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STDWatch
Hannah Kingston

Jul 06, 20227 min read

Difference Between Herpes, Razor Bumps and Ingrown Hairs

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Herpes, razor burns, and ingrown hairs are all common skin problems with different causes. It’s important to be able to differentiate between them, since management will vary depending on the exact condition. Read on to learn more about the differences between herpes, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs.

Herpes

Can genital herpes be a single bump?

While many people develop clusters of blisters during herpes that are so mild that they go unnoticed, or to have an asymptomatic infection.

Are herpes bumps hard?

Not typically. According to Planned Parenthood, genital herpes outbreaks usually look like small, fluid-filled blisters that can be itchy or painful. These blisters feel soft or squishy, and they eventually rupture and scab over before healing.

Ingrown hairs

Is it a genital wart or ingrown hair?

According to the NHS. 

Can ingrown hairs bleed?

In some cases, ingrown hairs can turn into more serious infections and even cause abscesses. Ingrown hairs can bleed a little when the pus-filled bursts. However, frequent or intense bleeding could be a sign that your bumps are due to another condition. If you have small bumps that bleed, you should seek medical assistance to get a diagnosis.

Razor bumps

Razor bumps are simply a type of ingrown hair that develops after shaving, plucking,threading, or waxing. For example, someone may notice red bumps on their penis after shaving, or another part of the genitals that was recently shaved. You’re more likely to experience razor bumps in the areas where you remove hair frequently, including:

  • Face
  • Legs
  • Bikini area
  • Armpits
  • Chest
  • Back

What’s the difference between genital herpes and razor bumps?

Both herpes and ingrown hair can cause an itchy rash, but there are certain ways to tell ingrown hairs vs. herpes apart. If you’re wondering how to tell if it's an ingrown hair or herpes, these signs can be helpful:

  • Herpes blisters are typically preceded by a strong tingling, burning, or painful sensation in the affected area.
  • Herpes usually appears in clusters, and the initial bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters before rupturing and scabbing over.
  • Razor bumps, on the other hand, can be solitary and appear as blisters after shaving that are filled with pus.
  • Herpes is caused by a chronic infection, while razor bumps can be prevented with a better shaving technique or different hair removal methods.

If you’re wondering whether you have blisters from shaving or herpes, or even another STD, it may be a good idea to get an STD test. Thanks to at-home STD testing, you simply have to order your kit, collect your samples at home, and send the samples back. Once your results are back, a medical professional will be there to guide you through your results. You can learn more about at-home STD testing at STDWatch.com now.

Sources

Herpes simplex virus - who.int

What does genital herpes look like? - plannedparenthood.org

Ingrown hairs - nhs.uk


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