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what to expect from doctor when seeking herpes treatment

blue eyes

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Ok, so as some of you here know, i have had horrible recurrent outbreaks on my face for over a year now, mainly cheeks and chin, but recently some sores have popped up about half inch under my eyes. Some of you also might know from my other posts that I have not seen a doctor and am not on antivirals. YET.

Im really really going to try to see a doc about this. I have an extreme fear it would seem about going to seek medical attention for this yet I know that i need to.

So I do have a few questions about what to expect, and maybe that will make it easier for me to actually go and get this taken care of.

First, the primary care physician that I did see for another medical reason, thought the bumps on my face were acne. I had makeup on, so she couldn't really see anything other than that they were "bumps". She prescribed me RetinA, but then told me I should see a skin doctor for it.

So my question is...IF and when i go see my doc and tell her that im pretty sure i have herpes sores all over my face....Is she going to culture/blood test me? Or is she just going to tell me to go to a dermatoligist? I'd rather not have to pay her office visit fee if she is not going to help me and just send me to another doctor.

Also i'd really just be more comfortable with dealing with my regular doctor, so what are the chances she'd send me to see some sort of infectious disease specialist. I really don't want to go thru alot of hassle. I just want a damn diagnosis and prescription!!! I want to be in and out of there as quick and painless as possible and then just pop pills to see if it makes this go away.

Another question I have....Is it likely that i have screwed myself over big time by letting this go on for sooo long and not seeking antivirals right away?

Because I've heard that the sooner you reduce the viral load on initial infection the easier it will be to fight off recurrences in the future.

What medication is usually prescribed for frequent outbreaks on the face? (and by frequent I mean I wake up with at least one new sore on my face every single day.)

Would they give me Valtrex even tho that is usually prescribed for genital outbreaks? Or does it depend on the type(hpv1 or hpv2) I have on my face?

If she does prescribe something, how do i fill the script? I'd rather not go in person to the pharmacy every time i need to refill. What are alternative methods?

What is the cheapest but most effective treatment? I do not have health insurance, so can not pay out of pocket for expensive meds. If doc prescribes me something like that all will be for nothing because i won't be able to pay for it.

Next...what if the meds don't work for me? What will the doctor do then?

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds. As you can I really need help. I worry myself into a tizzy and somehow keep convincing myself not to go to the doctor but I really know i need to because it is only a matter of time before this spreads to my eyes and/or brain. With such recurrent symptoms, I know this is not a good scenario at all. I honestly feel im doomed. If it can't get any worse...then going to the doc can only make it better...or so i hope. Thanks again all.

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You've got a lot of questions. Go see a doctor and start treatment. Sounds like you might be a good candidate for suppressive therapy. Don't obsess on "what if's" about earlier treatment. Do what you can now.

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Hi blue eyes!

I'm new to this forum. I've read a couple of threads you participated in. Your openness here inspiring. I do hope you reached out, got some live support, and got yourself to the doctor, with or without someone with you. Please let us know how you are doing.

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Some answers, or at least others experiences in regards to my questions would be very nice to see. Please! Knowing what to expect will really help me move forward. Im a strange person in the sense that i NEED to know what to expect or else I fear the unknown ever more so.

