Do Genital Herpes Itch? Unveiling the Itching Enigma

Harman Kaur
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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do genital herpes itch

Genital Herpes is a Sexually Transmitted Infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). 

While its hallmark symptoms include painful sores and blisters, itching is also a common and distressing feature. 

The virus primarily affects the genital and anal areas, leading to discomfort and irritation. 

Understanding the itch aspect of this infection is crucial for individuals seeking information on its varied manifestations, like do Genital Herpes itch?

It enables them to recognize and address this pervasive health concern effectively.

Itching in Genital Herpes

Patients with genital herpes often experience itching, which commonly precedes the appearance of any visible lesions.

The sense of itching is thought to be caused by the inflammatory reaction that the virus causes when it spreads and multiplies along nerve pathways. 

Itching and pain may also result from the immune system’s reaction to the illness.


Person having burning sensation while urinatingSource: Prostock_studio
Itching sensation

The emergence of blisters is recognized as an outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, on average, the first outbreak usually manifests around four days after contracting the virus.

However, the appearance can vary, occurring in as little as two days or as much as 12 days or more.

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Are you willing to go through some medical guidance for Genital Herpes?Read the article Genital Herpes Medication: Types, Benefits & Considerations.

For individuals with a penis, typical symptoms include blisters on the following:

  • Penis
  • Scrotum
  • Buttocks (near or around the anus)

For those with a vagina, general symptoms encompass blisters around or near the following:

  • Vagina
  • Anus
  • Buttocks

Common symptoms for anyone include:

  • Blisters may manifest in the mouth, lips, face, or any other area in contact with infected regions
  • Itching or tingling may precede the appearance of blisters
  • The blisters may ulcerate, forming open sores that ooze fluid
  • A crust may develop over the sores within a week of the outbreak
  • Swelling of lymph glands, responsible for fighting infection and inflammation, may occur
  • Viral infection may induce headaches, body aches, and fever
In the case of a baby born with Herpes (contracted through vaginal delivery), general symptoms may involve ulcers on the face, body, and genitals. 

Babies with Genital Herpes are at risk of severe complications, such as:

  • Blindness
  • Brain damage
  • Death

It is crucial to inform a doctor about a current Genital Herpes diagnosis or if HSV is contracted during pregnancy. 

Healthcare providers will take precautions to prevent virus transmission to the unborn baby during delivery. 

If Herpes blisters are present along the birth canal, the healthcare team may opt for a cesarean delivery instead of a routine vaginal delivery.

When to see a doctor

Consult a doctor to know about the medication for low libidoSource: pixelshot
Consult a doctor to know about the medication for low libido

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against testing for Genital Herpes in the absence of symptoms, it becomes crucial to consult a doctor if symptoms do arise. 

A healthcare professional can provide a diagnosis and discuss appropriate management strategies for the infection.

Furthermore, in cases where there is a potential exposure to HSV or a desire for a comprehensive STI examination and testing, it is advisable to arrange an appointment with a doctor. 

For situations where an in-person appointment is not feasible, an at-home test kit is an alternative. 

However, it’s essential to be aware that a test conducted by a doctor in person may offer greater accuracy.


Recognizing the itch associated with genital herpes is essential for individuals dealing with this prevalent health issue.

Itching, often preceding visible lesions, stems from the inflammatory response triggered by the herpes simplex virus. 

Recognizing symptoms, such as blisters and discomfort, is vital for timely medical intervention. 

For expectant mothers, disclosing a Herpes diagnosis is imperative to safeguard the newborn from severe complications.

While testing is not routine, seeking medical advice when symptoms arise ensures accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Genital Herpes constantly itch?

Certain individuals report experiencing tingling or an itch around their genitals or anus, sensations that can persist for up to 24 hours. Additionally, there may be an observation of a patch of red and swollen skin in the vicinity of the genitals or anus. In some instances, this patch may emerge on the thigh or buttocks.

What looks like herpes but is not?

Various conditions can exhibit symptoms that resemble those of Genital Herpes, such as BV, Folliculitis, Genital Eczema, and skin irritation. If you’re concerned or troubled by your symptoms, you should avoid self-diagnosis and consult your doctor.

How do you treat Genital Herpes itching?

Ensure that sores remain clean and dry, and opt for loose-fitting cotton underwear. If a particular area is causing pain, apply a cold compress to alleviate discomfort. For cleaning and soothing painful sores, reducing itchiness, or alleviating tenderness, consider taking a bath with Epsom salts.

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