[Question #7269] Herpes on the upper back

7 months ago
I developed a rash in 2002 during wrestling on my upper back just below my neck. It was treated then with valtrax, and came back once more in 2010 and again now 2020.  Same spot same treatment. I don’t know what type if it’s herpes or shingles. NonE of the doctors have tested only offered the same treatment. I would like to know about transmission to a partner. Is this unlikely so long as it remains covered and no contact with the site. Or can it be transmitted through saliva or bodily fluids. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
7 months ago
It's herpes simplex, I would say, with an extremely high degree of certainty. What you have is called herpes gladiatorum,  herpes acquired during wrestling.  It's an actual diagnosis! 
Unless you have an outbreak, this is not contagious to a partner.  It is almost exclusively HSV 1, the cold sore virus, and is transmitted from someone with a cold sore being smooshed on a mat and someone with a break in the skin, coming in contact with the virus in that way.  If you cover it during an outbreak, and treat with something like Valtrex, as you have been doing, and no one has direct contact with it, it is not contagious to others.  It is not transmitted via saliva or bodily fluids.  I, of course, don't know if you genital herpes, I am only addressing your question about herpes gladiatorum. 

Terri
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