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Herpes Blister Stages

Herpes blisters are a side effect of the sexually transmitted disease called herpes, from the Herpes simplex virus (HSV).

The sores or blisters, alongside a range of other symptoms, can form around the mouth or in the genitals, depending on which type it is.

However apparent the clinical features of herpes blisters are, they can still be easily mistaken for something else.

This article explains all you should know about your herpes blisters, including what they look like, how long they should last, and the diverse stages of the infection.

What Are Herpes Blisters Stages?

For blisters to heal, they go through a few healing processes. They grow through natural processes, and the symptoms get better if you do not pop them.

The stages of your blisters include:

Stage 1

The first stage of herpes blisters marks the beginning of the formation of the blisters. At this stage, the affected area itches, rings, and burns.

The formation of the blisters usually accompanies this series of sensations. The affected area also swells after.

Stage 2

At this stage, fluids form on the swellings. This happens around two days after the blisters form.

It can be accompanied by fever and a sore mouth in the case of oral herpes. Fluid-filled blisters form alongside aching pains and the existing itch.

Stage 3

This is the stage where the blisters eventually burst. The area is usually painful, and it lasts for 3 to 4 days.

The third stage of herpes blisters is the stage in which the sores are most contagious.

Stage 4

The fourth stage of herpes blisters, also known as the scabbing phase, involves where scans form, but they may bleed, burn, crack, and itch. The stage lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks.

Stage 5

The last stage of herpes blisters is the final stage, where the blisters heal completely, and the scab falls off. At this stage, the blisters disappear. This does not, however, mean that the virus is healed.

What Blisters Can Be Mistaken For Herpes?

Some similarities in the clinical features of herpes blisters and blisters from other disease conditions usually make it difficult to distinguish them.

It turns out that 20% of the time, herpes blisters get misdiagnosed as fungal, yeast infections, and other skin infections.

Different blisters that can be mistaken for herpes blisters include:

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that happens when your skin comes into contact with a foreign substance.

It could result from allergens or some specific irritant. The condition causes redness on the affected area, itching, and can be highly uncomfortable.

Contact dermatitis can be mistaken for herpes because one of its most prominent symptoms is blistering, a symptom often seen in herpes.

If you have contact dermatitis, you might experience itchy, swelling, burning, and blistering skin. However, in most cases, it is not as dangerous as herpes because it isn’t life-threatening.


Acne is sometimes mistaken for oral herpes. According to the national institute of arthritis, musculoskeletal, and skin diseases, acne is one of the most common skin diseases in both teens and young adults in the united states.

It is widespread amongst most women in their thirties, forties, and fifties.

The symptoms from acne are often mistaken for oral herpes because of the similarities in their breakout.

Although herpes blisters are always transparent and fluid-filled, they also look like the reddened skin and pimples you’d get from acne.

Other sexually transmitted diseases

Some other sexually transmitted diseases might also show symptoms that mimic herpes blisters.

Chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea are examples of such. The symptoms of your genital herpes might occur alongside that of other sexually transmitted infections.

Blisters, rash, and painful sores on your genital area can be from other sexually transmitted diseases and not herpes.

While you cannot be so sure about which disease it is, it is most advisable that you visit your physician for a diagnosis to figure out what is causing your herpes.

Other blisters that can be mistaken for herpes include:

  • Scabies
  • Yeast infections
  • Hemorrhoids

Do Herpes Blisters Bleed?

Symptoms of herpes usually get worse as time progresses, with different stages of the infection.

They start mild but would often worsen with time. Blisters from herpes are mostly filled with fluids, and they can also pop and bleed. Over time, the blisters break, turn into sores, and bleed.

Sometimes, they ooze whitish fluids instead of bleeding. The bleeding from herpes blisters is sometimes mistaken for vaginal bleeding.

However, they are not the same. Bleeding from herpes blisters usually occurs from the core of the sore when they break.

If you are experiencing any unexplainable and intense bleeding, it is most advisable that you pay a visit to your physician to discover what the problem is.

Do Herpes Blisters Hurt?

Herpes blisters hurt. The symptoms are often accompanied by painful sensations, itching, and swelling, among many others.

Individuals who develop symptoms of herpes may experience tingling, burning, and itching before it progresses to blisters that form sores around the mouth or genitals.

These usually happen 2-20 days after exposure to the virus.

Oral herpes can cause pains around the mouth. Genital herpes results in sores that develop on the Penis, around and inside the vagina, or on the buttocks.

How Long Do Herpes Blisters Last?

Herpes blisters do not exist for as long as the virus itself. Although it takes a while before they eventually heal, they disappear. L

The herpes virus, however, may remain in the body after the blisters heal, mainly if the infection still exists in your body.

Studies from the Harvard health publishing confirm that even after the blisters might have disappeared, the virus often remains in the body.

Herpes blisters heal up in one to two weeks. The blisters heal up and dry after some treatment and proper care.

Should You Pop Herpes Blisters?

Whatever you do, try not to pop your herpes blisters. Like any other blisters, popping them is never a good idea.

Popping your blisters makes the virus spread easier and faster, and eventually, the pain worsens.

Typically, your herpes blisters break independently and heal within the expected timeline of one to two weeks when you do not pop or burst them.

It is unnecessary to pop them, as that would only interfere with the healing process. It can backfire, worsening your symptoms and increasing the risk of more infections or long-term scarring.

Are The Blisters On My Fingers Herpes?

If you observe blisters on your fingers, there is a huge possibility that it is from herpes. The formation of blisters on the fingers is a condition called herpetic whitlow.

It is a viral condition where blisters form on the fingers and around the fleshy area of the fingers. They are most contagious and can develop after direct contact with a contiguous sore.

Understanding the symptoms of the condition will make it easier for you to protect yourself from it.

Symptoms of herpes blisters on the fingers can appear 1 to 2 weeks after exposure to the virus, and like every other kind of herpes blister, it would take 2-3 weeks to heal.

Herpes blisters on the fingers can come with burning, tingling that might get worse if it pops. It can also lead to fever or swollen lymph nodes in affected persons.

The possibility of getting recurring blisters on the fingers is higher after an initial outbreak. But fortunately, the blisters heal each time they break out.

Are The Blisters On My Buttocks Herpes?

Yes, it is possible for the blisters on your buttocks to be herpes. There are two significant types of herpes blisters.

They include oral herpes and genital herpes. Genital herpes involves the formation of blisters on the genital areas, like the penis, buttocks(scrotum, vagina, anus).

Blisters on the buttocks can be extra painful, primarily when in the anus. The infected area often itches and tingles before the blisters finally appear.

You might also have headaches, body aches, and fever from herpes blisters on the buttocks.

Bottom line

If you’re not already infected, you can reduce your risk of exposure to herpes blisters by taking extra care to not be too close to infected persons.

If you’ve been infected, there are ways you can always manage your outbreaks.

You can use medications to speed up the healing time and reduce the symptoms. Your physician can also help you come up with effective treatment plans to address your outbreaks.


Health line: Genital herpes

Everydayhealth: How Do I Know if I Have Herpes or Something Else?

Medicalnewstoday: Symptoms, causes, and treatment of herpes Medical news today: How long do cold sores last?

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