You are currently viewing Primary Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infection Rash : Mnemonic

Here is a quick mnemonic ” HERPES (S)IMPLE(X) “ to remember about the Primary Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infection Rash

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, NEET PG, FMGE, NExT & NCLEX exams

Herpes simplex rash typically presents as erythema followed by painful grouped vesicles. The rash can occur on various parts of the body, depending on the type of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.

For HSV-1, which is commonly associated with oral herpes, the rash often appears around the mouth, lips, and face. This can manifest as cold sores or fever blisters.

In the case of HSV-2, which is primarily associated with genital herpes, the rash typically affects the genital area, including the penis, vulva, vagina, and surrounding skin. However, it’s important to note that HSV-2 can also cause oral herpes, albeit less frequently.

Primary Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infection Rash : How To Remember Easily ?

  • H – Hallmark: Erythema rapidly followed by hallmark
  • E – Evolution: Painful grouped vesicles that may evolve into pustules
  • R – Recurrent: Recurrent disease milder (e.g., herpes labialis does not involve oral mucosa)
  • P – Primary infection: Most common among children and young adults for HSV-1
  • E – Site of inoculation: Lesions at site of inoculation, commonly gingivostomatitis for HSV-1 and genital lesions for HSV-2
  • S – Sexually active young adults: Most common among sexually active young adults for HSV-2
  • (S) – (blank)
  • I – Involvement: Herpes labialis does not involve oral mucosa
  • M – Mucosal surfaces: Ulceration especially on mucosal surfaces
  • P – Painful: Painful grouped vesicles that may evolve into pustules
  • L – Lesions: Lesions at site of inoculation
  • E – Elevation: Regional lymphadenopathy
  • (X)- (blank)

Mnemonic :  HERPES (S)IMPLE(X)

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department