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How common is autoinoculation of herpes?

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Posted on Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Question: I was looking for some help and understanding today when it comes to oral herpes and autoinnoculation. I've read both online and heard from speaking to doctors face to face so many different thoughts on this subject that I'm not sure what's true and what's not. I've heard that autoinnoculation is very common and I've also heard that it is extremely rare due to the bodies supply of antibodies after the first primary outbreak. I'm having a hard time here sorting fact from fiction and truth from myth. I have seen two general practitioners and one ophthalmologist in person and even they seemed unsure about how common or rare autoinnoculation is. I've done extensive Google searches on this and all those sources seem to claim that autoinnoculation is extremely rare however I know Google sources are not always accurate. I just want so good highly supportive proven facts about autoinnoculation and how rare or common it truly is. I've even had a doctor on here tell me before that autoinnoculation is so rare and that I now have a supply of antibodies that I could touch an infective sore and touch my eye and chances of the virus spreading to my eyes in the form of ocular herpes would be minuscule at best, then I had another doctor on here tell me that autoinnoculation is very very common. I'm so lost on this subject. If it makes a difference I'm a 29 year old XXXXXXX male, I've been getting outbreaks on my lips for 5 years now and thus far have never had a blister anywhere else on my face or body, and in a typical year I get anywhere from 2-6 actual blister outbreaks, and I have never taken any antiviral medications for them as both my general practitioners feel that since I heal in about 7 days and I don't get outbreaks monthly then I have no need for antiviral medication.
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Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia (16 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Autoinoculation of hereps: various aspects and suggestions.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Welcome and thanks for posting your query to the forum.

I can understand your concern for the autoinoculation of herpes. I have diligently gone through your query e and make out that you are quite stressed out for the same with lot of internet research done. I can get from your query that you are worried about the further spread to other sites.


Let me first reassure you that herpes is one of the simplest and common viral infections. There are lot of concerns in the western world regarding herpes infection.

As per best of my clinical as well as academic knowledge, there are minimal or say negligible chance of autoinoculation. I have seen thousands of patients of herpes in my clinical practice and saw a very few number of cases with autoinoculation. On taking deep history it was found that in these few number of cases there was manipulation of active lesions and then touching to already abraded or eroded skin or skin with breech or an oozing cuts.

So getting through all these points you should not be worried about the part of herpes. The only thing which you require is not to touch or fiddle with active lesions. Wash your hands specially on touching the active lesions and maintain good personal hygiene.

Our body's own immunity prevents the further autoinoculation. Even if the person is worried then I give a prophylaxis course of antiviral medication such as Acyclovir or better Famcyclovir or valacyclovir for long term.

The most important of suggestion I give to your kind of queries is to not to search internet for the same. As internet is flooded with both good and bad information which do not have any authentic proof, so makes you more nervous than enhancing the knowledge.

I hope this helps.

With good health wishes,

Regards,

Dr Sanjay Kanodia
MD-DERMATOLOGY & Sexually transmitted diseases
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 4165 Questions

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How common is autoinoculation of herpes?

Brief Answer: Autoinoculation of hereps: various aspects and suggestions. Detailed Answer: Hello, Welcome and thanks for posting your query to the forum. I can understand your concern for the autoinoculation of herpes. I have diligently gone through your query e and make out that you are quite stressed out for the same with lot of internet research done. I can get from your query that you are worried about the further spread to other sites. Let me first reassure you that herpes is one of the simplest and common viral infections. There are lot of concerns in the western world regarding herpes infection. As per best of my clinical as well as academic knowledge, there are minimal or say negligible chance of autoinoculation. I have seen thousands of patients of herpes in my clinical practice and saw a very few number of cases with autoinoculation. On taking deep history it was found that in these few number of cases there was manipulation of active lesions and then touching to already abraded or eroded skin or skin with breech or an oozing cuts. So getting through all these points you should not be worried about the part of herpes. The only thing which you require is not to touch or fiddle with active lesions. Wash your hands specially on touching the active lesions and maintain good personal hygiene. Our body's own immunity prevents the further autoinoculation. Even if the person is worried then I give a prophylaxis course of antiviral medication such as Acyclovir or better Famcyclovir or valacyclovir for long term. The most important of suggestion I give to your kind of queries is to not to search internet for the same. As internet is flooded with both good and bad information which do not have any authentic proof, so makes you more nervous than enhancing the knowledge. I hope this helps. With good health wishes, Regards, Dr Sanjay Kanodia MD-DERMATOLOGY & Sexually transmitted diseases