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

Possible Herpes or Mouth STD?

Hello! I am a healthy 29 year old female, and was tested for all STD's in June (HIV, Herpes, Syph, Chlam, Ghonn...etc), all came back negative. I get tested annually since I want to be a responsible, sexually active woman. I currently can't afford health insurance, so I came here in hopes of getting at least some expert opinions and advice. This site came highly recommended. Here's my situation.

For over the past year I have been experiencing a strange phenomenon with my lips/mouth. Out of what seems to be nowhere my lips will start to burn and tingle, get irritated, then puff up! The tingling isn't all over, it's very concentrated to specific spots that change daily. The tingling/burning happens on the lip/skin border. My lips will turn deep/sometimes bright red, and get VERY sensitive and chapped! The burning and tingling I feel will happen on/off daily for over a week each time! It recently happened again, and it makes me nervous to kiss my fiance. Now I just have chapped lips, with no tingling at all. Just a dry feeling, with a dark pink border lining my bottom/upper lip. This happens every few months. The last time this happened was sometime the end of May. I've also recently been experiencing a rise in small canker sores. Never more than one at a time, but once one goes, another pops up! This episode started again, so I got another herpes test thinking it might be that (because of the tingling, I read that was a symptom) and that test too came back negative for both types.

What do you think is going on? How long does it take for herpes to show up on a blood test? Does my situation sound at all like that could be a possibility, should I wait and test again? My most recent blood tests were about 3 months apart. I'm concerned about herpes because I work a lot with the general public, so I know I'm exposed to different things. Is it easy to catch casually, like through touching an object or a handshake? Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated!
5 Responses
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the  Forum.  The lack of health insurance really can stifle getting these things sorted out.  I will make several comments which I hope will be helpful to you.  Before I do, let me also congratualte you on your approach to your sexual health. you are doing jsut what you set otu to do, working in an appropriate fashion to preserve your health.  

I can understand why your might be concerned about recurring sensations involving your lips.  However, that your lips swell and that the sensation don't always occur in the same spot is a bit unusual for herpes.  The strongest evidence that this is not herpes however is that you now have two negative tests several months apart.  In general, most people have developed antibodies by three months and virtually everyone does so by 4 months.  There is really little reason to think that this is herpes.

Obviously without a chance to examine you it is difficult to make a diagnosis of what is going on.  One thing that might be going on is that you might be having a problem called "angioedema".  This occurs with swelling and discomfort and can occur on the lips.  The next time you have one of these spells try a Benadryl and see if it helps provide relief (beware, Benadryl can make you sleepy too).  

Finally, regarding HSV,. There is little risk from casual contact with the general public.  HSV is spread through direct contact.  

Bottom line, there is little reason to think that this might be HSV.  If my suggestion doesn't help (or form that matter, even if it does, you will need to try to find a regular doctor to help you address this.

I hope this comment helps.  EWH
Avatar universal
If I also might add, I have never experienced a blister or sore on my lips or around my lips. Don't know if that helps describe my situation more. thank you!
Avatar universal
Wow, thank you for the quick response! I was looking through other forums at posts made on the subject, there is a lot of information on this site about everything!

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!

Do you recommend that I get tested again in about a month to rule out herpes completely then since my tests were only 3 months apart, or is the 12 weeks conclusive enough?

What about the canker sores? I've read that they can mimic herpes in the mouth, is that true? Do they look the same? I'm scheduled for a gyn appointment (which I'm going to pay out of pocket, ouch) in about a week and a half..should I request another herpes test then?

Does herpes at all behave in a manner that is similar to my situation with constant tingling and burning of the lips, including the chapped lips?

I noticed that others posted their herpes scores on the board, so here are mine for the past two tests:

June
I = .17 Negative
II = .09 Negative

August
I = .29 Negative
II = .05 Negative

Do those numbers mean anything? Thank you for answering everything! This is such a useful resource!
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
In your case, the 12 week test is conclusive.  I would not spend your money on additonal herpes tests.

As I said earlier, the symptoms of herpes are not continuous, this is part of what indicates that you do not have HSV (as well as your negative tests)

The numbers simply indicate that your tests are completely and absolutely negative.  EWH
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your help and advice, that sheds a lot of light on things...and I will take your advice and look for a doctor!
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.