Yes, I have it on my face. On my chin, to be exact. It really sucks, because I also have a problem with mild to moderate acne, so its a real struggle when an OB is first starting for me to know whether it's an OB or just a zit, or a weird combination of both at the same time.
Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the OB/zit combo right now.
I know this sounds horrible, but I kind of wish it were on my actual genitals, because then at least it wouldn't be on display to the entire world.
I do not know how I came in contact with the virus. I've never dated anyone that had it as far as I'm aware. The only thing I can think of is I must of come in contact with it somehow, and at the time had an acne breakout, picked the zit and it got in that way. My OB's are always on my chin area, never on my mouth.
So far, I've been extremely lucky not to spread it to my eyes, nose or genitals. I also try to use a separate washcloth and towel for my face and body during those times, until it completely heals. But it totally sucks walking around with this big *** zit/blister on my face. I look like a freak right now, it's at least the size of a quarter if not slightly bigger, and it's itchy and it hurts. My lymph nodes right under my chin are really swollen, too.
How were you diagnosed? It's very unusual to have HSV-2 on the face. I'm not saying you don't but was it diagnosed with a swab test? That's the only way to prove that's what it is. Otherwise how do you know it's not just a really bad zit? Or HSV-1? I don't mean to challenge you, I'm just curious.
Assuming you do have facial HSV-2, I think you're right about how you got it there (the acne provided the necessary break in the skin). You likely got it by performing oral sex on someone who had genital HSV-2. It's estimated that most people with genital herpes don't know it, and yet they can still pass it on sometimes.
Have you tried Valtrex or other antiviral drug? Taking it to suppress OBs (daily) might help minimise them. You might also want to check out some of the herbal and alternative treatments mentioned on this board, but do lots of research before you try them and consult a naturopath or herbalist if possible.
Well, the initial diagnosis was during my 3rd outbreak of this thing on my face, back in spring of 1996 and I went to a dermatologist. She took one look at it, and assumed it was HSV I, gave me an rx for Valtrex, and that was that. I took the Valtrex, and it worked. It took nearly 2 weeks, but it worked. It sure beat the previous OB's that lasted nearly 6 weeks each. Of course, before that visit to the dermatologist, I had no idea it was herpes. I thought it was just really severe acne. That's why I initially chose a dermatologist instead of a regular doctor.
I went a while between ob's, and the next time I went to a regular doctor since the old rx expired. She did the swab test, and it came back positive for HSV 2. Yep, on my face.
I take Valtrex for the ob's. The past 2 times, she's given me a different dosage though...the 1 GM tablets instead of the 500 mg ones. She has me taking 2 1GM tablets every 12 hours for one day. I don't know if she's forgotten how bad my OB's are on my face...or if she's thinking it's just a cold sore. Thankfully, I usually only get OB's once or twice a year at the most.
I don't know how well the Valtrex will work this time, because like I said, I don't think I caught the OB soon enough. It was closer to 48 hours after the OB than 24 like they recommend.
Have any suggestions on how to make some of this extreme redness and swelling go down quicker??? Or at least disguise it? My regular make-up just isn't cutting it, and it in NO WAY resembles a zit.
[This message has been edited by hotsong (edited 08-02-2003).]
Well you're definitely one of a minority then. If the swab came back HSV-2 I think that's about as reliable as it gets. The higher-dosage but shorter treatment with Valtrex sounds like it's part of a trend lately toward shorter treatments. 3-5 days seems to be the standard anymore. Your doc might have upped the dosage due to the severity of you OBs.
If that doesn't do the trick, go back to see her to show her. I wonder if the higher dosage for 24 hours followed by a few days of a lower dosage might work better, if the 24 hour thing doesn't help.
You might also ask her for a prescription antiviral cream to treat the immediate area. Just don't let her give you a cortico-steroid cream, as that could make it worse and delay healing. But she might be able to give you a cream of some kind that is either specifically antiviral or just to help speed healing in general.
Zovirax or Denavir are two prescription antivirals that come to mind. Abreva is another one available over the counter, marketed for HSV-1 but some find it works for HSV-2 too. Polysporin might be very helpful just to help speed healing, which available OTC. A simple ice pack might also help. I can't remember the rule of thumb for that -- is it 10-15 minutes on, then 10-15 off? Something like that.
Well, I do have the prescription for the Denavir cream...but, I think the package says it's most useful if you start using it within the first 24 hours of an OB. Unfortunately, I didn't quite catch it in time. Sometimes they seem to come on so fast!! I was thinking it was just a big zit for the first 24 hours or so.
You'd think having this for 7 years, at least once a year, I'd *know* better by now, but apparently not.
Thanks for the advice! If you have any suggestions on disguising it while it heals, please let me know.
Sorry, I don't wear makeup. Maybe talk to one of those makeover people who work at cosmetics counters. And I would think the Denavir might still help kill off the virus, but some other cream to help speed healing (like Polysporin) would also help heal the actual inflammation and infection part.