Herpes vs Impetigo


Herpes and impetigo are two medical conditions that are extremely common. Both cause painful sores to develop, but on different parts of the body. Some people may not be sure whether they have develop impetigo or herpes when blisters show up. It is important to understand what each of these medical conditions are and what makes them so different.

Herpes Overview

1. What It Is
Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can cause very uncomfortable symptoms on various parts of the body. It is also very contagious, making it very common. 1 in 20 adults suffer from herpes.

2. Symptoms
These symptoms of herpes can appear on various parts of the body, including the mouth, genitals, and anal region. They include sores that are painful, swelling, redness, and painful urination. These symptoms occur for a short period of time, but continue to reoccur for a person’s entire life. This is an incurable disease.

3. Cause
Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus which is spread through sexual contact. Having unprotected sex with a person who is experiencing a herpes outbreak can cause you to develop the disease yourself. The best way to avoid contracting herpes is by always using protection during sex.

4. Treatment
There is no effective treatment for herpes yet, but some medications exist to help relieve symptoms and shorten the time that outbreaks last. Topical creams are the main form of treatment for herpes.

Impetigo Facts

1. Basics
Impetigo is a very contagious skin infection. It typically on affects infants and young children. Because of how common it is in young children it has gained the nickname “school sores”.

2. Symptoms
Impetigo causes clusters of red sores, normally around the mouth. These sores can also be spread to other parts of the body and other people by fingers and towels. These sores ruptures very quickly and continue to ooze for multiple days. The sores then begin to crust over and begin to heal. Healing can take up to two weeks.
3. Cause
Impetigo is most likely caused by a bacteria. You can contract impetigo if you come into contact with someone’s sores. This can also mean if a person has touched their sores and then touches something that you touch, you can get impetigo. It is very contagious.

4. Treatment
Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for impetigo. They are given in the form of an ointment that is placed directly on the sores, or in some cases an oral antibiotic.

Difference Between Herpes and Impetigo

1. Cause
The big difference between impetigo and herpes is the cause of each condition. Herpes is caused by a virus, the herpes simplex, and is spread by sexual contact. Impetigo is caused by a bacterial infection and while it can be spread through sexual contact, any contact at all can also cause a person to contract impetigo.

2. Symptoms
The symptoms that are caused by each of these conditions are also very different. Both cause sores to develop but with impetigo the sores ruptures and ooze. This is not present in herpes. Herpes also causes painful urination, which impetigo does not.

3. Treatment
Treatments are also vastly different for herpes and impetigo. Herpes is incurable, so treatments only focus to relieve the severity of symptoms. Impetigo can be easily cured with topical or oral antibiotics.