[Question #4124] HSV1 through kiss on head?

32 months ago

My Dad has a cold sore on his upper lip. Definitely starting to heal, but still visible. 

Scenario 1: My dad gave my brother a quick kiss on the head. My brother's hair is really short. Is it possible to transmit HSV1 in this situation? If so, would he get sores on his head? I'm assuming the hair acts as a barrier, but again, very short hair. 

Scenario 2: I think this is low risk, but my Dad is constantly touches his face, and at times today he likely touched his sore on his lip. He then gave us pieces of gum that he took out with his hands. I'm assuming there isn't enough virus for a transmission here, but figured I'd ask because the gum goes directly into the mouth.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
31 months ago
1.  Unless your brother had a significant break in the skin exactly where your dad kissed his head, there is no risk here.
2.  You are correct - the scenario that you describe present no risk for herpes transmission