Whitlow, autoinoculation and sex

Dec 20 -Contracted oral HSV1 from my bf

Feb 4th - Got my first cold sore

How do you know that you were infected on Dec 20th if your first cold sore didn't show up until Feb 4th? Did you instead mean that you got your first recurrence on Feb 4th? And that you actually had your first outbreak at the end of December?

I got my first cold sore in February. At this time I had lots of small cuts all over my hands because I wash my hands a lot.

I touched my cold sores when putting on creams.

I am confused here. You said you experienced your first cold sore in February. But then you said you touched multiple cold sores when putting on creams. Did you experience more than one cold sore in February? If so, did they occur at the same time or did you experience multiple outbreaks?

Also, when you said that you put creams on, are you referring to putting creams on your cold sore(s) in an attempt to treat them? Or are you talking about applying hand cream to your hands due to your dry skin and multiple small cuts on your hands?

I touched my cold sores when putting on creams. I washed my hands straight after but I put the cream on very slowly so there was probably a 5 min lag. Fluid could've got into my cuts.

Okay, so you touched your cold sore(s) with your fingers when applying cream, and did this very slowly. Then, within about 5 minutes you washed your hands. Is that correct? And when you say that you are concerned that fluid could have got into your cuts, did you have cuts right on your fingertips? ie on the finger-print area that you used to apply the cream?

At this time i had lots of kind of weepy circles on my palms. I don't know if this was whitlow or eczema but I am scared I spread the cold sore virus to my hands.

When you say "at this time", what time are you referring to? The very first time you applied cream to your cold sore(s)? Or a few days after? Or today? Or some other time? If you already had these "weepy circles" on your palms the very first time you applied the creams then obviously they were not indicative of herpetic whitlow.

I am scared I spread the cold sore virus to my hands.

If you did have herpetic whitlow it would be very noticeable. The skin on the fingers and hands is much thicker than the skin on the lips and the genitals. Therefore, if herpes outbreaks on the fingers or hands it would cause very noticeable and pronounced blisters. (because herpes would require a lot more effort to break through to the skin surface). It would also be red and very tender. Furthermore, the first outbreak would occur at the location of infection, which would be on your fingers, not your palms, since it was your fingertips that had contact with your lesions. Therefore, I think it is very unlikely that you actually infected your hands.

Remember that it takes more than fleeting contact to get a herpes infection. The virus not only needs to penetrate the skin, but a sufficient volume of virus is also required. Unless you had cuts on your actual fingertips, it is extremely unlikely that a sufficient volume of virus to cause an infection would have gotten inside your cuts.

I don't want to touch my vulva or vagina in case i give myself GHSV1. I've been using nitrile gloves to go to the toilet and shower.

This is completely unnecessary as far as herpes goes because you show no symptoms of whitlow. If the issue on your hands is eczema then gloves might still be helpful in the shower because eczema can often be exacerbated by water/moisture, and so wearing gloves in such situations might help lessen the symptoms on your palms.

He should be fine as he gave me the cold sore,

If your boyfriend gets recurrent cold sores then he would not be at any risk of you infecting him with hsv1 in any location.

I'm scared of sucking him and transferring HSV1 to his penis before it goes inside me. We use condoms but could my saliva touch the outside of the condom as I roll it down?

Do you mean that you are afraid of getting infected genitally yourself? By passing virus from your mouth onto his penis and then into your vagina? If so then, no, that would not be a risk. Remember that herpes requires a certain volume of virus to cause an infection. You would not be able to transfer a sufficient volume of virus to your vagina in this manner. As an aside: saliva is generally a poor carrier of herpes virus. It is extremely unlikely that a sufficient volume of virus to cause an infection could be transferred via saliva in any case -- even if you had an active cold sore present.

Im also scared of my hands touching my vulva or vagina during sex, therefore giving myself GHSV1 before I've built up antibodies.

This is not an issue because, again, you show no signs of herpetic whitlow.

Basically, you would only need to take precautions during your initial 4 month period if you have an actual cold sore present on your mouth. If so then, if you fingers/fingertips themselves have broken skin then you would be advised to avoid touching your cold sore directly (though, to be clear, the risk would still be very low). You could either wear gloves, or apply cream using a q-tip or something. If you don't have broken skin on the fingertip that you would be using to apply cream, then you can safely touch your lesion. Simply wash your finger after, or do not touch your vagina immediately afterward. Even if you didn't wash your finger after touching your cold sore, any virus on your finger would die within a short time and not pose a risk to your vagina. There would only be a risk if you touched your vagina immediately after touching your cold sore. And even if you did that, the risk would be very low because it is doubtful that you would transfer a sufficient quantity of virus on your finger and that the virus would be able to penetrate the skin on your vagina.

I'm worried that if I put the condom on or use my bare hands to put him inside me (eg. when I'm on top, which he will definitely want to do), I could put fluid from my weepy hands onto his penis directly before it goes inside me.

Again, it does not sound like you have whitlow. Please consider going to a doctor to get your hands checked out and get a prescription cream to help them heal. If it's eczema and you start treating them now, your hands should be fine by the time your boyfriend arrives.

/r/Herpes Thread