[Question #1329] Question about herpetic whitlow

46 months ago
Hi.
My question is regarding a situation i had last week in Greece.  I fingered a woman thinking it was safe sex. This was approx 10 days ago.  I noticed a very small lesion on my finger yesterday.  I read on the internet about herpes whitlow. Today the lesion has gone down but is still there. I am worried thatI have contracted a form of herpes through this action. Most experts on the forum say it is necessary to have complete sex to contract an sti. But on the internet i have read this is not the case. I suffer from cold sores occasionally and have one now but this is going down,as is the finger lesion.  But i am afraid i could have contracted HSV 2 through this encounter.  Can i expect to get genital herpes through this and would my partner get it? Sorry about this. I know i made a mistake but i am VERY worried about this. Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
Acquiring herpetic whitlow in the way that you describe would be very unusual.  You would  need to have a significant break in the skin on the finger for this to occur.  Also, I have seen lots of herpetic whitlow in my career and I can certainly say that the lesions of whitlow are not very small.  They are a group of water blisters that usually get to about the size of a quarter, they are very painful and take 10-14 days to heal - the blisters break, form an ulcer and scab over.  Does this sound like what you have?

Terri
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46 months ago
No Terri. The lesion I have is about 1mm in diameter and looks like it is decreasing in size. It certainly seems like a blister  but is only very slightly painful when it is touched,clench my fist or when I catch it on clothing etc.  I do not think there was a break in the skin on the finger.  And to answer your question no it is just one blister and does not sound like that. Thanks for early reply.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
If you are still concerned at all, please have your finger be seen and swab tested if the clinicians you see has concerns about it. 
But I think you are describing something incredibly tiny, right?  I mean, that's less than 1/10 of an inch, is that what you are describing?

Terri
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46 months ago
Yes Terri, more than likely less than that. It is certainly not painful but if it is touched I can just about feel it . I certainly feel it is going down. I rang the STD helpline in GB earlier on and they said I was  probably overreacting. However although I respect the work they do I consider yourselves the experts in these matters,yourself,Dr Handsfield and Dr Hook. I am certainly not a wimp as we say in the Uk but have a fear of STDs. I guess I will have to be more careful in future. I have a great love for my partner but  sometimes as we are apart so much I have strayed in the way i describe. I must address this. But thanks for your help. Would appreciate any further comments from yourself.
46 months ago
What I have has gone down to almost nothing. From what you say it is nothing like herpetic whitlow. From first seeing it to now has been less than 10 days.  I am going to assume it is not herpes. Thank you.
46 months ago
Correction. Less than 5 days.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
46 months ago
Yes, from what you describe here, I think the likelihood that this is herpetic whitlow is incredibly unlikely.  I'm glad you were able to talk with someone else to get their opinion as well.  Again, the whitlow that I have seen is remarkable, not something so tiny. 
Best,
Terri
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