[Question #5406] Cold sore question

23 months ago
Hi Doctors,

This is a bit of a different question than what it seems like you normally get. Tuesday morning, I shaved in the shower (my face). Afterwards, the skin around my mouth and chin, including my lips felt irritated. Checked in the mirror and the skin above my lips and around my lower lips and chin were red and enflamed, blotchy, as if I had a light rash. Later in the day, my lips also felt irritated too. Not sure if this info is relevant, but I did get a lot of sun this past weekend.

Wednesday (yesterday), redness around mouth is gone, replaced by dry/dead flakey skin. Lips feel slightly irritated, slightly reddish, one small crack in the skin in the corner, some dead skin peeled off. 

Thursday (today), the same, maybe slightly less irritation. It seems like whatever happened is on it's way out. Lips are still irritated, maybe little broken but I cant see anything.

Now my concern is that my wife and I bathe our 3 year old daughter in the evening. Last night I gave my daughter a bath, hopped into the tub to play toys with her, and then we took a shower together. I lathered myself up, rinsed off, then I lathered her up and helped her to rinse off.  Now, if whatever the irritation that is going on around my mouth is  a cold sore (I don't see any sores etc, but I definitely do get cold sores from time to time) is the fact that I lathered my daughter up a danger that I exposed her to the cold sore virus? I definitely washed my face and seem to recall giving my hands an extra rinse with soap and water in the shower before I lathered her up. I definitely did clean her butt and privates after I washed myself. 

Thanks in advance.


23 months ago
I forgot to add that I have been tested in the past and am positive for HSV-1 and negative for HSV-2. I get cold sores maybe once or twice a year. I'm not even sure if what is happening now is a cold sore, it seems like it could also be eczema, but I'm just not sure.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
23 months ago
I'm so glad that you wrote to us so I can reassure you that this is a no-risk event.    You see, the herpes simplex virus is surrounded by a lipid layer that is immediately destroyed by soap.  The function of soap is in fact to destroy lipids.  There is no risk to your daughter whatsoever from this event.

Terri
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