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Possible herpes sore on the body?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Possible herpes sore on the body?

I was recently diagnosed with HSV-2 and have done lots of research on it since then.  I've never had any symptoms other than a couple of yeast infections over the past few years.  

This past week I developed a slightly raised, red, itchy spot (about 3/2 inch wide) between the pubic region and hip bone, about one inch above the pubic region.  It turned a reddish/purplish color and turned into a little sore.  I recall having these in the past usually around the same area or on my butt, but never near my genitals.  I've never had them on any other part of my body.  

In my reseach, I've read that it's possible to develop sores in the 'boxer shorts' part of the body but it's rare.  My sore would be just below the waistband.  I've searched the internet but have been unable to find any pictures of HSV-2 on any parts of the body other than the genitals.

Have you come across HSV-2 in this region of the body?  Do you know of a website that has pictures of HSV-2 on the body?  I may have seen pictures of herpes but sometimes it's not clear what part you're actually looking at.  If one can develop a sore in an area away from the genital region, does that mean that is a transmission spot (both when sores are present and during shedding), too, or would it still be just the genital region that transmits the virus to another person?  

Thanks so much for all of your help on these boards.  This has been an invaluable resource.
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It doesn't matter much what it looks like compared with pictures you might find on the web or elsewhere.  The only way to know with certainty what you have is to see a health care providerr when your lesion is active, i.e. within a day or two next time it appears.  Your description doesn't really sound like herpes, but it is possible.

People who have recurrent genital herpes with lesions near but not on the genitals--buttocks, upper thights, lower abdomen, etc--also often have asymptomatic shedding of the virus in the genital area itself.  In other words, just protecting partners from exposure to the sore doesn't necessarily protect them from sexual transmission.

Bottom line:  See a provider immediately the next time the lesion appears.  If you have a regular provider, line things up ahead of time--i.e., make arrangements so that the office staff will know to see you immediately when an outbreak occurs.  Or go to your local health department STD clinic.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
4 Comments
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Just to clarify:  I understand that having a lesion on your hip/thigh/etc. still means that you transmit via the genitals.  My question was meant more as: If you are prone to having lesions in areas other than your genitals (ex. hip) does that area shed as well as the genitals?  I'm wondering if I should be as careful with the hip/thigh/buttocks region as I am with the genital region when having physical contact with a partner.

Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
Doctor,

Would it be possible for you to respond to my clarified question above?

Thanks,
kdh
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239123_tn?1267651214
Sorry for the misunderstanding.  To my knowledge, no research has ever addressed that question, i.e. nobody has attempted to test for HSV between outbreaks from the skin areas of non-genital recurrences.  My guess is that it occurs rarely, because asymptomatic shedding is more common from moist surfaces (e.g., labia, urethra, anus, cervix) than dry ones.  If you're asking whether to cover that spot when having sex, I doubt it is necessary and wouldn't go to the trouble.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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