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Avatar universal

Herpes Simplex or Zoster in Pubic Region followed by Bell's Palsy?

Hi,

Please see the following timeline:
06/23/19: Exposure to HSV 1 via oral sex

07/01/19: Itchy red dots appear in pubic area 1 inch away from penis shaft

07/08/19: Cluster of lesions have developed. Doctor says it looks herpetic. Doctor takes anti-body blood test and swab test. I do not know if PCR Culture. Dr. prescribes Valtrex and lesions subside a week later

07/16/19: Blood test reveals negative for both HSV 1 & 2. Swab test negative as well. Dr. suggests it may be Folliculitis. I am aware antibodies can take up to 4 months to show in bloodwork

08/03/19: Diagnosed Bell's Palsy on right side of face at ER. Prescribed steroid and more Valtrex

Questions:
Since I have yet to develop any lesions on actual genitals(only in pubic area). Is there a chance this is zoster? I had chicken pox as a child.

Are GENITAL HSV 1 and/or 2 LINKED to Bell's Palsy ? Or is only ORAL HSV linked to Bell's Palsy? I can't find this info anywhere
2 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
Oral hsv1 is linked to Bell's Palsy, not genital. Herpes infects nerve groups, so if you have genital herpes, it doesn't affect your face, and vice versa.

There are other causes of Bell's Palsy, though, like Lyme Disease and Epstein-Barr, which causes mono. Yes, hsv1 is the cause for a large number of cases, but it's not the only one.

The other thing to note is that the IgG test can miss 30% of hsv1 infections. If you had a pre-existing hsv1 infection that is causing the BP, it could be that the test missed it.

Have they tested you for Lyme and mono?

11 Comments
Thank you for your response. I have not been tested for Lyme or mono but will inquire with my doctor about that.

Do you think my pubic outbreak and Bell’s Palsy could be linked to Shingles?
Eh it's possible, but shingles is painful. And again, you'd have to have shingles near your face for it to affect your nerves and give you Bell's Palsy. Whatever is happening with you genitally isn't connected to the Bell's Palsy.

The only other possibility is if you kissed the person who gave you oral sex. If this happens to be genital hsv1, and you got that from the oral sex, you may have also gotten oral hsv1 from the same person if you kissed the person.

How long after the cluster appeared did you get it swabbed? Swab tests can give false negatives if they aren't done soon enough, as the fluid in the sores dries up.
I got it swabbed a 2 days after ulcers appeared before treating with valtrex.

Last question- Does genital HSV 2 cause menenigtus followed by Bell’s Palsy?

Just explore any other possible explanations. Thanks again.
That I don't know, but meningitis makes you pretty sick. https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html

However, your exposure was only hsv1. If you got genital herpes from this, your genital herpes would be genital herpes type 1, not type 2. The number indicates the strain, not the location.

Have you talked to your doctor about any of this? If you think you have meningitis, another cause is Epstein Barr, the same virus that causes mono, and can also cause Bell's Palsy.

If you think you have meningitis, please talk to your doctor.
Thank you for your help on this, auniejessi! Got my blood work back today for HSV: Neg for 1 & 2

Doc thinks may be early onset of shingles
I hope you start feeling better, and get some definitive answers. Keep us posted. :)
Auntiejessi, everything seems ok so far. Waiting for that 12 weeks mark for another IGG test.

Question- If I was infected with oral HSV, can Bell’s Palsy occurr before oral primary outbreak? I have not had an oral outbreak.
Yes, it can happen with people who've never had an outbreak, though most cases I've heard about have had hsv1 for a long time before they get Bell's Palsy.

Have you checked into other causes, like Lyme or mono?
Also, you'd have had to be infected orally, not genitally, for hsv to give you Bell's Palsy. You haven't mentioned if you kissed the person in question to infect you orally.
I did kiss the person who put me at risk. Getting tested for Lyme later this week.

Just odd that I got Bell's Palsy a month after a genital outbreak. Still inconclusive, will post back when I have more info.
Got it. Yes, that is odd.

I can't find much about it happening with a new hsv1 infection. The best I can find is that it can happen after a viral infection, but it's not very specific.

Good luck, and feel better!
Avatar universal
Hi auntiejessie,

Took a blood test last week and had an STI panel done. I am almost at the 4 month mark.

I am negative of HSV 1/2 and all STI’s applicable to a blood test.

My guess is that I initially had folliculitis and/or staph in the pubic area which was initially misdiagnosed as HSV by my doctor. Since bell’s palsy does run in my family, the stress from that misdiagnosis triggerd the facial paralysis.

Thank you for the feedback and support, auntiejessie. While this experience was emotionally detremental, I learned a lot and grew from it. I am very lucky and thankful.

1 Comments
I'm glad to have helped, and thanks for the update.

I hope you're feeling better now. If you ever have any questions, we're here. :)
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