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Herpes, negative blood test, hot weather, small blisters, virus or friction related ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I was tested with a blood test two years ago for herpes and discovered it was negative. However, at the same time each year (just as the weather starts to heat up) I have a small area of blisters that pop up. I am physically active and wonder if this is caused from friction with my clothes while walking/running or if I now have the virus. I have had the same partner for 3 years.
Posted Sat, 14 Apr 2012 in Environmental and Occupational Hazards
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 36 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

From the symptoms that these blister like bumps appear after the weather becomes hot and humid, it looks like blisters caused after friction rub or chafing. But if the blister like sores are appearing on the genital area then possibility of herpes (by HSV) cannot be denied, although it appear less likely in your case because you had the same sexual partner for 3 years. It is always better to get investigated to clear even the slightest doubt.

HSV infections can be diagnosed by the use of a blood test, which detect antibodies to HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection. However, the results are not always clear-cut. Transmission can actually occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore. Since you had got done the tests for herpes 2 years back, so it will be better if you get investigated for herpes when you visit your doctor next for your annual examination. This is just to clear any doubts regarding the blisters to be herpes because from your symptoms it is unlikely. Laboratory tests include: culture of the virus, direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) studies to detect virus, skin biopsy, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to test for presence of viral DNA.

What you can do at the moment is follow these methods for a quick relief from the blisters like rashes:

1)     Wear cotton clothes and underwear and avoid wearing any coarse or synthetic material. When doing exercise wear athletic tights or cycling shorts.
2)     Wear clean and dry clothes and use a mild detergent to wash them. Dried sweat, chemicals, dirt, and other debris may aggravate the condition.
3)     You can apply some calamine lotion at the rash as it will help in soothing the skin.
4)     Application of mild corticosteroid cream and oral antiinflammatories after a prescription from your doctor are helpful.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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