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anonymous on September 14, 2011

Is a blistery rash a symptom of herpes?

My partner has developed a blistery rash on her belly over the last month. Do you know what this might be...maybe herpes? How will this affect my future partners and me?

answered by
Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP on September 14, 2011

Thanks for sharing your question. From your description, it sounds like there are some unknowns...but I’ll do my best to offer you some suggestions. 

Your partner has a blistery rash...is it herpes? Well, if the blistery rash came up on her belly over the period of a month and the blisters are still there, it probably isn’t a symptom of herpes. Normally, herpes blisters emerge over a period of a few days and disappear within a couple of weeks. They go from looking like blisters to looking like ulcers in the skin. After that, the ulcers crust over ⎼ but the crust can be soft or hard. Next, these crusts fall off and the skin heals. 

For a definite diagnosis of your partner’s symptoms, I encourage her to see a healthcare provider for a visual exam...and to get tested for herpes and other common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Rashes can indicate a number of conditions ⎼ for example, an allergic reaction, a skin condition or a yeast infection ⎼ all of which are best diagnosed on sight. 

If it turns out that your partner has herpes, I encourage you to get tested, too. And if you test positive for herpes, don’t be alarmed. While herpes isn’t curable, it’s definitely treatable and non-threatening in adults. 

There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of transmitting herpes to a future partner. Oral antiviral medications and practicing safer sex go a long way toward protecting your health and your partner’s health. For more information about herpes prevention, check out our Expert Guide to Herpes 1 + 2.

Thanks again for your questions. I wish you the best of health. 

Related Info:

Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP

Warren is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Oregon. She is a renown expert and author in the field of genital herpes research, diagnosis and treatment. Warren was educated at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the University of Portland.

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