Differences Between Vaginal Yeast Infection and Genital Herpes- 4 Things to Know

Differences Between Vaginal Yeast Infection and Genital Herpes- 4 Things to Know

Whenever you experience itchiness, redness and sores in the genitals, don’t think that it’s genital herpes. People usually confuse herpes and vaginal yeast infection. In fact, both are different from each other. While genital herpes is a highly contagious STI caused by the HSV, a vaginal yeast infection is caused by Candida- one type of fungi. It’s estimated that about 75% of women experience yeast infection at least once of their lifetime. And about 16% of people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes. Because of the similar symptoms, both infections are confused. To distinguish between them, let’s look at the following information.

4 differences between both infections

  1. Vaginal yeast infection and herpes: Sore or not

Sores are the important difference between them.  The symptom naturally occurs with genital herpes. When you’re infected with the infection, the initial symptoms are tingling, itching and burning sensations. These appear within a couple of days. Then, small bumps are present in the affected area. They eventually break open and induce painful sores in the genitals, buttocks, thigh or anus. This’s called “outbreak”. The first outbreak is the most severe infection. Luckily, the number of herpes outbreaks reduces after several years. It should be noticed that you may have herpes even when you don’t have blisters or sores.

Vaginal yeast infection, on the other hand, has no sores. You may only suffer from itching, burning, and red rash in the affected area. Both infections cause pain. But the pain related to yeast infection is less severe than that with herpes.

Related: 5 Most Common Symptoms of Vaginal Yeast Infections

Genital herpes causes sores. but yeast infections doesn't

  1. Itching and pain in the genitals

Most infections in the genitals lead to pain and itching. Genital herpes and yeast infection are, too. However, depending on the severity of the symptoms, you can differentiate between them. While herpes with sores is usually painful and tender, a yeast infection causes mild burning and pain. However, pain when urinating frequently occurs with both infections.

Itchiness is another symptom that you can distinguish between them. For vaginal yeast infections, an overgrowth of Candida induces itchiness in the entire genital area. But, itchiness of herpes is mostly caused by the sores. Moreover, people with herpes are susceptible to tingling feelings while this doesn’t occur with a yeast infection.

  1. Vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge is a symptom of both infections. But vaginal yeast infections are defined with abnormal vaginal discharge. If you notice a white, watery discharge that looks like cottage cheese, you should think about yeast infection. Besides, an odor of bread or yeast is another signal of the infection. In some men, a white discharge from the penis is the result of a yeast infection. During a herpes outbreak, vaginal discharge isn’t common. You may notice a small amount of bleeding because of the broken blisters.  

Related: How to Know Your Vaginal Discharge Is Normal

  1. Genital herpes is an STI, yeast infection isn’t

Although they have the similar symptoms, they’re not the same infection. The Candida albicans is responsible for a vaginal yeast infection. An overgrowth of the fungus can be blamed to certain medications, diseases, hormonal changes and lifestyle habits. A yeast infection is rarely spread to another person through sexual contact. But it’s wise to abstain from sex when you’re experiencing the infection.

On the other hand, genital herpes is passed through skin contact during sex. Also, touching or kissing blisters of infected person increases your risk of contracting the virus. The STI is highly contagious when you’re suffering from an outbreak. Using condoms may reduce the spread of herpes.

Related: Can You Get Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) From Toilet Seat?

Genital herpes is an STI, yeast infection isn’t

Does a vaginal yeast infection cause herpes?

A yeast infection doesn’t cause genital herpes. But it leaves vulnerable to genital herpes. When yeast develop out of control, leading to the infections, it does mean that your immune system is weak. This makes you’re susceptible to herpes and other infections.

In addition, infected with herpes may put you at risk of having yeast infection. The virus weakens the immune function that inhibits your body’s defense against yeast. Though they’re different conditions, one can lead to the other.

Related: Having Sex With a Vaginal Yeast Infection- Is It Safe?

Treatment for vaginal yeast infection and genital herpes

  1. Vaginal yeast infection

The infection is usually easy to treat with antifungal medications. Fugacil is one of the best antifungal creams for fungal infections. The cream contains powerful antifungal ingredients approved by the FDA, including:

  • Melissa officianlis
  • Astragalus
  • Tea tree
  • Lavender
  • Thyme
  • Geranium

Unlike traditional creams, Fugacil destroys the fungus both on the surface and in lower skin layers. Thus, it’s hard for the fungus returning.

Fugacil is one of the best antifungal creams for fungal infections

Besides, OTC creams are effective for yeast infections such as:

  • Butoconazole
  • Miconazole
  • Fluconazole
  • Terconazole
  1. Genital herpes

There’s no cure for genital herpes, but treatment helps relieve its symptoms as well as prevent outbreaks. The best treatment for herpes is antiviral medications. Prosurx is one of the best creams for herpes. It’s rich in antiviral ingredients approved by the FDA. So, it treats herpes well and prevents the virus from coming back. In addition, doctor may prescribe Acyclovir, Valtrex and Famciclovir to treat herpes.

The symptoms of genital herpes and yeast infections are similar. But they’re very easy to differentiate. If you experience abnormal signs in the genitals, you should visit your doctors to have an accurate diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment are important to deal with your infections.

Related: How to Have a Safe Sex

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