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Does this look like herpes? Any feedback is appreciated


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Hi everyone, I started trying to google to see if this was herpes and it looks like all of those pictures are more on the extreme side. I ended up finding this site and really appreciate that it’s out there for support. So I’m planning on getting tested but I’m in the limbo stage waiting for the incubation period. But I just wanted to get some feedback because I am a little worried.

What happened is i started dating a girl and we have been kissing a lot and then it progressed to unprotected oral sex. She has mentioned she is more experienced. I do have very sensitive skin and I get folliculitis and atopic dermatitis sometimes. I didn’t notice any visible sores when we were fooling around. But my lip turned a little red almost immediately after and it felt a little tingly. A couple days later, I got this bump (I took a regular pic and a zoomed in pic with a magnifier). The bump doesn’t hurt at all even if I touch it. But it does feel a little itchy in the area (I think cause I’m not moisturizing the area right now). It never itches directly on it 

i talked to two doctors, one said if it doesn’t progress to multiple blisters then it’s not herpes. It never did, it’s started to heal already.  The other said it looks more of the pimple variety. Neither had the option to do a swab.

What I was hoping for some feedback on us..

1. Is that doctor correct? I thought you can have a single sore for herpes. It doesn’t have to be a cluster

2. does it look like a typical herpes sore? Right now, I feel like the doctors I saw didn’t have much experience in this area. That I should have gone to a derm or a place like planned parenthood

3. Can I get the igg/igm test now that a “sore” may have happened and started to heal? Does this mean that the antibodies would have already developed?

4. Should I bring it up to her or wait till I get the test results back?




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First, take a deep breath! No matter what happens, you will be okay! 

From what you explained, your lip perhaps turned red right after kissing do to chappedness. If you already have chapped lips or dry skin around the mouth, kissing someone can can irritate the skin because of all the saliva. (kind of like when you lick chapped lips they get WAY worse!).

The spot that appeared could be a very clogged pore, which can happen from having your facial oils (and probably it's worse with another person's facial oils!) rubbing together. Plus, intimacy can make you sweat, which can cause clogged pores as well. 

Did this person have an active cold sore that you could notice? Also, did you preform oral sex to her? Are you worried she transmitted it to you from her mouth or private area? 

Also, have you noticed any other symptoms with it, such as tingling, headache, swollen lymph nodes in your neck? You mentioned itchiness and redness, but I wanted to ask if you noticed any other symptoms when or before the little spot appeared. 

The first photo-- are you referring to the red bump with the little indentation in it? Almost like a little dimple? Did that red dimpled spot then progress into the second photo? Did the spot have any fluid inside? Did you apply anything to it to help it heal or did it heal on it's own? 

To answer your questions:

1. Herpes sores CAN be a single sore, you are correct. People with oral HSV-1 often get one larger single 'fever blister' or cold sore. However, during outbreaks people can also get single-sore outbreaks on their lower parts too. It all depends. But yes, single-sore outbreaks ARE possible! 

2. HSV is really misunderstood by both non-medical people AND medical people. I've talked to many doctors and they all had a different approach to handling it, and they either brushed it off like it was irrelevant or really didn't offer advice. A Planned Parenthood or reproductive health clinic can be really helpful. General practitioners can also be great too. ONGYNs can help those with those corresponding body parts as well. What really helped me was going to my college health clinic, since they see STIs all the time. They were understanding, knowledgeable, informative, and supportive!! 

3. An IgM test is a blood test that tests for IgM antibodies. IgM antibodies are the antibodies that first appear when you are infected, and they reduce in number within weeks. So, if this is HSV, an IgM test would make the most sense. An IgM blood test tests for IgM antibodies, which build up gradually and typically take 12 or more weeks for aomeone to develop detectable numbers of them. So, it wouldnt do any good to get an IgG test this early. 

4. You can ask her if she's ever had a cold sore, or if she had one while you were intimate. You can say that the virus that causes cold sores can be passed to people through kissing or oral sex, and after being together you noticed this cold-sore resembling bump on your lip. Here, you're not accusatory, and you don't even have to say the "h-word" if you don't want to. If she does have herpes, it is possible she doesn't know it. However, it's good to bring up that you experienced an out-of-place bump, for both your health and her's. If you are worried that you got it from preforming oral sex, ask about STI testing. Honestly, it isn't insulting. It's routine procedure to ask them about their STI history because your health matters! So, you could ask and say hey we skipped the part of talking about STI testing, have you had anything or have you ever been tested? You could ask if she's ever had any bumps "down there", etc, and share your own things (if any). Honesty is the best policy! 

I hope that this helps. Hang in there! 



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Thanks for the reply and all the thorough details and advice! I really really do appreciate. I am going to work up the courage to bring it up to her this weekend. I am also going to get an IGM test scheduled to see if it gives me a little bit more details and then the IGG later.

I should have more details. It is the spot with the indentation on it in the first photo. The second photo is the same spot just zoomed in maybe 25x over the next day. Before the spot came, I did notice redness and a little tingling. I do think it came from her private area if it is something because we have been together for over a month and then the bump happened shortly after.

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It's great that you are going to talk to her, especially if you have been together for over a month. Getting the IgM also is a great idea.

The little indentation is typical of an H sore. Usually what happens is that little indention becomes raised and filled with fluid (usually white), which is what it looks like in the second photo. The tingling and redness prior to the outbreak also sounds like H. 

I would definitely talk to her about it. It can be scary, but honesty is always best, and it shows you care not just about your health but her health, too. Conversations like that actually make a relationship stronger, too! 

It will all be okay! Feel free to reach out if you need advice on how to bring it up to her.

Stay well!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Just an update: I got the IGM and it did come back negative but I don’t really trust it. After the sore healed, I started developing a burning sensation in my lips and it can be all over my entire lips or only in certain areas and it comes and goes. I also get a tingling sensation in the spot where I had the sore and sometimes other places on my lips.

The other day my nostrils started burning and are bright red inside now. I couldn’t get a good picture and can’t tell with my lighting if there is a sore inside but I will see my doc tomorrow. I may have autoinculated myself when I didn’t realize I had it :/.

Now as a precaution, I’m taking valtrex and putting abreva to keep everything at bay so I don’t make it worse.

And as for the person i was dating. I learned that there are people out there where if they aren’t dealing with the problem, they don’t care.

Suffice to say, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. But I’ll keep pushing through this!

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I am so sorry for they physical and emotional stress you have been experiencing.

The burning sensation that also spread to your nostril area sounds like it could very well be HSV. People can get cold sores and blisters inside their nostrils, and they can be very painful since the nostril is a pretty sensitive area. You may have infected yourself, but since the nose is close in proximity to the lip, it's possible that the virus just decided to show up in the nostril area. Typically, HSV outbreaks will occur in the general area where you have the virus. For example, people with genital HSV with the primary outbreak occuring on their genital area can have outbreaks anywhere else connected to that main neural pathway area at the base of the spine. So, outbreaks could possibly occur on the buttocks, thighs, or anus. Similarly, it's possible that the virus presented in the most, but you didn't necessarily infect yourself! The virus could have just went there itself. 

Have you tried anything to soothe the burning and tingling? Ice may help. 

I'm sorry that things didn't work out with the person you were dating. You deserve better! Don't let people like that bring you down. Hold your head high! You are worthy and deserving of so much happiness, acceptance, support, health, and love. 

Stay strong! ☀️

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