Can Herpes Simplex Cause Your Hair to Fall Out?


Herpes simplex is a contagious condition, classified as a viral infection. Two types of this virus include herpes simplex 1, which is passed through close contact such as kissing, and herpes simplex 2, or genital herpes, which is transferred through sexual intercourse. Once a person has contracted either type, he will have recurring episodes due to the nature of the virus lying dormant in the nerve tissue until it becomes activated. Fever, sunshine and stress can cause an outbreak of the virus. Hair loss due to herpes simplex is not a prevalent or common symptom and is only seen in folliculitis.

Hair Loss

Hair loss is due to many factors. It can be due to hormone fluctuations, family history, vitamin deficiencies and abuse from hair styling products. Iron deficiency is also a common cause of hair loss in men and women.

Herpes Simplex

Herpes can also cause other conditions, including joint pain and depression. The initial outbreak will produce blisters, discomfort and pain with a burning or tingling sensation. Flu-like symptoms are also possible to include fever, joint aches and congestion. Following this, outbreaks will occur at infrequent incidents. There is no cure for herpes. Treatment is with anti-viral prescriptions. Prevention is the only sure way to avoid contracting the disease. This virus is a member of the virus which causes chickenpox and shingles.


A herpetic viral folliculitis is a condition which can cause hair loss. Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicle itself. It presents as a small red and inflamed area at the opening of a hair follicle. The virus enters the follicle and the hair will fall out as a result. Severe folliculitis can cause bald patches where hair grows.


Over-the-counter topical antibiotics are helpful in minor cases of folliculitis. Neomycin or bacitracin are available choices. Serious infections require a visit to the physician for a prescription antibiotic. Anti-viral medications for herpes simplex will not help hair loss but will assist in treating the herpes.