[Question #4874] A few HSV 1 questions

25 months ago

3 weeks ago I kissed a new partner with HSV1 who did not have symptoms at the time.  I have been tested and do not have HSV1 nor have I ever had symptoms.  A few days ago (between 16 and 18 days post-exposure) I developed a bump at the tip of my tongue.  It maybe looks like an inflamed papillae, but it also looks like it could be a blister.  It has persisted for four days and is still there.  It has changed from white to a sort of yellowish color, and is uncomfortable.  My questions are:

1).  I have read online that the incubation period for herpes is 2-12 days, though I have also read a few articles that said up to 21 days.  Is there a scientific article on which this is based?  In your experience, what percentage of people experience primary outbreaks outside of this window (day 16, for example)? 
2).  How often do oral herpes outbreaks manifest solely inside the mouth (without exterior lesions on the lips, etc)?  Is this likely/common?

I understand that oral HSV 1 is relatively trivial and I also don't have questions around testing.  I am more trying to determine based off the presentation what the likelihood is that this may be a primary HSV1 outbreak to begin with.

Thank you!
25 months ago
I forgot to mention that for the past two days the top of my mouth feels the way it would if I had just burned it, though I haven't eaten anything that would have done that recently. Further, this morning I noticed a patch on my gum by my teeth where the top layer of skin had pulled off, almost like a popped blister. I noticed another red patch by that. I guess I just wanted to add those symptoms, but my question remains as to the prevalence of a primary internal only oral hsv1 outbreak (as well as the question about incubation period)?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
1.  It would be extremely unusual for someone to get a symptom of new HSV on the tip of the tongue only.  The normal incubation period is 2-10 days. 
2.  It is highly unlikely but not impossible to have symptoms inside the mouth or throat only.  But what you are describing is only on the tip of the tongue.  Lots of people do get that and I'm not positive what causes it but I seriously doubt it is HSV 1.
Just do you know, the IgG test misses 30% of HSV 1 infection compared to the gold standard western blot
Could you have burned your mouth or tongue?