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Avatar universal

Just diagnosed with whitlow

So my initial OB of whitlow is finally coming to an end --

I'd just like to ask anyone out there who has this what I should expect having it on my index finger of my right hand.  My dermatologist says that the skin on the finger is very thick and when there are no symptoms I should feel comftorble using my finger to do things (even masturbate)

Anyone have any helpful tips for a recently diagnosed sufferer of whitlow?  

9 Responses
101028 tn?1419606604
The skin on your hand is too thick for the virus to easily get to the surface to shed thru unless you have obvious symptoms. You really can do anything, including masturbate when you don't have obvious symptoms present.

recurrences should be few and far between.

101028 tn?1419606604
did you have actual lesion culturing done on your finger?

Avatar universal
I did -- It is HSV1 whitlow on my right index finger.  

he pain was so intense that I actually went to the emergency room.  I was laughing at myself thinking that I just checked my self into the hospital for herpes (still kinda funny....lol)

The doctor said I can masturbate as well -- I havnt had any other OB's on my body so hopefully I didn't infect myself....But I would still be hesitant ever putting that finger in my mouth or near my eye ever again....

He also gave me acyclovir because my health insurance doesn't cover valtrex....

What is also interesting is that I did not have a major wound on this finger -- the cut that the HSV1 got into must have been tiny -- I was surprised to hear that Whitlow is quite rare....

Thanks Grace! I really appreciate the response.  Websites like this truly make a difference.  I can't say that enough.  


101028 tn?1419606604
You could've gotten hsv1 on the finger from your own mouth, someone else's or from someone's genitals.  

acyclovir works just as well as valtrex - you just have to take it more often.  the reality is all medications for herpes have to prove that they work just as well as acyclovir at this point. it's the original antiviral, dirt cheap and works just fine!

Avatar universal
Yeah I got it from a sexual encounter....I didn't have HSV1 before this....

My doctor Told me to take acyclovir for another 30 days, after that I will call him again to see how to keep it treated.  

At first I was so scared that I would never be able to use this finger to do anything ever again...very frightening...I am also suprised that whitlow is so uncommon...

How worried should I be about infecting other people, in an officeplace, at a family dinner, etc...?

101028 tn?1419606604
When you have a recurrence, cover it with a band aid. otherwise no precautions are needed.  No obvious symptoms, nothing to worry about.  

The acyclovir only needs to be taken for 10 days, not a full month. Won't hurt you to take it for a full month but if you get sick of taking it, call your provider and ask why you were told to take it so much longer than is needed.  typically you just treat whitlow when it reoccurs.

Whitlow is more and more uncommon because healthcare workers are wearing gloves for everything now. Used to be most common in folks who had ungloved fingers in folks mouths.  Typically the skin on the hands is too thick for the virus to easily penetrate to infect but if you have open cuts, chewed finger nails, dry cracked skin etc, it can get in there. Plus most adults already have hsv1 orally so they are protected quite a bit from getting it on their hands.  At this point hard to tell if you got it from manually stimulating someone with hsv1 genitally, contracted it orally from someone with it orally and then put your own hands in your mouth around the same general time causing you to give it to your own hands or if you had your hands in someone's mouth and got it then.  Or we could make up a far juicier story if you want me to that would be incredibly far fetched but way more entertaining  :)  I'm not afraid to put my crazy gutter filled mind to good use if I need to....he he he


Avatar universal
hahah -- yeah it was pretty juicy...! hahaha

there was definitely manual simulation, hand in mouth....the whole dance.. haven't seen her since...

but now i'm here so = O

I'm still taking the acyclovir because I'm worried about other infections that haven't surfaced

I haven't felt anything around my genitals,  I've felt tingles in my lips, my eyes have been kinda funny ....but no pain, and nothing surfacing, plus it might be allergies or sinuses...its been almost 6 weeks since my whitlow started....How paranoid should i be about ocular herpes?

should I never scratch my eye or pick my nose, or scratch other things with this finger for the rest of my life?  Am I going to start getting cold sores now?

Know any good natural remedies for pain in-case it comes back...(OUCH!)  


101028 tn?1419606604
I wouldn't be at all paranoid about occular herpes. It's not something that happens easily and typically it's an oral herpes infection that takes a different nerve when it reactivates in adults, not from sticking your finger in your eye when it's got whitlow on it.

Yes you can still pick your nose.  

Only time will tell if you start getting cold sores or not. Most folks who have hsv1 orally, don't get them to know that they have the virus.  No obvious cold sores, no way to know if you also have it orally or not. Odds are you do though if she was shedding enough to infect you on your finger.  

It's been 6 weeks, time to call off the crotch watch. It would've happened by now.

if it was unprotected sex, did you cover all the other std bases too?

Avatar universal
Hi Grace.(I accidently posted this in the wrong area so trying again sorry!

.Im feeling really depressed today/night. As you know I have hsv2 but before being diagnosed with it I was bitten by a baby squirrel I tried to save from my outdoor cats till it bit me on my left pointer finger. It first broke out with black spots where the teeth penetrated the skin and that was being treated in the hospital. I was then diagnosed with the hsv2 after this tho. but that really doesnt matter the how or when i got the original infection honestly. what i am devasted about is this whitlow infection in my finger always presenting the same as the teeth bite 2 black spots(that are turning to blisters today now) of needle shooting pain with extreme itching together that it leaves me in tears and unable to sleep! Ive been taking the oral valtrex 1gram daily and keeping bandaides on and its starting to smell so im cleaning with alcohal and then applying neosporian. should i use the prescription salve instead? and this is my 3rd break out and its affecting my daily life. Its my birthday and im crying in pain and feel contaminated and not worthy to even go to dinner in this state of health but dont want to let my family down. Is there anything else I can do that im not already and how can I stop feeling like I cant be touched during sex with my husband. He wants to touch me but I dont allow him because I dont know when or if its safe. Im scared to touch myself even bathing honestly. Are these normal feelings and is there any hope in how to treat it to feel normal again? my heart is broken and partly crying from pain and sadness in not knowing what to do. thanks for listening
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