[Question #5224] Possible herpes lip sores

24 months ago
Hello,

First, a note to thank the medical experts on this site. I have greatly appreciated your responses to my questions in the past, as well as to the other threads on this forum. What a breath of fresh air to get non judgmental, scientific answers to specific questions. Now on to my specific issue du jour.

About two months ago,  I spotted a couple smallish, red blemishes on my lips, right on the boundary of my actual lip and the facial skin. The 2-3 blemishes didn't hurt at all, weren't large, and did not have liquid / pus in them. They went away after about a week to 10 days, and then came back a couple weeks later, and then went away again. Before this, I never had these lip sores, never had herpes as far as I know, and tested negative for HSV1/2 about 4 months ago with the IgG test. The one thing that happened since then is that I french-kissed a high-end escort about 2.5 months ago, though she did not have any apparent sores on her lips. Also, a friend dermatologist of mine thinks these blemishes may have been "Frodyce spots", (wtf?) or otherwise "a mild virus" (again, wtf?).

At any rate, I understand that without actually seeing these it is difficult to diagnose. Even so, might you hazard any guesses / insights based on my description?

As always, thanks a bunch.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
You know, most herpes outbreaks present with a bit more "drama" than red spots.  They are usually blistered areas on a red base.  And there are often multiple blisters in one group.  What did he/she mean by a mild virus, do you think?  A herpes virus?
If they come up again, I would suggest that you have them swab tested, preferably using a NAAT or PCR test rather than culture.
Also, the IgG misses 30% of HSV 1 infections compared to the gold standard western blot so if you are still unsettled about this issue, you could obtain this blot for a final answer.

Terri
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24 months ago
Hi Terri,

Thank you for your reply.

By "a mild virus", my friend (more of an acquaintance, really) meant something more mild than herpes. At least that's how I interpreted it. Also, he's only been out of residency about 5 years at this point, just FYI.

Your comment about herpes outbreaks usually presenting with more drama is consistent with my understanding. I also thought that herpes sores were quite painful (mine weren't).

As far as having these blemishes tested if/when they return, is this swab test or western blot done at a standard medical clinic? Is western blot the same as a swab test?

Thank you,
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
If they return, a swab test would be useful.  A western blot is the gold standard antibody test, the swab test looks for actual virus and the best on is NAAT or PCR (basically the same but called different things so I list both).  it is NOT a culture - that is less sensitive but gathered in the same exact way.  You could also do the western blot to look for infection but that should be done no sooner than 12 weeks from any concerning encounter.

Terri
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24 months ago
Thank you Terri, will do.

One other explanation that popped to mind just today is that I have a mug at work that I drink tea out of, and when I'm done, I just wash it  out with water. I should probably put in the dishwasher at home...

Best Regards
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
24 months ago
Herpes it not transmitted via inanimate objects like this.

Terri
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