Genital herpes

General information

Herpes genitalis is mostly caused by the virus subgroup HSV 2, which belongs to the herpes simplex viruses. In 50-70% of cases, this virus group is the triggering virus group. Herpes genitalis is one of the venereal diseases. Nowadays this disease is one of the most frequently transmitted venereal diseases in Germany.


In most cases, the virus is transmitted through sexual contact. Especially unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner dramatically increases the risk of infection. The virus enters the body through tiny injuries to the skin and mucous membrane.

In the body, like all herpes viruses, the viruses can live unnoticed for a lifetime without causing any symptoms. In some cases, this can lead to an outbreak of genital herpes infection. Because the viruses can enter the body unnoticed and remain there for a long time, most people do not know about their infection and therefore cannot take the necessary precautions to prevent further spread. This leads to a vicious circle which is only ended after the outbreak if both partners have been intensively treated with medication.


Similar to the other herpes infections, the typical skin change is not yet at the beginning of the disease. In many cases, patients initially complain of discomfort, tingling and itching in the genital area. However, many patients do not yet go to the doctor in this condition.

Often out of false shame and because they cannot yet assess the disease. However, the best therapy conditions would be at such an early stage. In a few cases, the patients already visit a doctor and the important treatment is not carried out.

In the further stage the typical skin irritations of the genitals come to light. They range from simple reddening of the skin and scaling to elevations and pustular formations on the genitals. Typical is an increasing and agonizing itching, which spreads in this stage of the disease.

In even more progressive stages, vesicles can also form on the genitals. These blisters can then burst open and secretion can be released into the environment. At this stage, patients are very infectious.

As a rule, sexual intercourse is already refrained from at this stage because the affected persons notice that something is wrong. After opening of the blisters, crusts are formed which can also come off again after manipulation. In some cases, severe symptoms such as weakness, nausea and fever can also occur in the affected persons.