› Forums › Herpes Questions › Cold Sore to Genital Autoinoculation
- This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Terri Warren.
April 28, 2023 at 10:40 am #81426missanonymollyParticipant
I am a woman that has experienced blistering around my mouth and other areas on my face for ~10 years. I tried to believe they weren’t cold sores and never got tested, but I recently developed an undeniable blister directly on my lip.
Last night, after extensive at/home treatments, I felt the blister pop and the scab fell off, exposing pink skin rather than a sore. At this point, I was touching this area excessively.
Afterwards, I had an extremely thoughtless moment and touched my genitals (multiple areas of the mucous membrane) without washing my hands. I immediately realized my mistake, scrubbed with soap and water and used my Luminence Red laser.
Since then I have done thorough research and I understand it is technically possible to spread the virus from the mouth to the genitals by touch. However, I’ve found no cases of someone actually experiencing this autoinoculation. Yet I’m still terrified of the consequences of my embarrassing, thoughtless actions.
How concerned should I be? Is this form of autoinoculaion something you have seen often during your career? I am unclear on the prevalence of this situation. Any insight would be helpful.
April 29, 2023 at 10:33 am #81452Terri WarrenKeymaster
In 40 years of practice, I have seen one patient who told me that she had a history of cold sores and had a positive HSV one swab from the genital area. I don’t know if her history was correct and unfortunately, she declined to have an antibody test so we could not tell if this was a new infection or an established infection. It is also possible that she acquired oral infection and genital infection years ago at the same sexual encounter. I think the chances of you transmitting HSV one from your mouth to your genitals, after being infected for 10+ years, is incredibly low. I don’t know what a red laser is and why are using it but as far as I know there’s no scientific proof that something like that is effective. If you have a placebo-controlled well done study that you would like me to look at to learn more about this technique and machine, I would be happy to look at it.
April 29, 2023 at 1:42 pm #81461missanonymollyParticipant
Thank you for your thoughtful response. It’s comforting to know that this type of autoinocultion has been rare in your experience.
Does immediate washing/scrubbing the area (within minutes of contact) lower the risk of contraction?
The laser I use is called Luminance Red for Cold Sores. They also carry lasers specifically targeting genital herpes, canker sores and acne. From my understanding, they are FDA approved. Here is the link provided by the company with studies to support their claims of quicker healing time: https://luminancered.com/blogs/news/clinical-data-of-phototherapy-and-cold-sores
I was just panicking and doing anything I could think of, as fast as I could, to minimize the likelihood transmission (although I understand the skin-to-skin transmission route of a virus may not be impacted by external measures?) This is the viral transmission route that confuses me the most.
On another note, do you think it is necessary to get tested now that I believe wholeheartedly that I am experiencing cold sores, rather than what I had previously hoped was just sensitive, blister-prone skin? The idea of official confirmation causes me extreme anxiety. But I want to be sexually responsible and will get tested if that will make a difference to myself or others. I plan to act responsibly and truthfully either way.
Thank you again for your time!
May 4, 2023 at 11:47 am #81486Terri WarrenKeymaster
I think the washing right away is helpful. I don’t believe that you need testing to know that these are cold sores, they certainly sound that way, but if you have any doubt, you could test for greater certainty.
There are so many problems with the research study that you quote, I don’t know where to begin, but the most obvious thing is that no one recommends acyclovir cream to treat oral herpes – the comparator should have been the big dose of valacyclovir that is FDA approved for the treatment of herpes. It was single blind, not double blind. I could go on. Suffice to say, for me, there is no indication of laser treatment for cold sores, based on this study alone.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Terri Warren.
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