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A 18-year-old member asked:

Does genital herpes and folliculitis look a like?

6 doctor answers13 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Wales
Emergency Medicine 43 years experience
No: Folliculitis tends to focused around base of hair follicles - in many cases after shaving closely. Genital herpes can start with small blisters - not centered around hair follicles - can progress to shallow, painful ulcerations. Each requires different treatment.
Dr. Joseph De Santi
Family Medicine 30 years experience
Rationalizing Rashes: Folliculitis is a pustular inflammatory reaction in a hair follicle with bacterial invasion secondary to microtrauma or glandular hyperactivity, such as that seen with shaving or acne. Genital herpes is viral and blister-like involving more than just the follicle, but can become secondarily infected with bacteria and could appear like a folliculitis. A physician exam will help distinguish them.
Dr. Ronald De la Pena
Obstetrics and Gynecology 31 years experience
Sometimes: Herpes is the "great imitator" and may be confused for folliculitis or other skin changes. Any genital lesion should be presented to a physician for evaluation.
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 33 years experience
Genital herpes: Signs of genital herpes tend to develop within three to seven days of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Genital herpes infections look like small blisters or ulcers (round areas of broken skin) on the genitals. Each blister or ulcer is typically only 1 to 3 millimeters (1/32 inch to 1/8th inch) in size, and the blisters or ulcers tend to be grouped into "crops.".
Dr. Joseph Woods
Pathology 29 years experience
They can be similar.: Genital herpes can present as vesicles, pustules, or erythemetous (red) ulcers that are painful. Folliculitis is an infection of staph. Aureus that can present as domed, yellow pustules with a narrow red margin.
Dr. Christopher Guzik
Family Medicine 25 years experience
Yes and no: At the beginning they may look alike. Genital herpes will often cluster and form a group of fluid filled vesicles. Folliculitis will form small pus bumps around each hair follicle.

Similar questions

A 22-year-old member asked:

What does genital herpes look likes?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 32 years experience
Clear blisters: Genital herpes has the appearance of blisters on a red base. Generally, these are painful and occurs in clusters. Consult with your doctor if you see these as treatments are available.
A 23-year-old male asked:

How I can differentiate genital folliculitis from genital herpes?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vance Harris
Family Medicine 38 years experience
Clear fluid: Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicle and there will be small pustules or redness around the hair follicles. Herpes is not just around the hair follicles and usually is a small blister filled with clear fluid and a surrounding red base.
A 47-year-old member asked:

What are signs of genital herpes vs folliculitis?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
A Verified Doctoranswered
29 years experience
Sx hsv 2: Symptoms could include dysuria, tingling and burning, with or without eruption of blisters, or painful ulcerations.

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Last updated Apr 5, 2020


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