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What is the average rate of reoccurrence with Herpetic Whitlow?

Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed about 3 years ago with HSV2. A few months after the diagnosis, I experienced whitlow on my left middle finger--a test swab did confirm it was HSV2.

I keep reading that whitlow re occurrences are "rare" but do happen. Honestly, this is anything but "rare" for me. I feel like I get this every month, maybe a few days break here and there. By the time one cluster of sores is barely cleared up, there's another one forming!

I'm constantly on edge worrying about infecting my face or even more body parts at this point. I haven't been taking medicines because I wanted to track the frequency and get my body used to fighting on its own. Usually I get pain before the sore, but this new one literally happened over night with no warning signs.

Last I should mention that my "lower" body hasn't shown any symptoms or episodes during the last 3 years! Just the finger. Any idea why this is doesn't seem to go away? Anyone else in the same boat?
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207091 tn?1337709493
Have you had these recurrences cultured to make sure they are hsv2? You could have MRSA or something, and it just looks a lot like herpes. Or you could have MRSA or something that is triggering the hsv2 outbreaks. Secondary infections are well known for triggering outbreaks genitally - think another STD or yeast, bacterial vaginosis, jock itch, etc., so it would make sense that it would on your hand.

You have antibodies now that would prevent you from infecting another location on your body, though obviously you should be careful with your eyes - not obsessively careful, just aware. The rest of your body's skin is too thick for the virus to penetrate anyway, so you don't need to worry so much. I'm sorry you have been.

Your body developed antibodies within probably 6 weeks, give or take, of your initial infection. You don't need to "train" it, and clearly, that isn't working. I'd suggest getting it cultured to make sure there isn't anything else going on here, and if there isn't, take the meds.

Honestly, I haven't seen much saying that the recurrences of whitlow is rare. It shouldn't be like this, though. Let me know what happens, and I hope you get some relief.

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Hi, thanks so much for responding. My doctor did drain the sore and have it cultured. It's definitely HSV2. My recent bout that cleared up a few days ago was so minor, but now this new bout that started 2 days ago is swelling and turning into "honeycomb" clusters. I feel like I'm going backwards.

I was actually going to start taking the medicine this coming Sunday. I started on valcyclovir, but was still getting reoccurrences. If I remember correctly it was 1 pill a day (unless I had an outbreak, then it was 2 a day). Now I have Acyclovir and it says "take as directed" so I'll have to ask tomorrow to see how much I should be taking.

I figured since I have a constant outbreak on my finger that my immune system would have this stuff under control by now, but like you said, it's clearly not working. I never have any fever symptoms, just sensitivity prior to the outbreak.

Thanks again so much for responding, I really appreciate your time!
Well, what is the strength of valtrex? If you were on 500 mg, maybe you need 1000 mg a day.

The suppression dose of acyclovir is 400 mg twice a day. For outbreaks, it's Acyclovir 800 mg orally twice a day for 5 days OR Acyclovir 800 mg orally three times a day for 2 days. If you can start it right at the first signs that you're getting an outbreak (your prodrome), you may be able to prevent it.

I know you said that you tested positive for it, and I believe that you have hsv2 whitlow. I'm just wondering now if that's the only thing you have going on, and if you need it tested again, and maybe something else is in there causing it to continue to be so active. For example, when I first got genital hsv2, I had continuous outbreaks, literally, for about 9 months. I finally went to the doctor and found out I had a raging bacterial vaginosis infection as well, and once I got that taken care of, my herpes outbreaks settled down.

If you have staph or MRSA or something, your hsv2 and other infection could be playing off each other, keeping everything really active. If I'm misunderstanding and you've had it drained and cultured since your original diagnosis, I apologize.

My doctor is really fond of "take as directed" instructions, too. Not very helpful, huh? :(
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