HSV causes small blisters to appear on a small area of the skin. Cold sores can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found around or on the lips. HSV on the buttock area is more likely to be caused by HSV type 2.
The initial sign of a cold sore is often a burning, itching or tingling sensation in the affected area. This usually occurs a day or two before the blisters appear.
The blisters later burst and are then called “erosions” – these are red, flat, and may weep. The erosions dry up to become crusted lesions.
The first outbreak is usually the worst and can last up to 2-3 weeks. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and/or swollen gums or lymph glands. Any subsequent outbreaks of the virus usually last 1-2 weeks.
Skin HSV can be easily confused with Shingles. The blisters of HSV are scattered in a small random area. The blisters of shingles are spread along a “dermatome.” A viral swab will quickly confirm which it is.