[Question #7046] Is this herpes

10 months ago
Yesterday night I found a small sore slightly below my pubic bone.  My partner and I have been in a committed relationship for almost 2 years.  We were both tested before we had intercourse and were negative.  This week I'm on my cycle and have been consistently wearing long  lengths overnight pads which I change regularly.   Part of my feels this sore could be caused by irritation from the pad and tight pants (covid eating related).  Its not on my vagina nor my pubic lips.  It's right above where the skin slopes to the clitoris...where the hair is that would make up like a camel toe vertical split.

The sore is not painful.  It was super red yesterday but after removing and ceasing wearing pads. The redness has decreased drastically.   I have sprayed it with alcohol, used peroxide on it, pulled 2 hairs which I thought may be ingrown ( that was painful) and scraped the sore with the tweezers and it's not painful.  Now it is a little irritated, but after that its understandable.   Touching it, still does not bring pain.  It also doesnt really look like the pictures.  There is no blisters unless they are too tiny to see with the naked eye...its just a small  non  red more pink sore.  I'm not even aware of it. The middle seam of my pants apparently goes right over it..but unless I push hard on the seam, I'm not aware of the sore.  Touching it without pants using my finger, my finger nail, or a cotton swab... I feel nothing.

If it was herpes, related,  it would be painful right?

10 months ago
Update:  last night I applied hydrocortisone cream, this morning it looks 1000x better and is about 85% healed.   The color is still paler than the rest of the skin but all the redness and the pinkness is gone.  Also, there was mild swelling that is 100% gone.  
10 months ago
Update:  I've been applying the hydrocortisone cream for 2 days.  Still no pain with contact, redness is gone...I believe this was just an irritated patch of skin from rubbing against and being in contact with the pads.  I usually only wear pads with tampons during the first few days and never pads 24-7. It also probably didn't help that I kept doucing the area with  90 percent alcohol , hydrogen peroxide,  and once or twice hand sanitizer containing 80 percent alchohol trying to see whether it burned to indicate damage...I thought maybe it had blistered and then became red (webmd) and I just found it after.  I really didn't notice it until I guess the edge of the pad became uncomfortable on that spot when I was lying down.
I'm now pretty now that it was just an irritated  patch from the pad and I made it worse.

Everything has basically cleared up with the hydro core cream.  However the skin is lighter than the rest which is the only way that I can find the area.  The skin is completely flat and there is no  indication that anything was ever there minus the color difference (my skin is brown and this is kind of white-ish)

I'm not sure why my question wasn't answered in the order it posted, but I would love some suggestions on how to recover my missing melanin from that area.  Because of the hair, it's not super noticable...but I notice it. It's a small white oval.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
10 months ago
It's so hard to say over the internet, but from your description, it doesn't sound like herpes to me, though I could definitely be wrong.  Generally, hydrocortisone makes herpes worse sometimes, not better, as it reduces the body's immune response in that area, and you need the immune response to heal. 
I think the only way to know now (since the sore was not swab tested when it was there, I am assuming) is to obtain an IgG herpes antibody test.  Have you ever in your life had a cold sore on your lip and do you receive oral sex from partners??

Terri
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10 months ago
Hi Terri, thanks for getting back with me :)  To my knowledge,  I have never had a cold sore and maybe 7 years ago I was tested during a screen and was negative for type 1 and 2.  Also, my fear of getting genital herpes from oral sex definitely influences my choice to not engage.

Question, 1. in your experience have you ever come across a sore caused by herpes that was totally painless and itch free?  I was able to spray it with 90pecent alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and touch it directly without pain

2.  Does a sore always heal with crusting?  This spot was small and located kind of on the mons pubis (area with a lot of hair) but right before it splits into folds leading  to the clitoris.   It healed by like shrinking,  without forming  a crust or scab, and kind of just came together.  So, the size decreased before it healed totally.   Now, its healed with a color difference and the area  is more pinkish than the rest of the area.

Should I wait to get a IgG test  ( I was laid off due to Covid  and don't have insurance) or should I just get one right away?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
10 months ago
1.  Yes, not all herpes lesions are painful but most are at least tender when touched.  But if you could spray it with alcohol without any pain, that doesn't sound herpetic to me.
2.  Sores on the labia of women most often simply fill in, rather than crusting over.

If you were tested negative with your partner also testing negative and there have been no other partners, this is less likely to be herpes.  I don't see any rush in getting an IgG test.  What would you do differently if positive?  And how would you have gotten infected if our partner is negative?  If you really can't stand not knowing for sure if this was herpes, then you could test but I see no actual reason to do so and certainly no hurry to do so.

Terri

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