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HSV-2 on my cheek. Possibly previously on the back of my neck

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I will try to keep this short although I am a bit distraught after my diagnosis. I am 32, female, married for ten years. HUsband has had some tiny lesions on his penis before, but never really blistering. Avoided contact until healed.


In June 2016, I had a blistering rash on the back of my neck, pretty much above my spine. The doctor believed it was shingles, prescribed me 10 days of acyclovir. It was painful, swollen lymph nodes, flu-like symptoms, headache etc. It took about 3-4 weeks to feel normal again. I developed symptoms a few days after a long hike where I carried a bunch of wet jackets tied to a stick (we didn't bring a backpack) for a long time and it did rub against my neck, so I tought it might be a reaction to that.


This week, I started feeling some tingling and redness in my cheek. I thought it was a bug bite or pimple, though a pimple would be unusual at this time during my cycle. Well, a couple of days later, I woke up to an open sore. I went to the doctor, he prescribed Valtrex (2 1000mg for one day). Two days later, there was another blister and I went in to get a viral culture. The next day, he gave me the HSV2 diagnosis and told me to take 1 Valtrex each day (4 days left on my prescription). The next morning I woke up to another cluster of small blisters. I went to the ER and they told me I should take Valtrex for at least 7 days total and that two day gap in taking it might've allowed it to get worse. She said that my first outbreak was likely also HSV2 and since it was so severe, I can expect this one to take about a week more.


I have never noticed any genital lesions. There is the occasional itch, burning sensation, increased discharge and I have had frequent pain during intercourse due to a prolapse after delivering my first child. So I never expected to get it.


I am a bit freaked out because it seems that the virus has "travelled" beyond the initial dermatome (looks like C3/4) to the trigeminal region on the face (more like V3 than C3 - it's about an inch from the corner of my mouth). I could not find answers about whether this is normal, where it could appear next, why it appeared again and so on. Well, my kid head bumped me in the cheek a few days prior so maybe that triggered it.


I am also a bit angry at my husband, although I do know that it's not fair and it was a probability of me catching it. However, he was the promiscuous type prior to our marriage while I have only ever had one sexual partner (mainly because I was always worried about catching an STD after casual sex).


I now worry about how to prevent further outbreaks and to protect my kids. If outbreaks continue on the face, life will be very difficult. I can always cover my neck or shoulders, but not the face. I've applied abreva, alcohol compresses (per recommendation of the nurse), ordered lemon balm and stocked up on multivitamins, vitamin C and lysine. I have been eating healthy already, but will cut back on sugar and caffeine. I made an appointment to get a full check-up, to rule out any underlying health issues that may make this worse. I have struggled with mild depression and anxiety for a while, so now I will have to address this. I keep telling myself that it is manageable and maybe the push I needed to address emotional needs. However, as soon as I take off my bandage and look at myself, I break down crying.


Any tips, advice, resources are appreciated. My doctor is not very helpful (and I think not that knowledgeable about the topic) and I feel very alone.



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While I understand the anger towards your husband, like you said, it isn't fair . Even if he was promiscuous, the number of partners really doesn't matter when it comes to herpes.


I'm assuming he's been tested and is positive also? Could this be an oral infection and not a genital one? It does happen (although rarely) that people get HSV2 orally. Since you've never had an outbreak genitally- I'm thinking this would make more sense. Not that it traveled the way you are saying, but that you got this orally, and it's making an appearance on your face.


Since this is on your face and not on a mucous membrane, I'm going to guess that you would not have to worry about shedding as much as someone that had it genitally. That being said, while you are not having an active outbreak, you should be fine around your kids. While having an outbreak, you could just tell them you are not feeling well and don't want them to get sick too. Kids are very flexible. They'll get used to it. And you can give them double the love when you are "feeling better".


I have a friend that gets outbreaks on her nose. She cracks jokes about her Herps coming to visit. I do know the fact that it's visible bothers her- but she only gets outbreaks in the fall, and she's adjusted.


You aren't alone. Keep your chin up.

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