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Old 11-14-2002, 07:52 AM   #1
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Post herpes on nipples?

Is it possible to contract herepes on the nipples, and if so, what type is it ususally, 1 or 2? Does this mean that everytime I have an outbreak, it will come back to the nipples also?

 
Old 11-14-2002, 12:30 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry to hear that this could be happening to you. We had someone else on this board back in September who had this, so yes I'm afraid it can happen. She never said what type it was, but I suspect the most likely type would be HSV-1, which is most often found in the mouth area and therefore could be transferred there during foreplay. Most of the population has HSV-1 (a.k.a. "cold sores) in the mouth area, usually contracted during childhood from kissing relatives and friends.

I'm sorry to say that yes, you can probably expect to get recurring outbreaks on your nipple, and possibly nearby areas. The woman back in September said it had spread to her armpit, which is probably in the same part of the nervous system as the nipple. Herpes tends to stay in the same nervous sub-system unless transferred to another location via new skin-to-skin contact.

You might try an antiviral cream; for instance, Abreeva which is available over the counter in the US. There are prescription creams available too, although not usually as effective as the drugs. There are also alternative remedies that you can find in a search on the Internet.

But you should first find out for sure if what you have is herpes. Get a doctor to do a swab test on an outbreak within 24 hours of getting it. A type-specific blood test would show what type(s) you have, and if you just recently contracted it, it could provide a useful baseline to see if a different type shows up later.

If you get frequent outbreaks or if it starts spreading, you might talk to your doctor about a suppressive dose of one of the antiviral drugs, which are often recommended during the first year of contracting herpes. This helps the person cope better with it (without being nagged with outbreaks all the time) and can minimise the spreading to new OB sites.

Good luck! I hope it turns out to be something else.

TheOneInFour

 
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Old 11-15-2002, 05:29 AM   #3
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Hi, I'm sure it is definately herpes on my nipples then, because I was just diagnosed with genital herpes (this is my initial outbreak). The doctor told me that my test came back positive, but didn't show which type it was, 1 or 2. I really didn't know it mattered until I got home and researched herpes on the computer. I also think I have herpetic whitlow now too on my finger. I know that if I have type 1 genitally, it shouldn't recur very often as opposed to type 2, but what about the nipples, does it generally recur quite often there? My boyfried, whom I am assuming I contracted it from, just got a blood test and is waiting for the results. I guess I'll know which type it is then. Thank you so much for your reply, I truly never thought this would happen to me, and I'm having a really hard time adjusting, and my boyfriend seems to be dying from guilt, as he never knew he had it. Are there any drug companies researching a cure right now, or is everyone just focusing on drugs that alieve the symptoms without curing it?

 
Old 11-15-2002, 11:02 AM   #4
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Wow, you're really getting hit from all angles. I think it's a bit unusual to contract it in 3 places at once, but probably not unheard of. I'd still get a doctor to do a swab test on lesions you get in each area until you know for sure that's what it is. One common experience with people who have herpes is that *every* itch, twitch and tingle becomes suspect, yet it may or may not be herpes.

One thing about herpes is that there's very little that is consistent or predictable. Everyone has their own pattern of outbreaks (OBs) in terms of how severe, how often and what the symptoms are. It's a good idea to do some reading to learn about it. An excellent book is "The Truth About Herpes" by Dr. Stephen Sacks.

HSV-1 in the genital area can be less severe and/or less frequent in many people, but it's not that way in all people. There are a lot of variables (diet, metabolism, health issues, lifestyle, stress level and others we don't know about) that determine what your pattern of OBs will be, and that pattern can change over time too. So you'll have to watch and monitor your OBs to learn what your pattern is.

Your bf isn't alone in not knowing he has it. Up to 90% of people who have genital herpes don't know they have it because they don't get symptoms at all or because they don't associate their symptoms with being herpes. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop the virus from activating, and when that happens the person will be contagious through skin-to-skin contact with an area of skin that is shedding the virus. Unfortunately, they may not know where that is if there aren't some kind of symptoms to tell them (like itching, tingling, redness or a blister).

That's a limitation of blood tests -- it will tell you IF you have it, but not WHERE. And as you know from your own experience, it could be anywhere on the body, although genitals and mouth are the most common areas for HSV-2 and HSV-1 respectively. However, with some education about herpes symptoms, your bf may well find he can identify when and where he's having an OB, even if he doesn't get blisters, per se.

Just to add to the complexity, it's also possible to have herpes for years without symptoms and then suddenly start getting symptoms. It's not really common but again, not unheard of. So it's not out of the question that you've had this all along. You say you were diagnosed. Was that through a swab test or blood test?

The quest for a cure is always going on, on various fronts from drug-company research to alternative methods to personal experimentation. The trouble is that viruses are very tricky critters and there's still so much we don't know about them.

There are ways to treat OBs though. There are prescription drugs that can be taken to speed healing of an OB. There are also alternative creams and remedies available (do a search for them) that have varying reports of effectiveness.

Study results have just been released that show that a daily suppressive dosage of Valtrex can greatly reduce asymptomatic viral shedding, thus greatly reducing the chances of a non-herpes partner getting it. It will also greatly reduce the rate of OBs (if not eliminate them) in most people. Just remember that it's still possible (albeit less-so) to be contagious without getting an actual OB. It sounds like it's a bit late to prevent transmission in your cases, but if regular OBs are a problem, you might want to consider a suppressive regimen. Talk to your doctor about your options.

