[Question #5108] Can herpes have a ghost outbreak under 24 hrs? And how to treat that.

25 months ago
I’ve had HSV-2 for 3 yrs and am happily engaged to a non-positive, supportive partner.

I take 1,000 mg of Valtrex (generic) daily & she takes 500 mg Valtrex to give extra protection & comfort. 

I had what looked like an outbreak the other day, first in 7 months since Valtrex (big red spots on head, shaft and base of the penis, with bumps at base). I had tested reducing my daily dose :-( I did not have the tingling I always get before a full outbreak. 

 I always use Oregano oil directly on my spots (which does hurt but works well) and these totally disappeared 14 hours later. This is the 6th or 7th time I have had a mini or ‘ghost’ outbreak in 3 years plus my ‘normal’ outbreak every 3-4 months.  

Is there such a thing as a ghost outbreak? Am I clear for initiate contact as soon as spots disappear? 

She is concerned these should be treated more like full outbreaks. 

My full outbreaks are short - 3 days start to finish using oregano oil, Valtrex & vitamins for immune support. For reference, my very first was 4 days onset to end. 

Are these “real” outbreaks and what activities below should we avoid during them: kissing open or closed mouth, cuddling with or without clothing, mutual masterbation using hands, oral sex to her and showering together. 

We know I still transmit even outside outbreaks but want to be more informed as to our limits during them and what to do about these (mini/ghost) outbreaks.

We are a team and I want to do what’s right by my girl. Thank you very much. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
First there is no need or benefit from her taking Valtrex.  I'm not clear what you mean by comfort here.
I' ve not heard of the term ghost outbreak.  It is possible to have prodrome and not have an outbreak OR these spots are due to something entirely different. 
Without a swab test of these spots it is not possible to know for certain if these are outbreaks or not.  If they are simply big red spots, I would strongly suggest that you have one of them swab tested when they are brand new.  This will give you more information about how to treat them, if at all. 
If they ARE outbreaks, none of the things you listed are concerning at all.
I assume your are using condoms with intercourse and also assume that she has been tested to determine that she is uninfected?
It sounds like you have a terrific relationship.  sorting out these "ghost "outbreaks would be a good idea to know if these are actually herpes outbreaks or not.