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How can you tell if you have herpetic whitlow?

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Hi all,

Just want to know what are the common signs of herpetic whitlow and how it looks like before outbreaking. I have cold sores and have been pretty watchful and careful how I handle my mouth area.

I've been washing my toothbrush every time I use it and that involves rubbing the soap into my hands to the point I have enough soap foam then I proceed to brush the bristles with it with my thumb.

Lately my left thumb is having a weird tingling sensation and I'm worried that I might have possibly self infected my thumb. Although highly unlikely because I have not cuts and the skin seems pretty firm. And from what I have been told self infections is harder to get after the primary outbreak unless you deliberately make an open wound and let herpes fluid seep into the wound.

So am I overreacting? Or could this be something totally different?

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Ok, so 4 days have passed and the tingling feeling is still there on my thumb but no outbreak on the thumb but I did get one on the top center of my lips.

So I guess I can say that I have no herpes infection on the thumb because from what I read most people say their fingers get really painful.

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its possible, i dont know if it has to have an opening necessarrily to infect?? i would keep an eye on it and dont touch anything else on any part of your body with your thumb..

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Hi Regret,

I talked to a sex therapist before and she told me that herpes likes to get transmitted through a cut, abrasion on the skin. Brushing your skin into sore has a higher chance of infection because those fluids contain millions of herpes viruses so it's harder for the immune system to halt the invasion.

But if your skin is healthy a herpes virus on the surface of the skin is very weak because it's outside of a human body and will die within minutes. Even if it doesn't die given that the conditions are preferable it's basically still a fish out of water and has no strength to do enough damage unless there is an opening.

My thumb had no opening as far as I could tell and even if did have the chances of an infection is so slim. Why? Because I wash my brush with soap before usage and after usage. Between each wash I would wash my hands again with soap. Lastly I soak my brush face down on a cup with a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol.

So I don't see how I could get an infection plus didn't they say after the first outbreak your body should have antibodies created to fight off herpes unless it's a huge number of viruses from the fluid seeping into your skin.

The only thing that is still bothering me is the tingling sensation. I can't have that peace of mind until the tingling stops. Does anyone ever had a tingling sensation longer than a week?

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I haven't experienced an outbreak anywhere other than my face - but I can almost feel my body fighting it off sometimes - I will get the tingling burn sensation on and off for several days in the viruses 'favorite spot' on my chin, but sometimes won't get a blister....

From what I have been reading it seems unlikely that you would have transferred it to your thumb unless fluid entered an opening.

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