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Breast/Nipple Herpes Outbreak

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Recently I made oral contact with my girlfriend's breast while I had a cold sore. Later that day, she received a laceration on the same breast. This lead to a herpes outbreak on her nipple and breast. For her, she did not have a history of herpes ever before. I had contracted it when I was very young orally (cold sores only). This whole ordeal happened a little over a month ago now. Since then she has taken medication to reduce this specific outbreak. However, she is now off the medication and we were wondering about a few things. 

1. Her nipple was scarred from this and is now much larger in comparison to her other one. Will the scaring ever go away and her nipple return to normal?

2. Will outbreaks on her nipple appears again without any cuts or anything? Will they just appear randomly?

3. Is that area safe to interact with again sexually or do we permanently have to avoid her previously infected breast?  

Thanks in advance for all your help for us!

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Hey and welcome!

(I'm speaking not as a doctor here, but as a fellow layperson.)

To answer your questions ... 

  1. This would be a better question for a doctor after s/he is able to look at her nipple and make a determination from there. My gut says that it's due to the initial infection, which for most people tends to be a bigger deal than any future infections. The swelling and scarring could simply be a manifestation/side effect of the first outbreak and will heal over time, especially as she develops antibodies. 
  2. Nipples aren't a spot that herpes tends to want to be (the preference is in warm, moist places, hence the lips and genitals), so the frequency and severity of future outbreaks will be minimal, especially after 6 months to a year, wherein she'll have built up antibodies.
  3. Once the outbreak has subsided from that area, it's perfectly fine to interact with her nipple. You, after all, have HSV-1 anyway, so there's the same (minimal) risk of auto-inoculation to other parts of the body as if you were to interact with your outbreak zone when there aren't any signs or symptoms. 

Hope that helps! 

This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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