. Bumps that form around ingrown hairs can resemble genital herpes blisters. Hair follicles become infected with ingrown hairs individually.

 

A person with curly, thick, or coarse genital hair can have them frequently if they shave or wax frequently.

 

There are several symptoms of ingrown hair, including:

 

  • Fluid-filled bumps that appear to be small and reddish

  • Pimple-like bumps

  • An itching sensation

  • A red or sore area that is inflamed or swollen

  • Squeezing or breaking an ingrown hair can result in white pus

 

Main Differences Between herpes and ingrown hair

A small dark spot or visible hair is usually present at the centre of an ingrown hair, making it easy to distinguish it from a herpes blister. Dark spots will not appear in the centre of a herpes blister.

Both can be fluid-filled, and the edges of both may appear reddish and painful.

Herpes blisters don't have scaly, flaky skin on the top of the bump, while ingrown hair is usually covered in scaly, flaky skin.

Suppose you are unsure what caused a blister on or around the genitals. In that case, a healthcare provider can perform a simple examination and even order basic lab tests to determine the cause of the blister.

 

There are other possible causes of skin rashes and outbreaks.

In this article, we have discussed symptoms of herpes virus infection and ingrown hairs.

 

However, other factors may also contribute to sores or outbreaks in the genital area.

 

  • Public lice (crabs)

  • Lichen planus

  • Allergic reactions

  • Jock itch, ringworm, or other fungal infections

  • Syphilis

Treatment

Herpes blisters and ingrown hairs can both be uncomfortable.

 

It's important to note that even though the sores appear similar, they must be treated differently.

 

Herpes Treatment

Herpes cannot be cured.

However, some medications can reduce outbreak frequency or shorten blister duration.

 

Pain or discomfort may be relieved with other medications.

 

  • Pain relievers available over-the-counter

  • Antiviral ointments or topical medications that may shorten the outbreak's duration

  • Acyclovir (Sitavig), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex) are popular antiviral medications for frequent outbreaks.

 

Herpes blisters should never be popped.

 

This will preserve healing. It may aggravate pain and irritation. Herpes blister fluid can also spread the infection to other body parts.

 

Ingrown Hair Treatment

It takes a few days for ingrown hairs to resolve on their own. The healing process will be sped up by applying warm compresses daily to the affected area. Please don't squeeze or scrub the bump to prevent increased pain and irritation.

Tell your healthcare provider if the bump does not resolve after a few days or if it gets larger or worsens. There may be another cause of your symptoms.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can Ingrowns be mistaken for herpes?

A Herpes blister may look like ingrown hairs. Their sizes are similar, and they are fluid-filled. The centre of an ingrown hair is usually covered with dark hair. Herpes blisters usually produce yellowish fluid, while ingrown hairs produce whitish pus if they break open. Please don't try to figure out the type of infection by breaking open a sore.

 

Is it ingrown hair or herpes?

A single ingrown hair is usually located over a hair follicle. Herpes blisters usually form in clusters consisting of several blisters close together. The pain associated with both sores tends to subside within a week or two if the sore is ingrown hair-related. It generally takes 2-4 weeks for genital herpes outbreaks to heal.

 

When to See a Medical Provider

You should consult your healthcare provider if you don't know what's making your genital area hurt or if you're concerned about STDs.

 

You can consult with a Mobi Doctor if you need help 

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