HealthBoards (
-   Herpes (
-   -   Cold sores all over face (

concerned_male 02-20-2005 05:25 AM

Cold sores all over face
Years ago, when I was 10 yrs old and into my late teens, I used to get HSV1 breakouts on my chin. I would feel the typical tingling and then blisters would form, ooze, and then scab over. Maybe around 18 or 19 yrs old they abrupted stopped and I was very thankful for that.
Maybe 8 months ago, during a pretty stressful time in my life, the cold sore on my chin broke out again (I'm 26 now) and went through the typical cycle. And as of 4 days ago I am suffering from those same little blisters that are now all over my face. It started with tingling around the sides of my nose/cheek area which erupted with red blisters. They itched and began seeping a yellowy crust which would be caked on my face after I woke up from sleeping during the night. Now the blisters have spread to my forehead, my lip and my chin and I'm not sure what to do. I have a doctor's appointment for this Friday but I'm scared, uncomfortable, hideous-looking, and I'm afriad that I will spread the outbreak to my genials on accident (just by using the bathroom, showering, etc.)
Has anyone ever heard of such a widespread breakout like this? I've been trying to clean my face as carefully and as best as possible but it's hard to do. I just want to shrivel up and die.

backpacker 02-21-2005 10:56 AM

Re: Cold sores all over face
It may be something besides HSV. It sounds a little like impetigo,which is bacterial. If it's very painful, it could be shingles, in which case you should see a dr asap! because you can get nerve damage from it, but meds can get rid of it easily. But as I said, shingles is very painful.

beaker24 02-21-2005 02:37 PM

Re: Cold sores all over face
backpacker is right, this may not be herpes. It could be a very serious herpes OB caused by stress or you could be seeing some other kind of skin problem which the herpes is possibly exacerbating. A friend of mine was in an accident as a child and suffered a serious cut below her nose, and a HSV1 outbreak appeared at the same point as the cut. HSV can appear in conjunction with other things and seems to like appearing on broken skin. I myself split my lip in an accident and a HSV1 outbreak occurred on the split lip. It was not stitched at the time (probably should have been) and kept splitting and I got recurrent HSV1 outbreaks on the split lip each time it reappeared.

If you are concerned about spreading the outbreak, you should know that soap and water readily deactivates herpes. Also, as you have an established herpes infection, the chances of you reinfecting yourself with the same type of herpes elsewhere are pretty low (according to the experts), particularly as the level of virus you get on you hand will be lower than that from direct contact with the sores. However, there are a few steps you can take to be a bit safer and put your mind at rest:

1. Wash your hands before and after touching your face (to avoid making the face problems worse and transmitting the infection elsewhere).

2. If possible, take baths rather than showers. Don't touch your face whilst in the bath and wash it separately after you are dressed again.

3. Make sure you have separate towels for your face and genital areas. Herpes has been cultivated from a warm, damp towel, and can survive on towels for a short time.

I have not heard of a non-initial outbreak as serious and widespread as yours although 1. I have heard of initial OBs which have been very serious and wide-ranging and caused health problems 2. my mother has had six cold sores on her mouth and below her nose at the same time before now, when she was not particularly well (although far from seriously ill).

Hope it clears up for you.

concerned_male 02-21-2005 03:46 PM

Re: Cold sores all over face
I feel like an idiot.. it is most likely impetigo. It could be spurred on my HSV1 but I think it's straightup impetigo. Thanks ever so much ... you can't believe what a relief it is to be fairly sure I don't have a monster case of HSV1 outbreak.

I still have the virus, but it hasn't shown it's ugly head for quite a while. I still am concerned about HSV1 and particularly spreading it to the genital area but now I am reasonably sure that my problem is bacterial and not viral. I was reading that impetigo can sprout up due to stress and even as a side-infection to something as common as ezcema. I have a small patch of ezcema on my right knuckles, I am constantly wearing gloves so this matches up even more to my affliction.

Thanks all for your help.

beaker24 02-21-2005 04:15 PM

Re: Cold sores all over face
OK! Hope you feel better soon.

backpacker 02-21-2005 05:50 PM

Re: Cold sores all over face
I had impetigo as a child and it took forever to clear up--with the antibiotics. When one of my children came home from camp with this brownish/yellowish crusty stuff, I knew what it was and took him to the dr right away, and it cleared up fast. I hope yours clears up fast too!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:40 AM.