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Difference Between Genital Warts and Herpes

herpesGenital Warts vs Herpes

Herpes, especially genital herpes, is a sexually transmitted disease. It affects a lot of people in the USA. However, it is also common for people to confuse genital herpes and genital warts. There are a number of differences between the two conditions. Here are some ways in which you can identify them.


Genital warts may be caused by the human pappiloma virus or HPV. Herpes on the other hand is caused by the HSV1 or the HSV2 virus. If you have a HSV1 infection, you are likely to develop oral herpes. HSV2 causes genital herpes. However, these differences are not mutually exclusive.

How do they spread?

Herpes is generally contracted from skin contact. It is basically a sexually transmitted disease. Once another person comes in contact with the infected area, the virus may enter the body and continue lying inside in a latent state. It becomes active in the body when the immune system of the carrier is compromised to a certain extent.
A genital wart appears as a hard or soft bump on your private parts. It may often be confused with papules, angiokeratomas or Fordyce spots. This is also spread by skin contact.


Herpes results in lesions in the affected areas. This can start off as red bumps that develop into blisters or open sores. They may also take the form of lesions that appear scabbed over. The whole affair takes about 10 days to develop. During the period, the patient may also suffer from itching on the skin accompanied by pain in some cases.
The genital warts, usually caused by HPV are different. They may remain asymptomatic for a long time. People who contract HPV may go without symptoms for days, and clear the infection in a few days-without even coming to know about it.


There is a lot of difference between the treatment provided for genital warts and herpes lesions.
The HPV virus has no cure. But don’t panic just yet. The good news is that your body will get rid of it in a few days by itself. However, if you have genital herpes, or even an oral one, your doctor may prescribe stronger antiviral medications for you. These may shorten the duration of the attacks or cause less frequent outbreaks. It is important to understand that the body cannot be cured of it by these medications.

1. Herpes is caused by the HSV1andHSV2 viruses. Genital warts are caused by the human pappiloma virus.
2. Symptoms of herpes include blisters and sores, accompanied by pain and itching. HPV genital warts are usually seen as small and painless bumps on the skin
3. Both are spread by sexual contact.
4. Herpes is treated by strong anti viral drugs. However, genital warts caused by HPV go away without treatment. So your doctor might just ask you to wait it out!

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