How Do I Know if I Have Genital Warts or Herpes?

How Do I Know if I Have Genital Warts or Herpes?

You’ve noticed bumps in your genital or anal area that are red, itchy or sometimes painful. They could be something simple like ingrown hairs or razor bumps that can appear after you shave. But if you are sexually active, you may be more likely to get an STD.  They could be either genital warts or genital herpes. Many people confuse the two conditions because they look so alike. However, genital warts and genital herpes are fundamentally different. Here is how to know if you have genital warts or herpes.

How can I tell if I have genital warts or herpes?

Genital warts and herpes are both sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They can infect your private parts, causing embarrassing bumps. Both conditions are caused by viruses. They are transmitted through sexual contact, such as oral, vaginal and anal sex. Touching anything that has come in contact with the virus can put you at risk.

Herpes can cause outbreaks of painful sores or blisters. They are highly contagious and can be transferred from person to person by:

  • Kissing
  • Sharing lip balm
  • Sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses

A person with herpes can also spread the virus to their partner during oral sex. Even when there are no visible symptoms, the virus is still contagious.

Both genital warts and herpes can be transmitted from a mother to her child. This happens during pregnancy or delivery, however, the chances are quite rare.

Some factors can increase your risk of getting genital warts or herpes. These include:

  • Becoming sexually active at a young age.
  • Being sexually active for many years.
  • Having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
  • Having unprotected sex with a person who has multiple sexual partners.
  • Having sex with a person who has genital warts or herpes.
  • Having had another sexually transmitted disease, like HIV.
  • Having a weakened immune system.
  • Having physical or emotional stress.
  • Abusing tobacco and/or alcohol.

There is no cure for genital warts or herpes. The viruses can stay in your body and cause outbreaks at any time. However, a study found that the viruses can go away on their own within 1 to 2 years.

Sexual intercourse can increase your risk of genital warts and herpes

Sexual intercourse can increase your risk of genital warts and herpes

Read more: 10 Common Myths about STDs That You Shouldn’t Believe

Differences between genital warts and herpes

A number of differences below can help you distinguish between genital warts and herpes.  

1. Causes

Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This kind of virus includes more than 150 different types. While some can cause genital warts, some can lead to certain cancers. HPV 6 and 11 are responsible for 90% of all cases of genital warts.

Herpes, on the other hand, results from the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus comes into 2 types: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Oral herpes is caused by HSV-1. Genital herpes is caused by HSV-2.

2. Symptoms

Genital warts result in small bumps in or around the genital area. They can also grow on or inside the anus, mouth or throat. Genital warts vary in size and appearance. They are usually painless and can go along with symptoms like:

  • Itching
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding during sex

After infection, it can take 3 weeks to 18 months for genital warts to show up on your skin.

Herpes can cause lesions in the affected areas. It usually appears within the first 2 weeks after you’ve contracted the virus. Herpes is described as a red, painful blister that can break, ooze and turn into a scab. It can take 2 to 4 weeks to completely heal. But during the outbreak, you may suffer from itching, tingling and burning sensations. In some cases, herpes also causes abnormal vaginal discharge. If you are first infected with herpes, you may experience flu-like symptoms. They include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue and headache.

Genital sores

Genital warts, not herpes

Read more: 7 Factors That Can Increase Outbreaks of Genital Warts

3. Diagnostic test

Genital warts and herpes can sometimes cause no symptoms. Moreover, both can be mistaken for other skin conditions like yeast infections. To determine if you have genital warts, herpes or something else, you should see a doctor.

Skin examination can help your doctor find out genital warts. If necessary, they will prescribe an HPV test or Pap test to confirm the diagnosis.

Herpes can be easily diagnosed by a physical exam if lesions are present. The doctor can take a sample of your lesions for laboratory testing. If the diagnosis is unclear, PCR test or blood test can help.

4. Treatment

Don’t panic! Genital warts and herpes are so common. You can get rid of viruses and treat the symptoms by medication and lifestyle remedies.

If you’ve been diagnosed with genital warts, use VidaroX to lessen the symptoms of the warts. Or, you can ask a doctor about medication such as imiquimod or trichloroacetic acid. To treat the warts, surgery like excision or a laser can also be effective.

Herpes can be controlled with antiviral drugs, such as ProsurX, Valtrex or Famvir. ProsurX is one of the best topical creams that can reduce the severity and duration of herpes. Doctors recommend applying this cream 2 to 3 times daily for effective results.

An immune system is designed to protect your body from viruses. So to get rid of genital warts or herpes fast, think about boosting your immune system. Bulletproof deep immune support supplement can shorten healing time and suppress future outbreaks. Take 2 capsules daily if you are dealing with any of the two conditions.

Boost immune system to fight genital warts and herpes

Boost immune system to fight genital warts and herpes

5. Prevention

There is no way to entirely eliminate your risk of genital warts or herpes. But several ways below can help significantly.

  • Practice safe sex
  • Avoid oral sex
  • Get routine screenings
  • Use a condom during sexual intercourse
  • Ask a partner to get tested before you start having sex

It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and to receive early treatment. When you aren’t sure if you have genital warts or herpes, speak to your doctor.

Read more: 8 Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy and Strong

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