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Herpetic Whitlow

Would herpetic whitlow cause symptoms as early as 4 days after exposure? Is itchy hands a symptom?
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The thing is, I’m not 100% sure that I have Ghsv1. The person that could have possibly passed it on to me 20 years ago, had a cold at the time . I assumed since he had a cold, maybe the virus was shedding due to his immunity being low,  and he just didn’t have a cold sore outbreak. I’ve always heard that cold sores usually show up when you’re immunity is low , so I assumed just like I no longer got cold sores at that point , that maybe he didn’t either. I convinced myself that I must have caught it down there because I started itching in the days after and there was a flesh colored bump that I thought showed up in the same spot a couple times but when it was swabbed it always came back negative. I assumed maybe since the virus wasn’t in the preferred place that it was just milder. Never painful, but every once in a while I’d feel a sharp pain in my thigh or tailbone aches. All things I never experienced, before receiving oral sex that day…. So for 20 years I’ve lived in fear, knowing that there’s a possibility I could have it genitally also, although I may never truly know.

I’m new to this site, but from the videos on YouTube and the drs on justanswer, most of them say transmission from genital fluid to the eye via rubbing is very possible, and whitlow from simply touching genital fluid… very concerning and confusing.

So for all of this to be happening with his eyes and hands, I’m going crazy . He’s concerned because his eye is still blurry.
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Okay, so first - getting ghsv1 after having antibodies for hsv1 is possible, but really unlikely. If he didn't have an actual outbreak, the viral load you were exposed to probably wouldn't have been high enough to reinfect you.

It's not so much about your partner's immunity, but yours.

The only people I've ever known to get ghsv1 after having antibodies to hsv1 from an oral infection have been exposed to someone with an active outbreak.

Sharp pains in your thighs and an achy tailbone can be so many different things.

A flesh colored bump doesn't sound like herpes, either. Herpes is a blister or sometimes a paper cut lesion.

JustAnswer has a lot of doctors, but there is no guarantee that you are getting a doctor who has any experience in STDs. I can't speak to the YouTube videos, because I don't know who did them, but please know that just because it's in a video doesn't make it true.

You don't get ocular herpes from touching vaginal fluids - it's almost always touching an outbreak and then touching your eye, or it travels from the mouth to the eye. Herpetic whitlow is almost always from fingering with broken skin - direct skin to skin contact - or in dental professionals who put their hands in people's mouths.

Even if you have ghsv1 - and let's say for now that you do, for argument's sake - you are shedding 4 days a year. When you shed, you aren't even shedding a full 24 hours. The odds are astronomically in your favor that your partner didn't touch you at the exact moment you were shedding.

If he's still experiencing blurry vision, he needs to follow up with his opthamologist promptly.
Ok, I appreciate your knowledge on this matter. So with all of that considered, would you be confident that whatever is going on with his eye… and hands….. likely has nothing to do with me…?
Absolutely nothing to do with you, unless he's he's as anxious as you are. Tingling/itching can be a sign of anxiety.

Also, if you're in a place where it's really cold, it could just be dry hands. Have him try some lotion. CeraVe is really good.
Ok, I am officially letting this go. Thank you once again auntiejessi for all of your patience, knowledge, and reassurance!
You're welcome! Take care. :)
207091 tn?1337709493
You have genital hsv1 for 15+ years, correct? You aren't transmitting to anyone outside of an outbreak.

Herpetic whitlow is uncommon, and symptoms would only be in the one hand affected. Itchy hands is not a symptom of whitlow.

4 days is possible, average is probably a week or so.

Can you tell me why you are so concerned about this? How can I help you?
Helpful - 0
Thank you so much auntiejessi for responding. I am driving myself crazy, literally losing sleep. My bf eyelid still has the lump and his vision blurry in that eye and I’m afraid it could be ocular herpes. I’m pretty sure he rubbed his eye/eyelid after touching me down there. Since 2 days after that , his “stye” has been there, his eye has been blurry, now the other eye he says is blurring, which he thinks is from straining because of the first eye. He said the eye Dr told him that the stye was “hard”, that he may need surgery to remove the bump. I’m concerned it’s not going away because it might be herpes. All of this started after he touched me, then his eye. I don’t know if Ghsv1 would be so mild for me since I already had it on my mouth since childhood, so I don’t know if it could present as a papercut or something that would go unnoticed.

Someone commented on a video I watched re: ocular herpes/keratitis, stating they were originally diagnosed with a stye… and when they went back and looked again, they said it was herpes. I am terrified. Now his hands are itching so I’m thinking is it whitlow, because he was negative for everything before me. Some drs say herpes can’t be transmitted from genital fluid, others says it’s very possible. There is a great divide.  I want to believe the former , but everything seems to be going wrong. Is it possible it’s all just a coincidence?
Also I wanted to add that I had recently started eating more sugar and spicy foods and wondered if that could have caused asymptomatic shedding or a possible outbreak in my genital area. I noticed my lips feel weird also. They look red and irritated and feel a little numb, but I haven’t had an actual cold sore in 20 years… so I was wondering if my diet change could have caused asymptomatic shedding and mild oral and genital symptoms… or maybe my lips are moreso irritated because of an allergic response to the peppers…. Or if like you said previously that shedding will happen regardless, do diet doesn’t matter /wouldn’t force shedding or an outbreak?
So you have oral and genital hsv1? And you got ghsv1 after ohsv1? That's really unusual. Did someone with an outbreak of ohsv1 give you oral sex?

No, no food would increase shedding. Spicy foods can cause all kinds of irritation, though, so maybe stop those for a bit and see if that helps your mouth. You might be feelings these things because of hyper-awareness, too.

Genital fluid is maybe a theoretical risk, given the best of circumstances. The only way I can see it MIGHT be possible is if you were in perfect lab conditions - perfect temps, perfect humidity, etc.. If you had an outbreak, and your vaginal secretions passed over the outbreak and were able to collect a high viral load, and then immediately got on your partner's fingers, and then he immediately reached up and rubbed his finger into his eye.

For your partner to get whitlow, he'd have to have broken skin. The skin on your hands is too thick for the virus to penetrate otherwise.

I don't know what doctors you are reading, but make sure they are experts in the field. Terri Warren has a forum on Westoverheights.com and is a world-renowned expert. She's been involved in some of the biggest research we've had. She also has a forum on her site. I think you've mentioned her before, so you may already know her, or of her.

Drs. Hook and Handsfield are also two I'd trust. They, along with Terri, answer questions on https://www.ashasexualhealth.org/experts/  (their site seems to be down at the moment).

Hang in there, really. And get some counseling for your anxiety. Is your partner anxious about all this?
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