One final suggestion: you still may want to get retested to find out what type(s) you have. Some blood tests will distinguish which type(s) you have and others won't. The Western Blot test is considered the "gold standard" of herpes blood testing and is very accurate and will tell you which type you have. Most people will test positive for HSV-1 because they get cold sores (HSV-1) in childhood, so it's still useful for you to know which you're testing positive for.

In the meantime, do be a big support to each other. You're both going through a lot right now and you need understanding and support from each other.

TheOneInFour

 
Old 11-15-2002, 02:00 PM   #5
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Can you tell me what it looks like? How long have you noticed it? I would like to know for myself please. Thanks. I hope you feel better soon.

 
Old 11-15-2002, 07:38 PM   #6
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devastated, I know what you're going through. I contracted h last year from my ex-boyfriend who claimed he didn't know he had it, although I think he really did know. It's been a year and a half now and I still struggle with it, especially now that I'm pregnant. Anyway, read the post Aurx Did It! if you haven't already. That should help you to feel better. I know it's the only thing that has helped me to accept it better.

 
Old 11-18-2002, 09:11 AM   #7
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KALLYKAT: before I even really noticed the genital symptoms, I notice that my nipples were very sore, and a bit ***** around the piercings. A couple days later, each nipple had one ulcer looking sore (looked just like oral ones), and they were EXTREMELY painful. However, they did start to clear up only hours after I started putting Abreeva on them, although I can't rule out that they may have just started getting better from the Valtrex finally kicking in, but the Abreeva definately seemed to help. I also used it (I know they say not to) on the genital sores, and it really seemed to help alot there too. I'm still waiting on my b'f's blood test to come back to see what type.

 
Old 11-18-2002, 10:45 AM   #8
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KALLYKAT: before I even really noticed the genital symptoms, I notice that my nipples were very sore, and a bit ***** around the piercings. A couple days later, each nipple had one ulcer looking sore (looked just like oral ones), and they were EXTREMELY painful. However, they did start to clear up only hours after I started putting Abreeva on them, although I can't rule out that they may have just started getting better from the Valtrex finally kicking in, but the Abreeva definately seemed to help. I also used it (I know they say not to) on the genital sores, and it really seemed to help alot there too. I'm still waiting on my b'f's blood test to come back to see what type.

 
Old 11-18-2002, 11:41 AM   #9
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Hi D.,

This is probably totally not what your symptoms are, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. If the sores keep festering and don't really go away, you might want to consider if you're allergic to your piercing rings (or whatever is in there). When I had my ears pierced years ago, I developed an allergy to metals. I can wear solid gold or stirling silver (no nickel) but nothing else. (Expensive allergy! lol)

But I would think that a piercing might also make you more susceptible to getting herpes from oral-nipple foreplay too, if your partner has oral herpes. Even if the piercings have long ago healed, it's just that much more skin surface to break down and become vulnerable. And with a ring or whatever running around through there, I would think it would put more wear and tear on the skin.

Anyway, it's something to consider if you find that your nipple sores don't want to heal easily or quickly. You might take the rings out and see if they heal faster.

Okay, I'm done blathering. Let us know what your bf's tests come back as.

TheOneInFour

 
Old 11-18-2002, 01:26 PM   #10
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my b/f's test came back "inconclusive", darn it (he did go to a free clinic, as he doesn't have health insurance), And my doctor wont do a blood test to find the type, she said to just wait until I have another o/b to come in and have a swab test done. Oh well, I'm sure I'll have another one soon. Actually, the sores are totally gone now, on the nipples and "down there", although my finger is still pretty ulcerated and sore. I have had the piercings for about 7 years now, and have never had any problems with them, until now I really hope subsequent o/b's aren't as bad as this was, although I guess I'm pretty lucky they only lasted about a week, I've read of people who had them for soooo much longer. My b/f has been so great about this, I feel so bad for the guilt he feels. Thanks so much for all of your input

 
Old 11-18-2002, 05:44 PM   #11
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So sorry you're not getting very far with getting clear answers. Did the clinic elaborate on what they mean by "inconclusive?" Sounds pretty cryptic. Does that maybe mean "negative, but we don't trust negative results?" Or maybe it meant "the lab technician was eating a muffin at the time and we're not sure if the results are from that or the patient?" Sorry, it just sounds like such a strange answer.

Thumbs down on your doc for not being willing to do a blood test to determine type. But I guess it's not crucial, it would only give you better information. (heaven forbid lol)

Well it sounds like the worst you two have to deal with at this point is guilt and we know that, at least, is curable.

TheOneInFour

[This message has been edited by TheOneInFour (edited 11-18-2002).]

 
Old 12-12-2002, 02:14 PM   #12
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I just realized that I have herpes two days ago- no results from the doctor yet, but there's little doubt due to the sores I have on my genitals, lip, AND on both nipples. Doctor told me how atypical this is (lucky me- the queen of atypical), but she took swabs to send to the lab today. I don't know if I'll get results because they're already pretty crusted over, but I can't imagine what else it could be, coming out the same time as the other sores. Sigh. Hopefully future outbreaks will be rare - just have to wait to see.

 
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