A year ago next weekend, I drank from a cup that (I found out) had been used by several people before me. Later that evening, I received a brief (but long-enough to swap spit) open-mouth kiss from someone who I would say "Get's around." Yes, I was at a party. Call it day zero.
Fast forward nine days. My face began to itch around my mouth. It itched constantly, like every 20 seconds, basically from just below my nostrils to the bottom of my chin then entire time I was awake. I never had a noticible fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, or lesions anywhere. I did notice mucocele (tiny pus-filled sacs about 1 mm in diameter, apparently caused by blocked salivary glands -- if that was the correct diagnosis. They were painless and eventually resolved.) inside my upper lip for the first time in my life. I felt and looked horrible enough that my co-workers asked if I was OK, but I never felt bad enough to miss work. I did come home and take a nap until it was time to go to sleep. This malaise lasted about from day 12 to day 17.
Thinking that I might have oral herpes, I went and got tested. I was also tested for chlymidia, HSV 1, HSV 2, HIV, gonorhea, syphylis -- all the usual suspects. I came back barely positive for HSV1 (as in 1.10 when the cut-off was 1.09 units). Negative for everything else. I had two courses of Valtrex, with no change in symptoms. I have since been tested for HSV about 3 more times -- all negative, and I never had any lesions.
The symptoms seemed to change over about the first 30 days since presumed exposure. I always had the facial itching, but I went through a period where I felt like I had bad breath all the time, and also felt like I needed to floss all the time. That lasted for a couple of days near day 30.
My facial itching has declined over time, but starting at about day 60, my lips felt as if they had been rubbed with sandpaper. They were and continue to feel somewhat numb and irritated. Topically-applied hydrocortisone and later mometisone (a stronger cortisone) had no effect.
About 10 months after presumed exposure, I noticed that my testicles seemed to be sweaty -- not actually dripping wet like real sweat, just an unusual sticky feeling all the time, starting as soon as maybe an hour after a shower. No odor, no lesions, no discharge -- just a sticky feeling. Neither my primary care physician nor two infectious disease specialists can identify the cause of the symptoms. Can you? Thanks, P
How are you? Are there other symptoms present? It is good that diagnostic tests were unremarkable and you were able to see your doctors already. It is also possible that the symptoms that you mentioned may be due to different issues - the itchy face could be from infection or skin issues while the sweaty testicles may be from possible overactive sweat glands. Referral to a dermatologist may help rule these out. Additional diagnostic tests and repeat HSV or HIV tests may also be done. Take care and do keep us posted.
I repeated the HIV test last week -- negative. My last HSV test was 4 months after onset of symptoms, which should have been long enough to detect antibodies. Unlike everything that I've read about HSV, my symptoms are continuous.
I do believe that my itch is caused by an infection, not exposure to a new toothpaste or anything like that. WHAT the infectious agent is, I do not yet know.
My face continues to itch, but much less so. I can also report that there is occassional tingling in my perioral area. My lips continue to feel abraded and sticky. No visible symptoms of anything, however. Testicle sweating may have been due to change in laundry softener. I would not name it as a symptom anymore.
I went to a dermatologist and a neurologist. Neurologist says no cause for neural conditon, may be a fungal infection and prescribed topical antifungal shampoo. Didn't seem to help. Dermatologist listened to me for about 20 seconds and declared that my symptoms were psychosomatic. For a year and a half -- Really? If I was under some sort of pressure from my spouse I might agree, but she is completely OK with what happened. It is not like I deliberately went outside of my marriage for sex. I believe that I was exposed to whatever I have by unknowlingly drinking from a "used" cup or by being kissed on the mouth by a drunk, which I made stop as soon as I could.
One thing that I have learned is that you must be your own advocate for your health. I can't really say that many of the doctors that I have seen (including my primary care physician, who believes that you can't get HSV is there are no lesions present!!!) have taken a keen interest in determining why my lips hurt. They mostly are of the "take two aspirin and call me in the morning" variety. I wish doctors were like mechanics, and that they didn't get paid until they got you fixed.
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