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    • sgt98
      Hey @WilsoInAus ok thank you, I will do my best to move on and stop trawling forums haha. 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hey @sgt98 but there is no feasible infection or outbreak to suppress and antivirals do not suppress an initial outbreak in any event 
    • sgt98
      Thanks @WilsoInAus I understand apologies for this but the only other thing I am worried about is that I did take a course of Famvir on day 1 as I felt like I was having an outbreak of cold sores and am worried that has suppressed the initial outbreak genitally 
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @sgt98 it is not feasible to obtain a HSV-2 infection from receiving oral sex - only HSV-1 is feasible but you've already got that and immunity from any further infection with HSV-1. You do not need any further tests for HSV. You're feeling regret, try to forgive yourself and calm down, let the rational take over. You know the answer here and it won't be long until you believe it too.
    • WilsoInAus
      Hi @NerdP423 and welcome to the website. You raise a lot of points and I think the best way to address your concerns is add some comments at each key point. I've copied your note again below and added these comments in square brackets. I appreciate any insight (even speculation) as to what has been going on with me. I'm a 37y/o M. I last was intimate with a new partner on 2/11/2022, and a few days later started having a huge amount of discomfort in my face. [The first thing that happens though is that herpes causes lesions or at least some skin based disruption. Other symptoms are then related to the actions of the immune system responding to the virus. Without lesions, it is highly questionable that the ailment is related to herpes, yet testing is useful if you have concerns as you have done so.] About a month after that [herpes causes issues within days, if the first 'symptoms' are a month later - its extremely unlikely they are related to herpes], significant discomfort downstairs, however every test I have ever taken for HSV 1 and 2 has been negative. Here are the details: Face: Previously, some significant tingling and itching on the right side of my mouth, lips and chin (still there, but milder) [herpes does not cause general tingling and itching, it can cause a reasonably concentrated feeling of itch/throb from which a herpes lesion appears within hours]. Occasional hot flashes near my right eye, cheek and ear [herpes does not do this, it may be a immune response to something, or stress]. Sometimes it will feel like the skin is crawling on the right side of my face [herpes does not cause a general crawling sensation]. Never seen anything that looked like a traditional cold sore [that's extremely telling, even people with associated atypical symptoms will have experienced herpes lesions]. Occasionally, the left side of my face will have a momentary feeling of skin crawling, but it's so mild that I am not really worried about it. Downstairs: Thankfully, most of these are now milder than they were before. Occasional momentary pinch of pain at the base of my genitals. [herpes does not cause a general pinch feeling.] Aching pain in my boxer area (groin, leg folds) [nor this] Occasional feeling of cold in my boxer area, butt, or lower back. ( also in my shins and occasionally even my arms) [nor this] On 4/30/2022, I had been in discomfort for almost two months. I scratched an itch, noticed it hurt, and then checked - I did have an open ulcer down there. Took myself to the ER to get swabbed, came back negative. [If this was a PCR then this will be very conclusive.] Practitioner said it may come back negative because it was already open. However the lab report noted that it definitely didn't look like what you'd expect a typical first herpes outbreak to look like [how would the lab know??]. All blood tests negative so far. I had two western blots, the second one was nine months after exposure. [Two negative Westernblots!!! Many that's real convincing]. All other swabs also negative. I went to urgent care, because I know the timeliness of when the Swab is taken matters. One time, a swab was not done, because practitioner said it was folliculitis and wouldn't swab it (It was at my belt line). [Belt line is highly unlikely to relate to herpes.]   A blood test revealed I had low-ish B12 (technically in range, but at the very low end, especially for a man of my size). I had a series of B12 injections, and I am taking a B12 supplement. I am not taking any lysine or arginine at the moment. I was taking the Arganine to see if I could induce an outbreak. [This is irrelevant, there is no known linkage between herpes outbreaks and arginine/lysine intake - its a myth - and B12 infers nothing.] I think what I am asking is - has anyone here ever repeatedly tested negative over and over again over long period of time, before getting a definitive answer, be a positive test, or something else? [The answer to this is: Extremely few people with a HSV-1 infection and even more rarely HSV-2 test repeatedly negative on Westernblot and actually carry the virus. Of the cases that I know of that had delayed detection by a swab and negative blood tests in the meantime (and that's only 3-4 cases), they had some form of lesions within days of infection but did not obtain a swab for various reasons and then obtained a positive swab of a subsequent lesion with the record being 11 months later. A couple of the cases did have some 'background' symptoms they thought might be related to herpes but that isn't ascertained and some did not have any unusual symptoms at all apart from the lesions. Hence as you did not have lesions around your mouth or lips within days of the last sexual encounter as is exceptionally common for a primary oral HSV-1 infection, that pretty much rules out herpes orally as it is. The fact that you had no genital symptoms for a month also rules out genital herpes. I am not aware of anyone at all who has genuinely gone on to test positive by swab or blood in your specific circumstances. There are hundreds if not more than a thousand experiences on this website alone that are similar to yours that are truly negative for herpes I'm one of them!]  
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