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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Does a blister on my lip from sunburn have to be HERPES?

 lovesucba - Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:06 am

We spent a week in Mexico! My husband and me and our 2 little ones! We were in the sun ALL DAY every day. I did use sunblock and my lips started to get a bit swollen and red. I cannot remember them getting a blister until we got back home a few days later. I have never had herpes, fever blisters, cold sores so I did not know it is so contagious. I was intimate with my husband (before my lip blistered) and of course eating and drinking and kissing my babies. What are the odds this has to be herpes and did I infect my entire family?

I did go to Care Now and they just looked at it and said oh yeah its just a fever blister. Like it was no big deal! I am quite upset and just waiting to see if my husband or I break out anywhere else.

He has had cold sores before but not for a very long time and only when he is sick. How else could I have gotten this? (we are both faithful.)
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:09 pm

User avatar Hi there -

You can relax. While there's little doubt your fever blister is the result of herpes simplex, there are plenty of more innocent ways to catch it than romantic (or even unromantic) physical intimacy. For instance, if you ever had chickenpox, the virus has been lying dormant in your body all this time. Most all of us have it, the question is more when will it show up and how? Most of us either get oral stomatitis (canker sores in the mouth) or fever blisters. Some get extremely painful outbreaks of shingles. Some really lucky people never have anything noticeable happen.

When active, any expression of herpes (simplex or type II, which are essentially the same anyway), is highly contagious, so it's just a matter of awareness and consideration to avoid passing it along, but in a family setting this can also be almost impossible.

This will resolve in a short time. While it is active you'll need to try to remember to avoid touching it (if you even know you're doing that, as most people do it unconsciously -- we can only try), washing your hands, not kissing anyone (try "air kisses" temporarily I guess), and keep your washcloth isolated from others. Once the thing goes away you're "safe" again, and it may never happen again. Then again it might. The herpes virus is infuriatingly unpredictable, but it never really goes away, it just goes dormant.

I hope this is helpful. More people have had this happen than not, most likely. Just take care to keep it to yourself as best you can, and if it does wind up spreading to a loved one, again, there's only so much one can do.

Best of luck to you. Follow up with us as needed.
 blackmamba - Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:28 pm

I also get fever blisters on my lip, i've been getting them since i was a little boy and i am 27 now...I use NOVITRA, it seems to work magically, apply it as soon as you feel that little tingle or itch on your lip, when it does surface, keep applying regulary. That will probably cut its life span in half. ive been using it for a couple of years now, and the blisters do re occur, but seem smaller, and don't last long...hope i helped! stay blessed.

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