Diagnosing genital herpes symptoms in men by simply looking at them is easier said than done for most physicians. The disease’s symptoms often appear similar to those of several other sexually-transmitted diseases and skin conditions, and can vary greatly in severity from one sufferer to another. For example, whereas some men will develop a minor skin irritation (one that resembles any number of other skin conditions) during a breakout, others will exhibit the clusters of fluid-filled blisters commonly associated with the infection.
Herpes symptoms in men can vary greatly from one individual to another, with some men exhibiting obvious signs of infection, while others’ symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed. Not surprisingly, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimates that, although one out of every nine American men between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected, nearly 80% of those with genital herpes (or HSV-2) are unaware that they carry the virus.
The question “What does herpes look like?” is a difficult one to answer because the visible symptoms of the disease do not appear the same in every individual. Furthermore, other sexually transmitted diseases can produce symptoms that appear similar to a genital herpes outbreak. For these reasons, if you suspect that you may have been infected with genital herpes (also known as the HSV-2 virus), diagnosis by a physician is the only sure way to know.