Different Types of STD Bumps & What They Mean

Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t immediately notice they’ve contracted an STD. In fact, many people who have an STD never realize it. That’s because STDs often manifest in subtle ways. Though pop culture associates STDs with a myriad of gross and eye-catching symptoms, the reality is you can’t tell if you or someone else has an STD just through appearances. Still, it’s important to learn about different STD bumps, what they look like, and what they mean for your health. Check out our guide here:

HSV-1 & HSV-2 Bumps

This may come as a surprise, but cold sores on your mouth or lips could indicate that you have HSV-1, or oral herpes. Herpes is extremely common –– so much so that researchers have a difficult time estimating how many people have it. What’s more, individuals can spread herpes to their partner through “non-sexual” activities like kissing or skin-to-skin contact. And, a partner with HSV-1 can give their partner HSV-2 (genital herpes) through oral sex. Herpes bumps may appear similar to pimples or genital wars –– though they tend to “crust over” with time.

Crabs & Scabies

Pubic lice (or crabs as they’re known) and scabies aren’t actually STDs. Still, it’s possible to spread/contract pubic lice while engaging in sexual intercourse. Similarly, scabies is caused by small mites that burrow under the skin and cause a collection of small red bumps, or a rash.

Syphilis Chancres

A syphilis chancre is a small, round, painless blister-like sore that appears on or around the genitals, anus, or mouth. Chancres can be difficult to spot, and a person may experience only a single sore marking where syphilis entered the body. That sore will heal itself after 3-6 weeks with or without treatment. But be warned –– just because the sore disappears doesn’t mean the syphilis has “gone away.” Rather, it means that the infection has moved from the primary to the secondary stage of its development.

HIV Canker Sores & Lesions

HIV is a scary disease, and it’s understandable to want to know the early symptoms. The bad news is, the first signs of HIV bear a striking similarity to a nasty bout of the flu. Still, some people who have HIV won’t experience any symptoms for years. It is also possible to for swollen glands and canker sores to appear on the inside of the mouth as a result of HIV. HIV doesn’t affect the skin directly, but it does affect the body’s ability to prevent certain skin diseases. As such, many people with HIV get lesions, warts, sores, and blisters throughout their body.


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