Aa
A
A
A
Close
Herpes Forum
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Avatar universal

Spreading Cold Sores or HSV1

Dear Terry, I have had cold sores for many years, since a young child in grade school, although I have not seen them in quite some time in my mouth. I was concerned about spreading cold sores since I know I have scratched myself in the genital region. Even a few years ago I did have a crack on my scrotal skin, and after all I have read on the internet; I became concerned if this could be herpes. The small crack resolved quickly it was not red, nor did it itch, but when I  directed water on it from the shower it did sting though, however it has not returned. I would like to know if you can spread herpes to your genitals and not even really have symptoms or very mild symptoms. I even took a blood test a few years later due to my concern; a WB test and it came back positive for HSV 1, as expected due to cold sores; and negative for type 2. Questions, can you catch herpes both orally and genitally, will the type 1 virus stay dormant in your genital region for years and then reactivate? How do you know if you have type 1 genital herpes or not? Any insight would greatly be appreciated, all of this information can be overwhelming, thank you so much for the Form you provide.
3 Responses
55646 tn?1263664409
Once you have an HSV 1 infection in one part of your body (for you, your mouth), it is extremely unlikely you will subsequently get it in a new location on your body.  I seriously doubt that you have to worry about HSV 1 genital infection.  

Many things can cause cracks in the skin - mostly commonly in that area for men, a mild fungal infection, also known as jock itch.  

Hope this helps to reassure you.

Terri
Avatar universal
Terri, thank you for your response...I was trying to find out why you could not get the type 1 virus twice or in different parts of your body, if previously exposed. I was trying to understand this from a medical stand point. It seems almost anything from a pimple, small crack, or rash could be considered herpes in  the genital region, and this was the reason for concern.  I also asked Grace to explain, but more or less was directed back to you; I am not sure how many questions I can ask. Thank you for your help and expertise.
55646 tn?1263664409
The reason you don't get it in a new place is because you have an immune response that recognizes the virus if it tries to get into a new place and says NO, you can't come in.  Think about it - if people could get HSV in new place, children who touch cold sores and then touch other parts of their body would be transferring it all the time!

In 30 years of practice, I have seen this happen once, and in that case, I'm not at all convinced it happened (the patient thought so but I'm very much less clear).

Terri
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 16 facts you need to know to protect yourself from contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
The warning signs of HIV may not be what you think. Our HIV and STD expert Sean Cummings reports in-depth on the HIV "Triad" and other early symptoms of this disease.