Do I have genital herpes? Use an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm to know

by | May 1, 2019 | Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blog, Rash, STD, Traveling

Do I have genital herpes?

Herpes in the genital area is caused by a virus that is mainly transmitted by sexual contact and it is very common. Most people who have herpes in the genital area have unconcerning mild symptoms and do not realize that they have genital herpes.

It has become increasingly common for herpes around the mouth to be transferred to the genital area.

We live in the 21st century and now artificial intelligence (AI) can identify herpes from just a cell phone picture in a second!

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Symptoms

Here are the common symptoms if you have herpes in the genital area

  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Swelling and itching
  • Stinging and a dull pain
  • Blisters and sores
  • Redness of the skin
  • It hurts when you urinate
  • The area may feel like it is alternating between hot and cold

The nerves in the genital area, the groin and upper part of the thighs are connected together and you can get the following symptoms

  • The opening to the anus
  • On buttocks and thighs
  • Inside the urethra
  • In and around the vagina
  • On the penis and scrotum

Most people who get herpes in the genital area have no or so mild symptoms, that they do not notice they have the infection.

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The first time you get herpes

If you experience symptoms, they usually show up between three and seven days after the virus infection.

It often starts with the skin being painful locally or the mucous membranes around the genitals are painful. It can also sting, itch or there is an alternative hot and cold feel. Then blisters are formed, which burst and become open small wounds. The first time you get a herpes infection in the genital area you can also have a fever and swollen lymph nodes in the groin area. It can take up to about three weeks before the blisters, the open wounds and the pain disappear.

Herpes may come back

Once you have gotten herpes, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life, even after the symptoms disappear. If you had the pain, blisters, and the open wounds the first time, it is probable that these symptoms will come back at another time. 

When you get herpes again, the symptoms are often milder and disappear faster than the first time, within five to ten days.

New herpes outbreaks can come in connection with stress, fatigue, menstruation, together with other infections or if you are immunocompromised. In the first year after contracting herpes it is common to get several new outbreaks, which decrease over time. Between the outbreaks you usually do not have any symptoms.

When should I seek care?

Seek care if you

  • Suspect that you have had herpes in the genital area for the first time
  • have frequent and severe symptoms of herpes
  • festering ulcers and blisters
  • if your eye starts to sting or water

You can seek medical care at a medical center, at your gynecologist or urologist, at dermatologist or an STI (STD)  clinic. Many of the STI clinics can have branded names around the country – like Planned parenthood. 

If you are pregnant and get painful rashes or blisters in the genital area that you think may be due to genital herpes, you should seek care at a midwifery or maternity clinic.

Seek medical attention directly at an emergency room (ER) or urgent care, if you become very sick, with symptoms such as stiff neck or a severe headache. In rare cases, herpes can cause meningitis.

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How is herpes transmitted in the genital area?

Herpes in the genital area is transmitted primarily through sexual contact, the virus transmits easily between mucosal membranes, it is very difficult to avoid the virus being transmitted on contact between the skin when people have sex. The virus is spreads easily if you have blisters or open sores, but the vast majority get herpes by someone who has no symptoms at all.

Wash your hands to avoid spread

If you have herpes in the genital area, it may spread to the eyes. Therefore it is important to wash your hands after you have been to the toilet, showered or affected areas where you have sores. 

Herpes is not transmitted via objects

The herpes virus is air sensitive and does not survive outside the body; it is only transmitted by skin contact and mucosal contact and not by objects such as toilet seats, bathtubs or towels.

In the case of sex toys, these should be washed to avoid the spread of venereal diseases in general. First, clean them with soap and water to remove body fluids, then clean them with hand sanitizer, chlorhexidine or Alsol sprits.

Try our artificial intelligence algorithm for FREE to see if you have herpes

Herpes is caused by a virus

Herpes in the genital area, which is also referred to as genital herpes, is caused by a common virus that spreads easily. It is common for adults at some point to have been given the virus. The vast majority do not know if they have gotten herpes in the genital area, because they received such mild symptoms that they were aware by any discomfort.

Two types of the herpes virus

There are two types of herpes virus. Type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 is most common and usually causes cold sores, herpes around the mouth. Type 2 usually give discomfort in the genital area. The two types can also spread to other parts of the body. It has become very common for herpes type 1 to also cause herpes in the genital area. It can be transferred, for example, mouth.

It is not as common that type 2 spreads to the mouth, but it can happen. Then you can get herpes in your throat. It gives symptoms similar to tonsillitis and can be very painful.

Try our artificial intelligence algorithm for FREE to see if you have herpes

How can I prevent herpes in the genital area?

Herpes is often spread in the genital area, therefore, condoms do not provide absolut protection against the virus being transmitted during sexual contact with someone who has herpes. However, most people who have the virus do not know, because many do not get any symptoms.

You can reduce the risk of getting herpes in the genital area if you avoid having sex with someone who has an ongoing infection, condom use is also recommended.

Taking antiviral drugs before sex with a person who has herpes in the genital area does not provide any safe protection against getting herpes.

What can I do to treat herpes?

