Originally Posted by Lime22
Are there any difference between the way outbreaks look in HSV-1 or 2, or do they look the same no matter which type you have? Is there any kind of distinctive difference between the two?
They can look very similar. There is now way of telling, just by looking at an outbreak, which kind of herpes you have. It's not really possible to diagnose herpes itself just by looking at some symptoms, never mind which kind of herpes it is!
If you want to know which type of herpes you have, get what you think is an outbreak swab tested as soon as it appears (any more than 48 hours after the symptoms appear, you run the high risk of a false negative), or alternatively, if it has been 12-16 weeks after you think you have contracted herpes, a type-specific blood test at this stage should be pretty accurate.
Either form of herpes can appear on the genitals as resembling:
- the classic blisters
- insect bites
- scratches in the skin
- small cuts
- red, irritated patches of skin
- thrush-like symptoms
etc etc etc
On the mouth, herpes usually resembles some kind of sore or blister but can cause painful cracks in the skin.
Bear in mind that any pictures you find on the web of herpes outbreaks are likely to be the worst cases, and are not a good guide by which to judge whether you have herpes. Most people do not have cases as serious as those you will find in a lot of pictures online.