When you think of STI, symptoms like private part itching and pelvic pain probably come to mind.
But the same STIs that threaten your health down below can infect other body areas. They're typically transmitted through orals, but some can be picked up after direct skin contact.
The scary thing about getting an STI in another part of your body is that you're less likely to recognize signs, so you don't seek the right treatment and the infection potentially gets worse.
Here are four body areas other than your private part that can play host to an STI, plus the symptoms to look for.
1. Your Face: You already know that genital herpes can spread to your lips if you have orals with someone who has this STI.
What you may not know is that the same type of herpes that shows up below can infect other parts of your face, such as around your mouth.
Herpes can also appear on your tongue or nose.
The early signs are the same as genital herpes: tingling and itching, and then as the sore develops, it blisters and scabs over.
If you're unsure, check in with a dermatologist. You can treat herpes with over-the-counter cold sore remedies; your doctor can also prescribe antiviral medications that cut the duration of an outbreak.
2. In your eyes: STIs that trigger eye infections include herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.
The signs of many of these conditions look like pink eye which are: pain, swelling, redness, and discharge.
An eye herpes infection, however, can present differently. If the herpes virus is in your eye, it may result in an outbreak of one or more lesions on the eyelids or even the cornea, triggering pain and sensitivity that could affect your vision by causing scarring.
If you have any symptoms, see your eye doctor immediately.
3. In your throat: STI infections in the soft, moist tissues of the back of the mouth and throat are more common than you might think.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can live in there if a person contracts either of these infections during orals.
Scarily, you may not even know it; sometimes the only symptom is a sore throat.
HPV is another infection that invades the throat and it's thought to be behind the recent rise in cases of head and neck cancers, especially among men.
While there are more than 100 types of HPV, the type that causes many cases of cervical cancer, HPV 16, is also responsible for most head and neck cancers.
Though HPV of the throat is becoming more common and it is emphasized that the overall lifetime odds of cancer is low. Still, if you think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor.
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