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How likely is autoinoculation??
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How likely is autoinoculation??

Hi Dr, five days ago I started to get a tingling sensation and then eventually a "blister-like" formation on my lower left lip.  I went to the doctor yesterday and the doctor told me it looked like herpes.  I am very nervous about autoinoculation now because I masubated (using my hand only  on my clitoris) 2 nights before I went to the doctor before I was aware of it being herpes. Now, I am washing my hands very frequently but at the time was not doing it as much since I wasn't aware of the fact that I have herpes.

The doctor said that this was probably not the first time I've has a cold sore on my lip, but don't remember it, probably because I was too young.  My concern is that I have read your responses to other people about autoinoculation and that it happens most commonly during the first initial HSV outbreak.  I don't remember having an actual cold sore on my lip (although I do remember having it on the inside of my mouth, which I am not sure if it is herpes or canker sores), so after realizing that there is a potential to spread it to the genitals via masturbation, I am extremely nervous of the potential risk.

I  haven't been able to find much information about the risk (percentage-wise) of autoinoculation, and I am going a bit crazy...I am hoping you can help.

Thanks!!

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This isn't the doc's board.

Not many people spread their oral herpes infections to other body parts.  You start building up protective antibodies from soon after you were infected to keep this from happening.  To help put it in perspective - think of a 2 year old with a cold, snot flowing like someone opened up a faucet, a cold sore on their lip and their hands wiping EVERYTHING everywhere ( this includes hands down their pants too when they get diaper changes!!! ).  About 1/4- 1/3 of children contract hsv1 orally before they start kindergarten - how many kids have you ever heard of spreading herpes all over themselves?  It happens but not frequently.  Also the virus is easily killed with soap and water - no need to obsessively wash your hands - just if you touch your cold sore - wash your hands with soap and water like you usually would ( or use hand sanitizer if you are at work and realize you were just obsessively picking at the cold sore or something and don't want to run to the bathroom ).  

Also if you usually just use saliva for masturbation - try using a decent lube instead.  It works better and you don't risk trasnmitting normal mouth flora to the genital area to cause vaginitis.

Try not to worry - it's very unlikely you transmitted oral herpes to your genital area.

grace
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