Genital Herpes Vs. Oral Herpes : What's What Of Each

In today's age, everyone has heard of herpes. There are two common types among ten variations of this disease: lips herpes

  • Genital herpes
  • Oral herpes

While the seriousness of both is different in society, the outbreak and the fact that both are so common make them very close family.


There are many similarities to both types.

  • Both are contagious and can spread as easily as a common cold
  • Both can be spread to any surface and can lay dormant on towels or sheets
  • Both have the ability to migrate to parts of the body where they are not supposed to go
  • The virus that causes both look identical under a microscope
  • Both types infect mucuosal areas of the body such as the genitals and the mouth
  • You can have either type and not know you have herpes
  • Both genital herpes and oral herpes travel along the nerves so oral herpes can break out anywhere along the face while genital herpes can appear anywhere in the upper area of the legs
  • There is no cure to completely rid yourself of either form of herpes


Here are the differences.

  • Oral herpes, unlike genital herpes is a skin rash, or cold sore contracted by about 80% of adults from when they were children
  • HSV-1 (oral herpes) likes to settle in a group of merve cells by the ears and when there is an outbreak the virus has traveled to the area around the mouth
  • HSV-2 (genital herpes) likes to establish itself at the base of the spine and when this breaks out it has traveled to the genital region
  • The social stigma of oral herpes is the opposite to genital herpes
  • The treatments to each are different and must be treated differently


oral herpesAlthough testing for both genital herpes and oral herpes is grouped under testing for STD's, the testing for herpes is not automatic with STD tests. Always ask your doctor about the following when being treated for STD

  • Know what you are being tested for
  • Know what you are not being tested for
  • Know what you can be tested for

Both genital herpes and oral herpes are very common and cause more embarrassment than pain. If there is one outbreak, there will be others. Once you have an outbreak of either form, consult your doctor about treatment options and be sure to inform those closest to you so it does not spread.



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