[Question #5305] Herpes or Friction?

21 months ago
In April of 2017 I had what I thought was herpes. I had terrible itching upon entering the shower and when I got out I saw blisters right underneath my right labia majoria. I never felt sick. They would come every two months and then every month. 

I finally asked my NP and was blood tested (HSV 1/2 IgG Type Specific AB Herpeselect) on June 2018 a little over a year later. I was told my results were negative. She thought I had BV. I was given flagyl. They didn’t show up for 3 months, then came back every month. Recently I started using  Lysol laundry sanitizer and I hadn’t had a breakout at all.

I had a recent “outbreak” the other day and was wondering if it was due to my stubble rubbing that area. (I thought that was why I was getting them at first but when I stopped shaving I still got them)  At the time I started breaking out I gained weight and I noticed it caused more rubbing on my right buttock/thigh fold area. Are these friction blisters,folliculitis, from a parasite or herpes? Surely with as many “outbreaks” as I had I would’ve had a lot of antibodies in my system by the time I was tested as it was way past the 12-16 weeks they say to wait to be tested. The blisters have left scars and the skin is tender in that area all the time now. More tender when the blisters come.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
Has anyone swab tested the blisters when they are new? That should happen.  Have you seen a provider when the lesions are present? Also the IgG test misses 30% of HSV 1 and 8% of HSV 2, compared to the gold standard western blot.  Not many things cause blisters in the genital area.  I'm not clear about the relationship between the laundry detergent and your outbreaks though it is interesting.  BV would not cause blisters - not to say you might not have had BV but it doesn't cause blisters.  And parasites don't cause blisters either. 
So the options would be to obtain the western blot from the University of Washington to see if the Igg test missed an infection and/or have the blisters swab tested and evaluated the next time they show up.

Terri
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21 months ago
I saw my doctor when I had them but he said they did not appear to be herpes and thought they were from friction, a yeast infection, contact dermatitis, or folliculitis. I did not have them when I saw my NP, that’s when she took the blood test. 

And I thought maybe there was some bacteria in my underwear or in my discharge causing the blisters that’s why I said when I used the sanitizer they stopped appearing.

Is it common for the IgG test to miss an infection in someone’s case like mine who has had so many recurrent episodes?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
Not too many things cause blisters in the genital area in the United States beside herpes.  But I have also certainly seen blistering from both staph and strep in the genital area.  It's really impossible for me to say what this might be but again, I would strongly suggest that if you get another that you have it swab tested at the very beginning of the blistering time.

Terri
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