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Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Does it for sure have to be HSV-1?


 lovesucba - Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:35 am

My hubby, 2 babies and me just got back from a week in Mexico! About 4 days into the trip (of being in the sun about 8 hrs a day) my bottom lip became red, swollen and a bit sore. I just thought it was sunburned. A few days later we returned home and I developed a blister on my bottom lip. Someone said that looks like HERPES! I FREAKED out as I have never had a cold sore, fever blister or any of that. I did catch Mono about 2 months ago and the dr said maybe because I am around a lot of children. Not sure. Anyway I went to Care Now and they did not do any testing but said yes its just a fever blister. They gave me zovirax and abreva. The blister was not a cluster, not on the lip line, did not look like the fever blister pics online. The day before I went to the dr. I was intimate (in every way) with my husband and have been so worried about this ever since. I am just waiting to see if I spread it to the rest of me, my husband and maybe my babies from sharing drinks, food and suckers...and of course the million kisses I give them in a day. The blister went away in about 3 days but I still have really chapped lips and sore throat. Should I get some sort of blood test or just let it go? How could I have possibly gotten a fever blister when I have never had one before? I am scared to even kiss my babies anymore!!!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:51 pm

User avatar Hello -

It doesn't for sure have to be HSV-1, but it would be prudent to assume it is and act accordingly. Fever blisters are one of the most common ailments afflicting humanity, and are generally not serious but are extremely annoying and can be highly contagious, which is why it is so very common.

Even though you've kissed and otherwise come into physical contact with family members (also very common and totally normal), for the duration of this outbreak you probably should take care to not do this, and it is entirely possible no on else has caught the virus. If they have, well, odds are they would have eventually anyway, as the majority of people do.

You mention having been out in the sun prior to the outbreak, and there are some people whose fever blisters are triggered mainly be exposure to sunlight. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research have determined that sunscreen applied to the lips prior to exposure to sunlight can prevent outbreaks. They used a #15 block in their study and it was very effective. This is, of course, for future reference only, and won't do anything to make the current lesion go away. Still, it is useful to know.

The good news is the problem is rarely serious and is extremely common. If you continue to have the sore throat with this you probably ought to have it cultured by a doctor to make sure you don't also have, coincidentally, a strep infection which is also contagious and is potentially more serious than a fever blister.

I hope this helpful. Best of luck to you.
 lovesucba - Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:10 pm

Thank you for writing. I did have a doctor look at my throat and determined it was strep and gave me a shot. Thanks again for responding to my question...it has put my mind at rest anyway!!!

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