[Question #2716] Follow-up: Herpes scare

43 months ago

Dear Doctor Handsfield,

I wanted to thank you again for your support on my last question: you helped me a lot copying with my anxiety. I would like to update you.

Since my last post, during the last week I had 2 additional doctor's appointments (a general medicine, a dermatologist specialized in STD).

Despite still some redness on my genitals (glans, foreskin), at both visits both Doctors told me they could not find any visible sign of herpes on my genitals. The Dermatologists said that she sees nothing wrong and she prescribed me some Fiber-blast Gel to help sooth the redness.

They noticed instead some irritations/maceration on my groin due to a mycosis (maybe involving a bit also the scrotum, which is a bit red). Maybe the overall discomfort sensation I feel from the intimate area might also come from this mycosis?

In the last 2 weeks I kept carefully checking daily for any potential herpes outbreak on my genitals, but except for the overall redness on the glans and foreskin I haven’t noticed any blister/sore. Today is the 16th day since the event (unprotected oral with a CSW): is it a good sign? The CDC site talks about 2-12 days for incubation. My doctor told me 2 weeks. Can I presume I am now out of the incubation period?

I wish I could calm down but I cannot forgive my self for the mistake I did.

A big thank you for your help and support!

43 months ago
I forgot to mention: I have an antihistamine pill prescription for a dust mite allergy that used to make my skin itchy and red. Can this medicine hide herpes symptoms or prevent them to be visible?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
For this question I happened to pick up your follow-up questions so rather than Dr. Handsfield, I will be replying.  In preparing to answer I read the entirely of your interaction with Dr. Handsfield and agree with all that he said.  I would also point out that, as you acknowledge, you have not only his comments but also the assessment of two trained physicians who examined you and told you there was no evidence of HSV.  You should believe them and do not need to carefully inspect your genitals on a daily basis.  If you had a HSV outbreak, you would know it.  This statement is all the more true at this time since two weeks has passed sine your exposure and had you acquired HSV, you would have experienced an outbreak by this time.  You are out of the woods.

No, taking an antihistamine would not mask HSV in any way or change the clinical presentation of infection.

It is now time for you to put the exposure you described behind you and move forward without concern.  EWH


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43 months ago
Dear Doctor Hook,
Thank you very much for your answer. I really appreciate your encouragement.
Today (18th day after the event) I have been one last time to the Dermatologist (this is the 4th time a Physician is inspecting my genitals since the event) to have one last genital inspection, since I still feel redness and burning on my glans and foreskin. She confirmed once more she does not see anything wrong with it and most importantly no signs at all of herpes.
She understands I still feel discomfort and generalized burning so she prescribed me to apply a Cortisone cream for 4 days to sooth the burning sensation.
I really hope it will end soon. I understand I have to move on and leave this thing behind.
Thank you very much once more.
Best regards
43 months ago
Dear Doctor,
Today I started experiencing some burning sensation on my anus. Do you think it might be linked to this exposure?
Thank you very much.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
No, the burning you are experiencing is certainly not due to any STI or infection acquired at the time of your exposure of concern.  It may be due to your state of "hyper-awareness" causing you to notice normal sensations in your search for symptoms or may be due to some other process. 

You need to get a grip on yourself and figure out how to put aside your guilt and anxiety over your mis-step.  EWH
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43 months ago
Thank you very much Doctor Hook for your answer. 
I also understand from previous posts that the initial HSV outbreak appears where the exposure contact happens (this is one more reason for me to stop worrying about anus/buttock discomforts!). I really have to move on and stop over thinking.
As you said, I struggle managing my anxiety. For this reason, in the past I took Zoloft for 2 years under the guidance of my Psychiatrist.
I am considering to restart it.
Thank you very much for your help and support.
43 months ago
Dear Doctor,
I'm sorry to bother you again, but I would like to provide two additional information:
1) I am 38 yo and grew up in Italy and then France. I never experienced herpes sores on my lips. But I had many girl friends in my life (I'm not proud now, but when I was at college I think I frenchkissed one hundred girls). What are the chances I already contracted HSV1?
2) The CSW seemed very much concerned with hygiene (she wanted both of us to shower and wash the mouth with mouthwash before and after the intercourse and she carefully inspected my condom integrity before we used it). But I suddenly now remember she had a some redness on one eyelid and this makes me afraid. Does it change something to my situation?
A big thank you!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Thanks for the additional information.  As you know, we provide up to 3 replies to clients' questions and this sis my third reply.  For that reson the thread will be closed later today.

In answer to your questions:
1,  Growing up in those nations the chance that you already have HSV-1 is more than 60%.  Most people who have HSV-1 do not remember having cold sores or outbreaks.
2.  Here red eyelid is in no way suggestive of any STI.  I would not worry about it in terms of STI or HIV risk.

Thus, in closing I will once again say -You need to get a grip on yourself and figure out how to put aside your guilt and anxiety over your misstep.   Take care.   EWH
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