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Can an oral herpes outbreak last just 48 hours?

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Hello all, I'm a newbie and a little anxious and nervous and could use some guidance.

In my entire life, I had one episode of classic oral herpes on the left side of my upper lip/skin border 10 years ago which started with classic tingling and throbbing that lasted about 36 hours, proceeded then by a tender red bump about 1/2cm simliar to a zit, eventually it came to what looked like a head at day 4-5, popped, came to another head a day later, and lasted a little over a week.

So approximately 1 month ago I performed oral sex on a girl who claimed she didn't have any STDs (in hindsight, I don't know what she was tested for or when). Later that night we were talking and I found she was very promiscuous and refused to tell me any more about her past sexual history. Three days later I developed a head cold with stuffy runny nose, sinusitis, sore throat, cough, etc.. (no fever). As someone who is in the field of healthcare, I understand the first episode of HSV after transmission can cause a sore throat, swollen glands, etc... but does not typically cause nasal congestion, sinus congestion, productive cough, etc... plus a close coworker had a cold the week before. So a few days later I felt a red bead-like bump developing on my right upper lip/skin border. No preceding tingling, itching, etc... I immediately took Valtrex and applied abreva cream. Later that night a small red bump approximately 1/2 cm developed that was tender if I pushed on it, that resembled a deep pimple. It was completely gone in 48 hours, never came to a head/blister.

Now 3 weeks later, same thing happened in the same location (right upper lip/skin border). NO tingling, NO itching, NO burning, but I discovered it when I was washing my face and pressed on my right upper lip/skin border it was slightly tender feeling like a deep zit. Again I immediately took Valtrex and Abreva cream. 24 hours later a red bump appeared in the spot which was tender if I pushed on it, still no tingling/itching. At 36 hours, it came to a "white head" which when popped drained white fluid that was slightly sticky (gross, I know, Im sorry). After that it started feeling better and now I'm at the 48 hour mark and it is not tender anymore and no ulceration, about 95% gone. My question is, is it possible this girl lied to me and I contracted HSV2 from performing oral sex on this girl and now get HSV1 on the left side of my lip and HSV2 on the right side of my lip?

These are the things going SUGGESTING HSV:

1) Location


3) Began occuring after being with this girl

4) Occured in the same location as 3 weeks ago

These are the things going AGAINST HSV (possibly a pimple - I did have acne as a child and still get pimples)

1) Short time course

2) No typical prodrome symptoms (no tingling, no itching, etc...)

3) No ulcer formation

4) Nontender after "popping"

5) Pimples too can end up occuring in the same location as once a pore is damaged it is prone to reinfection/inflammation again.

This has been consuming my life the past few days and ultimately I know I should be tested, but can anybody offer some experiences to point me in one direction or the other? I really appreciate any help.


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Probably not. You can get tested just to be sure, but oral hsv2 is super rare. Since you had a head cold, that could have just taken your immune system down a notch and caused the outbreaks from your existing hsv1.

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It doesn't sound like it to me either and I do have oral hsv2. I've had ones that look like little whiteheads but they itch really bad.

Oral hsv2 is not rare either.

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I appreciate the quick responses. You've somewhat put my mind at ease a bit. I was just concerned because it's my understanding that HSV usually occurs in the same spot, since it lies dormant at the end of a specific nerve. For me to suddenly start having outbreaks on the opposite side of my face I figured I would have had to be infected with another strain. I guess I will have to get tested in a few weeks and just be nervous until then. Thanks again guys.

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Try a Lysine supplement for cold sores

  • The Hive is Thriving!

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    • WilsoInAus
      That’s right, most infections of the one type are in one nerve ganglion. As such, the virus only appears at the skin’s surface where that ganglion reaches to.  This does all come down to the numbers though, if you have no other evidence than a firmly positive HSV infection, the default assumption which is not likely to be wrong is that type 1 is oral and type 2 is genital. A positive swab is the only evidence to the contrary.
    • Lulupazoola
      I was having back to back OB's and decided to try several things I had read about here.  The first one was instant gratification:  oil of oregano diluted with fractionated coconut oil.  I could feel another OB coming, tingles, and just spread the oil all over the area.  In a few minutes the tingle was gone.  The lesions and red scarring i had responded well to it too.  Went away promptly.  The second thing was diet.  A person on this forum said they had good results by eating more vegetables, some fruit, meat and mostly using potatoes for carbs.  Like, leaving grains alone.  I decided to leave wheat alone and use other grains occasionally.  I no longer eat chocolate, nuts, seeds, coconut, oats, as these r all potential triggers for an OB.  I take 1000 mg lysine 2 x day in case i unknowingly eat some food that is high in arganine.  So far so good.  Another person on this forum said she took neem capsules 2 x day and hadnt had another outbreak in 2 years.  So i do that too.  It hasnt been long enough for me to make any great claims, but the continuous, never ending breakouts have stopped, i have energy and feel good.
    • Friends
      Is it possible to catch HSV 2 somewhere else other than the penis... And if so does this mean you will not transmit from that area? 
    • Lulupazoola
      I wouldnt want to give anyone info that they might decide to use against me at some point.  U must tell those that u must tell, but otherwise, i would only unburden myself anonymously, like on a forum.  No judgment or harm here.
    • Thomas29
      Could you recommend any decent treatment if you know of any?

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