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Herpes skin rash is rash that occurs during infection caused by herpes viruses. There are many herpes viruses which can cause herpes rash on different parts of the body. People are commonly affected by three types of herpes viruses. They include Herpes Simplex type I which is responsible for cold sores and fever blisters, Herpes Simples type II which causes herpes of the genital area and finally, Herpes zoster which is responsible for shingles.

Cold Sores

Cold sores also known as fever blisters occur in people who are infected with Herpes Simplex virus type I. This disease is very contagious. It affects oral cavity and the face. In this case herpes rash typically features with small blisters that occur in clusters. They are filled with liquid and are rather painful. The eruption of blisters occurs spontaneously. In oral cavity blisters rupture almost instantly due to increased moisture. The rupture leaves open sores which are very painful. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cold sores. Still, the symptoms may be alleviated by numbing agents such as phenol, Benzocaine, lidocaine, etc. Anti-viral medications such as acyclovir, Valacyclovir are used as well since they inhibit the multiplication of viruses.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is caused by Herpes Simplex virus type II. It can be easily transferred via sexual contact. Both genders can be affected. Herpes rash also occurs in a form of blisters and may affect different parts of male and female genitalia. The symptoms of genital herpes vary a lot. Some people only complain about slight discomfort while others suffer from rather painful skin changes. Apart from herpes rash genital herpes can cause additional symptoms such as fever, malaise, depression, painful urination and vaginal discharge. Similar to cold sores genital herpes is treated with anti-viral medications. The rash is genital herpes is more susceptible to secondary infection due to specificity of this area. It is, therefore, essential to keep the affected skin clean.


Shingles are caused by a virus that belongs to the Herpes family even though it is not the same as Herpes Simplex virus type I and II. Shingles may develop long time after one has had chicken pox, to be more precise has been infected with Varicella zoster virus. After chicken pox the virus becomes latent and is located in the nerve cells. Certain conditions such as age, chronic illnesses or insufficient immunity lead to reactivation of the virus and typical herpes rash for shingles occur. It features with bumps and blisters that are located along the affected dermatome. Herpes rash in shingles is usually in a form of a belt or band, it is itchy and cause tingling or burning sensations. Even this type of herpes rash is treated with anti-viral medications. Patients may be additionally prescribed topical ointments to reduce itchiness and painkillers in case of severe pain.

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