If you have a lot of pain you can take painkillers that contain acetaminophen, common brand name for this is Tylenol. You can also put Xylocaine directly on the skin, which is a local anesthetic. These can be bought over-the-counter.

If you are in pain, you can reduce any discomfort by wearing loose fitting clothes. Keep the genitals clean, by showering every day to avoid the wounds getting infected by bacteria.

Try our artificial intelligence algorithm for FREE to see if you have herpes

Treatment

Genital herpes goes over by itself and there is no treatment that cures the disease. However, if you have severe problems you can get antiviral medicine prescribed by a doctor, which is taken in tablet form. Antiviral drugs relieves symptoms and shorten the time you have an outbreak, they help against both pain and neurological sensation. For the medicine to have the best effect they should be taken as soon as you start to notice any symptoms.

If you have severe genital herpes symptoms you may need to take antiviral medications every day for a long time to prevent any new outbreaks.

Medical examination

A doctor can diagnose if you have genital herpes by looking at your rash. In some cases, they can take a sample from the blisters with a cotton swab from any fluid and send it to the lab.

Complications

The blisters and wounds usually heal without a problem, but wounds can be secondary infected by bacteria. In rare cases, herpes in the genital area can cause meningitis or inflammation of the brain.

Try our artificial intelligence algorithm for FREE to see if you have herpes

Pregnancy and herpes in the genital area

Herpes in the genital area does not affect your ability to become pregnant.

Seek your gynecologist or midwife if you get painful rashes or blisters in the genital area when you are pregnant. You can get antiviral medicines if you get herpes for the first time when you are pregnant, or if you have herpes outbreaks during the end of pregnancy.

If you get herpes in the genital area for the first time when you are pregnant there is a small risk that the virus will be transferred to the baby in your stomach, but it is very rare.

If you as pregnant has had herpes before

If you have herpes and get new outbreaks during pregnancy, antibodies are transferred to the baby. There is still a risk that the virus can be transferred to the baby during childbirth, but that risk is much lower than if you get herpes for the first time when you are pregnant.

Herpes associated with childbirth

If you have an ongoing herpes infection at birth, there is a small risk that the virus will be transferred to the newborn baby and the child can then get a severe and troublesome herpes infection. To prevent the virus from being transferred to the child, both you and your child can receive antiviral medicines. In some cases, the child may be born by caesarean section.

Try our artificial intelligence algorithm for FREE to see if you have herpes

 

Typical online dermatology queries to our dermatologists*

Dermatologist online question

I am a 28 years old male, I just came back from Coachella and I have had these stinging red blisters for 5 days. The wounds do not heal. I did have unprotected sex there. But I also have had many partners in Los Angeles this year. Please help. 

Have I got Genital Herpes-penis-shaft-artificial intelligence-AI

 

Have I got Genital Herpes-groin-artificial intelligence-AI

 

Online dermatology answer
Hello. From the images and the description. This looks like GENITAL HERPES. This is herpes simplex infection. Usually it heals by itself, but you can use anti viral medication in tablet form called Valtrex. I recommend you to contact an STD clinic to get the diagnosis verified, more information about genital herpes and further testing. In the meantime you are highly contagious if you have sex with someone, condom use has limited protection.

 

We ran the case through our Skin Image Search™ which is an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm and it showed the same answers as our board certified dermatologist.

Have I got Genital Herpes-penis-artificial intelligence AI positive

 

 

 

 

Online Dermatology question
I am a 26 years old female. I just came back from the Stagecoach festival.

The person i had sex with is 47 years old and has never had an outbreak of herpes, nor has his long term partner (recently separated). I first slept with him about 3-4 weeks ago. I looked online and I am thinking it could be folliculitis. I have never had any issues in my genitals before. They are hard white pimple like lumps mostly around the hair follicles on the outer lips but a few on the inner lips. Itchy and sore. Bumps are hard and don’t ooze.

 

 

 

Have I got Genital Herpes vagina labia major- artificial intelligence_AI

Online Dermatology answer
Hi. Thanks for your question. This looks possibly like GENITAL HERPES, an infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) type 1 or 2. This virus spreads through unprotected sexual contact. Small blisters in a group surrounded by red inflamed skin is the typical appearance. The lesions usually heal within 7-10 days but can sometimes take longer the first time they appear. Treatment with antiviral drugs (aciclovir or valaciclovir, prescription required) can be useful to lessen the symptoms, especially if taken during the first hours or 2-3 days of the outbreak. The virus can unfortunately not be eliminated from the body, so new episodes of herpes can be expected. However, the frequency and intensity is very variable. To avoid further spread, condom use is recommended. A visit to a STD-clinic is also recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Folliculitis is a differential answer. To be certain, a viral culture can be carried out by your doctor as well as get more informed on genital herpes.

 

We ran the case through our Skin Image Search™ which is an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm and it showed the same answers as our board certified dermatologist.

Have I got Genital Herpes-vagina - artificial intelligence AI positive

 

 

*Coachella and Stagecoach are fictitious origins of the persons. The case reports is part of our research into skin diseases and artificial intelligence. The stories are representative of people that contract genital herpes.

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