[Question #1709] Oral Herpes

45 months ago
I was diagnosed with genital herpes two months ago. Had to see four doctors before I could get someone to swab the area for a diagnosis. I realize this has created some anxiety for me. I am not sure if I have oral herpes. I would normally see a physician, but my experience has discouraged me a little bit. I noticed a small cut on my lip that looks white when stretched out. I have a habit of picking at the skin on my lip and initially thought nothing of it. It isn't painful. I also haven't been feeling well lately with a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.  Is oral herpes always painful?  If I have herpes on my mouth do I need to inform everyone I kiss or just avoid kissing when I have a sore? With oral herpes being so common, it seems crazy to have to inform every person before I kiss them. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
It sounds like your struggle to get an accurate diagnosis of your genital herpes was challenging - so sorry about that. 
In my experience, herpes on the lip is more remarkable than a small cut on the lip that you can only see when you lip is stretched out.  It's blisters, pretty clearly, or at least it starts that way, then opens up into ulcerations then scabs over and fills in.  Often it has to make new scabs as the old ones are washed off with bathing, tooth brushing, etc. 
I know you were diagnosed with genital herpes via swab test - do you recall if it was HSV 1 or HSV 2? 

Terri
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45 months ago
I called and asked whether it was hsv1 or 2. I was told it was 2 initially, but called again and was told it didn't actually specify and they were just taking a guess. I intend to get a blood test done in a month to identify the type. I had a blood test done when I was first diagnosed, but it was too early to get a positive result. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
Interesting for sure!  I think that guessing happens way more often than people realize and unfortunately, many clinicians don't realize that these two viruses in the genital area are very different creatures, indeed.  How about if you save your last post here to tell me the results when you get them, unless you have something more urgent to discuss right now?

Terri
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45 months ago
I have never had a blister on my lip, but I keep reading people miss herpes symptoms all the time. I don't know if they aren't paying attention or if the symptoms are really that mild for some.
45 months ago
Well, just out of curiosity. Would I need to inform someone before kissing them that I have oral herpes? If I end up having it?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
45 months ago
The only way to know for certain if you have oral herpes on your lip is to have it swab tested.  I don't believe that most people with oral herpes disclose this before kissing others but I'm sure some do, yes.

You have now used up all three of your posts on this site.

Terri
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