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confused about symptoms from skin contact
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confused about symptoms from skin contact

Hello Terri,
July 6th in the evening I had a lap dance, and the lady pulled up my shirt and was rubbing her bare vulva on my stomach above my shorts for half a song.  @ home coat my stomach with antiseptic gels for minutes, then wash with antibacterial soap.
July 7th, 14 hours later I start taking Valtrex (which I keep for cold sores, it was 2 pills 2 times a day)
July 9th, I get two small rashes, each half the size of a dime, one on either side of my stomach, that are just somewhat red skin, non raised, non itchy.  Bump on my solar plexus that doctor said isn't herpes is noticed. Also, a minor sinusits episode, feel slightly warm, like I get frequently when I get tonsil stones.  This passes by July 10th.
July 10th-12th, lower stomach pains and spasms, heartburn, warm flashes and chills during the day, itching coming from folds on stomach.  Get transient hives that weekend on my body that are irritated by rougher clothing.
July 13th, Valtrex ends.
July 14th, hives taper off, abdominal pains and spasms too.  Transient itching continues.
July 17th, the first two rashes disappear.
July 18th, more abdominal spasms, discomfort, warm spells and chills.  Night sweats.  Some more hives from rougher clothing, but not as many as before.
July 21st, another rash just like the first two (red skin, non raised) shows up, preceded by irritation from clothes.
July 23rd, Red spot in fold of skin on solar plexus, intense itch.  Earlier bump on solar plexus unchanged.

I guess what has me worried about herpes is the hives.  I'm very tightly wound and anxious, and I've had panic/anxiety episodes in the past, but never with hives.  What's most probable?  That the hives were caused by anxiety (disputable), or that they were caused by a herpes viral infection?  I've never had a reaction to Valtrex before.
Also, testing, assuming typical lesions don't show up, given my Valtrex, how long do I need to wait for a conclusive blood test?  Also, what are these small red rashes?
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55646_tn?1263664409
Your abdomen is not susceptible to herpes simplex infection through the kind of contact that you describe.  The skin on your abdomen is thick and the virus, without an clear break in the skin and point of entry, the skin of your abdomen protects you against herpes.  The genital skin is thin and vulnerable, in contrast.  I don't feel that you ever need to test for herpes, based on this encounter alone.  Whether you have herpes from some other contact in your past is unknown.  Not clear about the rashes, but I'm wondering if coating your abdominal skin with antiseptic gel could have been the culprit?  I do  hope you can put this episode behind you and stop worrying.

Glad you wrote to us.

Terri
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks Terri, this is very reassuring.  I didn't have any breaks on my skin, but it's possible she could have scratched my skin with her pubic hair and caused an abrasion and let the virus enter, right?

What about the fact that hives and a mild sinusitis like episode came 4 days after the exposure?  Plus those stomach spasms and abdominal pains, all came at right around the time herpes symptoms are supposed to start.  It just seems like too much to be a coincidence.

I've never had any genital sores or boxes shorts area cold sores or anything similar, so while I suppose it's possible I could already be asymptomatic and HSV-2 positive for years (especially since I've never had a type-specific test before) I've only had two partners I've had actual intercourse with, have never had sex without a condom, and have had the same girlfriend for the past 8 years.

Also, my testing question, given the exteremely early Valtrex treatment.  Do I need to add another 2 weeks to the 3 months?  3 weeks?  I do want to put this episode behind me, but honestly, I'm probably gonna get tested anyway.  
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55646_tn?1263664409
I don't believe that pubic hair would cause the kind of abrasions that would break the skin enough for herpes to enter, no.  That's reaching way too far.

Hives and sinusitis have nothing to do with herpes, not stomach spasms and abdominal pains.

Assuming you've had no more Valtrex, I would wait 3 months to test.  However, given your history, I think infection with HSV 2 is highly unlikely.

Terri
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Avatar_n_tn
Thinking about the rash, Erythema Multiforme would have started on my extremities, yes?   And then it moves in?  My rashes don't really resemble the classic target lesions of EM, but it doesn't always have to look like that, right?

It's gonna be a long 9 weeks from here.  
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55646_tn?1263664409
EM is a possibility - have your clinician have a look and see what they think.
Terri
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok, maybe I misphrased myself.  I just got those rashes or whatever on my stomach.  They didn't move in from my extremities to my torso.  And they don't resemble the "classic" sores.  

I guess the reason EM worried me is because it's often a symptom of an HSV infection.  But unless I have the classic symptoms then it's just another nonspecific few rashes, right?  

Or not...
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55646_tn?1263664409
I'm sorry, I can't help you anymore with these questions.  A provider who can see you would be best so sort out rashes, they can be very challenging!.  This is the last discussion we will have on this post.  Hope you get to feeling better.

Terri
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Avatar_n_tn
8 week type specific test negative.  Didn't get numerical value from Quest, however.  Thanks for your help Terri.  I'll get another test in 4-6 weeks to confirm, hopefully that one is negative too.
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A related discussion, 15 week test negative was started.
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Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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