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Getting infected with genital herpes through own cold sore?

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Hello doctor, I am in a weird situation as I got infected with herpes both on my face and in my genitals. I was unaware of the modes of transmission of this disease. How can it happen so? I read that herpes are of two types and facial herpes do not affects genital areas. Then why this happened to me so? How can it be cured? Please help me at the earliest. I am suffering from some painful sores and lesions caused by this infection. Thanks for your help.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 18 Doctors Online

I am really concerned at your condition with herpes. Herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus and there are two variants in it. The HSV type 1 virus causes cold sores and herpes labialis which infect facial parts of human body. The second one is the HSV type 2 which causes genital herpes which infects genital areas. But contrary to the popular belief, both of these infections are seen infecting each other spots of infection. This usually happens when a person with oral herpes gives oral sex to another person. Sores formed as a result of infection looks alike and treatments given to suppress the infection are similar. Transmission of virus by its own to own genital is rare but can happen. If it happens, the possibility is through shedding of virus during an outbreak. This is a rare phenomenon and happens only if your immune system is so weak and vulnerable to viruses.

Another possibility of infection is in the normal way. You might have got genital herpes long before but it stayed in your body without any outbreaks. Later you might have got oral herpes from someone else at some other point of time and you are having an outbreak now only. This is a really rare case but a biologically possible one. But there are possibilities of transmitting it to other parts of body through rubbing and bruising.

Now let us discuss about the treatment of herpes. It is unfortunate to say that no treatment has been found yet to treat HSV to eradicate the virus entirely from body. So it is a life long infection and no ultimate cure is possible. So, it is better to communicate your condition with your life partner so that she will be aware of it. But there is no need of much worry because statistics show that more than 40% of US youngsters have got this infection. Treatment options to suppress the infection include application of antiviral medicines like Acyclovir, Valtrex etc. Apart from that no medications will be required in recurring outbreaks, because sores and blisters formed will go away by its own, in course of time. Hope it helps. Take care.


Dr. Cecelia J. Russ
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
- Medical School - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Duke University Medical Center, Residency in Family Medicine
Dr. Cecelia J. Russ and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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