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Is it possible to get HSV2 on finger without having contact with a lesion ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2006
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Is it possible to get HSV2 on your finger without having contact with a lesion on yourself? I took a week at the end of August to move my daughter into her dorm. During that trip we also went to visit our former neighbor in the hospital. Day 4 of that trip, I started noticing pain in the tip of my middle finger. I figured I did something while moving furniture at the dorm and ignored it. Day 5: the pain was intensified. I almost looked like I was being a baby drama queen because by looking at my finger it seemed like nothing. A little red and a tiny spot that looked sort of like bruise but maybe a blister. Day 6: the 7 hour drive home my finger was throbbing and really bothering me. Day 7: I noticed the little spot getting bigger and put polysporin and a band-aid. I figured I must have poked it when I picked a weed at my sister's house on that trip. That night I had red streaks going over the top of my hand and up to my elbow so I headed to the ER. They said I had a felon abscess, drained it and put me on antibiotics. The area where that little bubble was has always felt weird to me and has fluctuated between numb and painful. Two weeks ago, my finger tip was really red and really swollen again. No little spot but the streaks were back. I went to urgent care. They also said it was a felon and put me back on antibiotics and gave me topical antibiotics as well. I've been soaking, using the cream, taking my antibiotics. In this time my finger has gotten really red, swollen, developed two blister like things that are yellowish. One on the original spot and one next to my nail bed. So two weeks ago after being on antibiotics for ten days I went to my regular doctor since it's not healing. I want it tested (I have had staph in the past on my arm and wanted to make sure this isn't MRSA). I've also been scouring the internet and everything I can find says this is herpetic whitlow. So I insisted that my doctor test the one blistery thing I still had (the other one has turned into a hardened red spot that is numb). She washed my hand and got ready to swab it and then said, " no I want to a hand specialist to look at this". I still insisted I wanted to rule out herpes. So she sent me for a blood test. As soon as I got to my car i called the hand specialist she gave me and they dont treat hands! I called my doctor right away for another referral. From there I went straight to the lab to get a blood test for HSV 1 and 2.The office JUST called me back today (6 days later) with the new referral. GREAT. Now I have no spots that can be tested because there is no more fluid. Just ugly, red, hard spots that are completely numb. And my finger tip is still red and gross. Called the referral.. They have no appointments. Referred me to infectious disease clinic. I call them and they say they only treat open wounds. We talk and decide that if that little spot that I think is going to turn into another blister like thing gets bigger, I'll go to urgent care tomorrow and insist on the test. Now I just got another call back from my doctor's office and she says my blood test is positive for HSV2 and asked if I have any sores on my vaginal area or rectal area. I say no. She says well then that's probably not what's on your finger. So I push her and I say, "every website I can find says that you can get HSV2 on your finger." She says, "no, that's usually only below the waist. You should have your husband get tested."I still push and say, "I've taken antibiotics four times a day for four weeks, I've been using topical antibiotics and my finger is not healing. Only the red streaks are gone. Every picture, everything I can find appears to me that I have herpetic whitlow, not a felon." So I just hung up. If this new spot gets bigger, I'm going to urgent care to get it tested. I strongly believe I need to be taking an anti viral. The antibiotics seem to take care of the streaks and that's it. I've been paranoid! My finger has been kept covered for weeks. I am washing my towels and sheets on the sanitary cycle. My eye has been red and now I've convinced myself I passed it to my eye. I'm tired of guessing. :(
Posted Sat, 11 Jan 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Please refer to the following suggestions... Detailed Answer: Hi, I have read your medical history and saw your reports. To my opinion, the finger problem you are having is not related to HSV2 infection. Furthermore, you have lab reports being negative for HSV2. So, it is definitely excluded. As per your reports, you have been treated recently for felon abscess, which is difficult to get treated and requires time for treatment. So, to my opinion, it is a non-well treated felon infection which needs further evaluation by a dermatologist. Another diagnosis I'd want to exclude is the fungal infection of the affected skin. To determine it, you should perform the microscopical examination of skin scrapping for mycosis (with KOH 10%). Having red eyes could be related to: - irritation of the eyes due to any cosmetic you used recently - perhaps you are using more sanitizers at this moment, which can cause irritation to the eyes - local infection of the eyes (partially due to felon infection in case your rubbed your eyes with the infected finger) You are also reporting to be healthy. Such problems do require time to get healed. Although fastidious, they are the most common and most simple problems to be handled. However, you need dermatologist attention and need to run the above-mentioned lab tests. All the best! Dr.Alba Feel free to ask me other questions you might have! I'd be honored to assist you further!
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Follow-up: Is it possible to get HSV2 on finger without having contact with a lesion ? 1 hour later
Thank you for your response. I think you misunderstood what I wrote. My blood test shows POSITIVE for HSV2. I have not been able to get a test done on the actual wounds themselves because of the back and forth from my doctor on getting referrals and by the time she gave me one, the fluid is now gone and the red crusty spots have taken over.
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 16 hours later
Brief Answer: Please refer to the following answer... Detailed Answer: Hi my dear, If the blood test showed positive for HSV2, this indicates you are having HSV2. Usually, having HSV2 in the finger is caused by the contact with any source of infection including sharing utensils with a person who has the infection, including your partner or other family member or friends. At the end, please follow up with your dermatologist for the best treatment! Dr.Alba Feel free to ask me other questions you might have!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it possible to get HSV2 on finger without having contact with a lesion ? 1 hour later
OK thank you. I gather I really do need to follow my gut then and pursue this with a different doctor (since my regular doctor seems to think you can only get HSV2 "below the waist"). I will be contacting my dermatologist and see what she says. I fear I'm too late though on getting a 100% accurate diagnosis though. My best guess is that I touched something at the dorms or in the hospital or even at the house I was staying at that weekend when this all started.
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 14 hours later
Brief Answer: Consult dermatologist-best decision to make! Detailed Answer: Hi my dear, That is the best decision I strongly suggest to make: Consult a dermatologist for herpetic whitlow. Once again, this is a rare condition which involves immunocomprimised individuals and those who are working or being in contact with infected utensils. As long as you have not had any previous history of herpes (including mouth or genitalia); then, the possible trip and places you visited and stayed are to blame. However, your dermatologist will clear it up. Happy to hear I've been helping you! Dr.Alba If you are satisfied with my answer, please close this thread and kindly rate this answer!
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