Anal Herpes: Symptoms, Treatment, And Care

In This Article

Anal Herpes: Symptoms, Treatment, And Care

Dr. Ananya Ghosh

Dr. Ananya Ghosh

Updated on March 14, 2024

Medically verified by Dr. Arya

Fact checked by Dr. Pournami

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Have you heard of anal herpes? Are you a person dealing with it? Tired of the pain and discomfort due to constant itching in the anal region?

To get rid of these challenges, it is crucial to know how to manage anal herpes. For your physical comfort and overall well-being.

This viral infection, caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), if left untreated, can bring about discomfort, pain, and worsen your quality of life.

In case you’re dealing with this daily inconvenience, worry not. Karepedia is here to help you out from this.

In this guide, we will learn about the symptoms, available treatments, and essential care to help you tackle this condition with greater understanding.

What is Anal Herpes?

Before we deep dive into managing anal herpes, let’s first understand what this issue is.

Herpes is a painful disease of the private parts caused by Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). While HSV-1 causes oral herpes, HSV-2 causes genital and anal herpes.

Please note, anal herpes can be cross infected from genital herpes, often seen among those who are into oral sex and are homosexuals.

Symptoms of Anal Herpes

Care to know the signs of anal herpes? Here you go.

  • Painful red bumps or sores around the anus

  • Whitish coloured blisters which may cause ulcers

  • Itching and uncomfortable sensation

  • Tingling and burning sensation in some

  • Scab formation over the ruptured ulcers

  • Inconvenient bowel movements

Flu-like symptoms, headache, low grade fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes around the groin region are seen in herpes outbreak. Unfortunately, the first outbreak is often more prominent than the later ones.

How Does It Spread?

Herpes is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) which is contagious. It spreads only through sexual contact. Herpes blister doesn’t spread to any other parts of the body. It is only seen near the oral region and genital, perianal or anal region. In the US, for every 6 people, 1 is diagnosed with genital herpes, as per the CDC. In India, the story isn’t very different. Yes, it's that much common in society, yet a taboo to talk about and seek help.

Here are certain things that you should be mindful of.

  • The first outbreak of anal herpes usually starts 2-20 days after getting the infection and lasts for about 2-4 weeks.
  • Usually, the first infection or outbreak is very mild, often asymptomatic which poses a risk of spread to partners.
  • About 80% of the people are asymptomatic. They are unaware of their infectivity so it goes on spreading the infection.
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What Triggers Anal Herpes?

Curious to know what your potential triggers for anal herpes could be? Here are some of them:

  • A weak immune system (chemotherapy for cancer treatment or immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplant patients)

  • General Illness that made you suffer for long.

  • Tiredness or fatigue.

  • Stress in daily life.

  • Any recent surgery on your genital region.

  • Excessive Smoking.

  • Drinking alcohol.

  • Prolonged exposure to UV light (sunbathing).

  • Friction on your genital area (sexual contact, tight-fitting clothing).

Care for Anal Herpes

  • Wondering what to do to take care of your anal herpes. We’ve enlisted certain dos and don’ts. Read on to act right.

  • The universal care to prevent any STI is practising safe sex. Use condoms during both vaginal and oral sex.

  • Restrain from intercourse with multiple partners who show evident signs of herpes in any form.

  • Often the first infection is not prominent enough. One can unknowingly spread the virus to their partners. So, it’s always advisable to indulge in safe sexual practices.

  • Get yourself checked for STI once you doubt you contracted it from someone.

Some homemade remedies for anal herpes are:

  • Bathing in warm salt (1 tablespoon of salt in 2 cups of water)

  • Using over the counter painkillers, after consulting your physician please

  • Giving cold compress over the sores

  • Using local anaesthetic cream or ointment

  • Using petroleum jelly on the sores to prevent friction between them

  • Essential oils can give some relief

  • Consult a physician as soon as possible. That’s the most important thing to do.

FAQs

1. How to know if my anal sore is herpes or haemorrhoids?

Both anal herpes and haemorrhoids can cause anal itching and pain. Anal herpes usually appears as a cluster of red blisters that burst open to form ulcers around your buttocks. Haemorrhoids are swollen, cushion-like lump around your anus.

2. How do I know if my blisters are herpes?

It is always advisable to consult a Doctor if you suspect herpes. The physician will rule out the chances of other STI based on certain tests. Anal Herpes starts with a cluster of red tiny blisters (or bumps) around your buttocks which oozes out whitish fluid and forms ulcers. Scab is formed thereafter as a healing process.

3. Will the herpes blisters spread to the rest of my body?

No. Blisters of herpes are localised to specific regions of the body. Lesions are seen only in the oral, genital, perianal and anal region. Anal herpes doesn't spread to your arms and legs.

Key Takeaways

Anal Herpes is caused by the virus named HSV.

It is mainly seen in persons involved in oral sex and in homosexuals.

White sores that turn red blisters and finally into painful ulcers that heal by scab formation.

About 80% of the infected individuals are unaware of their condition so it goes on spreading the infection.

Unsafe sexual practices give rise to such infections.

After the first outbreak, the virus resides permanently in the nerve cells, resulting in successive attacks.

Certain triggers lead to full-fledged disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure of Anal Herpes.

Long term antiviral treatment reduces the chance of their partners getting infected.

It is advisable to get immediate medical attention once you see the symptoms of Anal Herpes.

Don’t confuse anal herpes with haemorrhoids. Haemorrhoids are swollen cushion-like painful conditions of the anus. Anal Herpes is bumpy painful blisters around the anus.

Temporary relief can be obtained from soaking the infected sores in salt water and applying essential oils.

Consult a Doctor ASAP and strictly abide by the follow-ups of the treatment.

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