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Home Forums Nurse Nettie Is a cold sore the same as genital herpes?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by sextronaut sextronaut 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #121990
    tea
    tea
    Moderator

    I have cold sores again!!! My mouth friends for life… but I was wondering, is a cold sore the same as genital herpes?

    I’ve had two (TWO!!!!) over the last week, one after the other, so annoying!! Anyway, because I’ve had active sores, I’ve been abstaining from oral sex and getting my mouth all up in someone’s business.

    My impression is that cold sores can be transferred to other areas of the body, so it’s best not to have sex during an outbreak. Is this true? Can cold sores create genital sores? Is a cold sore the same as genital herpes?

    I know there are different types of herpes, but it always confuses me about which is which! Or what the differences are! Can they be swapped between the two? Are they both as serious? There’s just so much negative stigma surrounding herpes, which is so annoying for me since I have recurrent flare-ups super often. 10 easily – this year alone! I used to shy away and hide inside when I had an active sore but now I just get on with things. I’d rather live my life and have people stare at a little scab on my lip than not live my life at all!

    I found some forums with similar discussions which I’ll link to below if anyone else has similar concerns:

    How contagious is herpes? | Herpes diagnosis | How can I avoid getting herpes?

    #122081

    Will
    Moderator

    Hey @tea! It’s definitely the time of year for Cold Sores. When your body is run down, they always want to come out.

    The answer is yes and no. Cold Sores are caused by the Herpes Simplex virus and there are two main types in which 1 (the most common) is on the mouth, which we know as a cold sore. Type 2; Genital Herpes is mostly within the genital area, but… They can both be found in both locations….

    So… Yes and no. If someone has a cold sore it’s likely to be HSV1, and it is possible that they can transmit to the genital area. The good news is HSV1 does’t like to ‘live’ in the genital region too mcuh, so there is little chance of further outbreaks. The same is said for HSV2, in that it could be transferred, but much less likely to be seen on the mouth.

    Condoms and avoiding sex with the scab can help prevent transmission

    Cold sores and herpes are quite common, just not talked about enough. They are easily managed with cream for cold sores, or anti virals for ongoing Herpes outbreaks.

    You’re right @tea, there is so much stigma, but it is important to ‘get on with things’ as the reality is, over 1 out of 8 people have been in contact/diagnosed with HSV in Australia, and some just have cold sore or lesions more than others, and some never.

    This is the best factsheet for herpes and cold sores I think;
    https://www.mshc.org.au/SexualHealthInformation/SexualHealthFactSheets/Herpes#.XQHmRMr_y70

    Just an FYI; My friend got Genital Herpes from her boyfriend in high school when he had a cold sore (oral sex), and she’s never had an outbreak since (over 20 years), and it’s never been an issue with new partners.

    #122107
    tea
    tea
    Moderator

    @will Thank you so much! This makes me feel a lot better about my outbreaks! They seemed to have calmed down for now but I’ll keep in mind to be a bit cautious when they’re out and about!

    #122157
    sextronaut
    sextronaut
    Moderator

    @tea @will have you guys heard of the Instagram account @my_boyfriend_has_herpes? It’s so wholesome and really informative about genital herpes and navigating dating + relationships with it – so good!

    #122168
    tea
    tea
    Moderator

    Oh I haven’t! But I’ll have to check it out @sextronaut! Thank you! I follow a beauty guru on Insta who regularly gets outbreaks and doesn’t hide them! (Well, she does with make-up) but initially she doesn’t, when showing a ‘look’ – which I really love! Normalizing it like that makes it so much better for frequent out-breakers like me!

    #122250
    sextronaut
    sextronaut
    Moderator

    @tea that sounds amazing!

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