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Touched my eyes after touching active COLD SORE. Mistake?

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So I have an active cold sore / fever blister on my bottom lip. It was leaking a bit today and i touched it with my finger once then foolishly and without thinking touched my eye when I felt something on my contact lens right after touching the cold sore. How concerned do I need to be that I just made a huge mistake and am now gonna cause them to show up in my eye?

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STD)Specialist

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
 32 Doctors Online

Thank you for your query at
Can you upload a picture of your sore for me to assess the severity?
Yes there is a 10 % chance of spreading the infection to the eye, espeically if there is an active discharge from the sore.
In case your eye starts irritating, start using Ciplox eye drops immediately. Even if there is no infection, it can be used prophylactically.
However the chances are fairly low, so if your eye is normal, and no redness then the drops won't be required.

Patient replied :

So there is only a 10% chance that I will have a flare up on or around my eye from this mistake? Is there a certain amount of time when I will know for sure that I've spread it or i havent? For example if 2 days pass and my eye is still normal then im safe, or could it happen anytime for the rest of my life?

No if there are no signs of infection within 2 days, then you are safe.
Just watch out for the following symptoms :
1) Itching
2) Redness
3) Whitish Discharge
4) Swelling of the eye lids.
5) Photophobia ( increased sensitivity to light ).
If none of the symptoms appear in the next 2 days, then there are no further chances of any eye infection.
And yes there is only a 10 % chance.
Get back to me if you develop any of the symptoms,

Patient replied :

Here are some pictures. Please note these pictures are 24 hours AFTER the cold sore first appeared and 24 hours AFTER touching my eye. I woke up yesterday morning and felt something on my lip and scratched at it some not knowing what it was then immediatly touched my eye. When I went to look i had popped the blister and it was leaking a clear fluid which I had touched my eye with it on my finger. Pictures were taken with a phone so there not the best and I apologize.

Thank you for the follow up.
There is no need to worry. It does not even look infected, and the clear fluid that came out was just anti inflammatory fluid.
So i can assure you, it won't cause any harm to your eye.

Patient replied :

It just really concerned me when I looked at it right after some of the blisters popped and that typical clear fluid stuff that comes out of cold sores was on in my finger and in my eye because I've read and heard that the fluid that comes out is pure hsv-1 virus and I'd touch my eye and contact lens. Not all the blisters popped just a few of them.

Yes clear flid does come out in HSV-1 lesions.
However this does not look like HSV blister. In HSV-1 blister there are always a cluster of very painful erosions, mostly associated with sore throat.
Though i can't examine it physically, however it mostly looks like a fever blister/ or the ones that appear due to vitamin deficiency.
Moreover prolonged and repeated contact with eyes, can only spread the infection even if it is present.
I can understand your anxiety but there is nothing to worry about.
All the best!!

Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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