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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is peeling skin indicative of herpes despite negative test results?

Answered by
Dr. Monika Dede

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 892 Questions

Posted on Tue, 16 Oct 2018 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: Hi Doctor,

I had a dental appointment with my dentist, and I told her about some skin being shed on the top of my mouth (not sure why I was thinking hot beverage or bread scratching). Her answer was surprising saying I have herpes. I went to my GP on the same day and he confirmed negative and there is no Oral Herpese .

I have no history of Herpes never had multiple partners in my life. I did some tests in 2014 November which was negative.
HSV I AB SPECIFIC IGG     <0.90            

I did this test when I moved from XXXXXXX to US.

1) Does this means I have no infection but doesn't rule out the virus in my body ?
2) Should I repeat this test?
3) In 2014 I have been to massage parlors and once I had a massage therapist masterbated me - will it cause any HSV2 or HSV1 infection ? I read skin to skin contact or friction can cause transmission of the virus. Also I read the Virus can be in shading state on people and can pass on to others. So there is active risk always.
4) How can I protect my family being infected? The made me concerned about it. I never knew about it or worried about in the past when I was in XXXXXXX and now I am aware and worried.
5) Will my kid can get it from school from other kids as they might be sharing pencils or toys etc?

I never had any outbreaks and the test 3 years back was negative still I am worried and I have a family now and don't want to spread this to my family. I wanted all of them to be safe.

Please help doctor!
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

You don't need to repeat the test of HSV .

Detailed Answer:


Based on your history, (without a history of outbreaks, without multiple partners) having negative results of HSV1 and 2 IgG after a risky contact (I suppose skin to skin contact in 2014?) I think you shouldn't worry because these results show that you are free of HSV.

So, there is no need for other tests of HSV.

Usually, I have seen HSV in the skin zone in labia and nose and not in mucous(tongue).

Furthermore, all of us even your children are in risk to get HSV1 from other people with active outbreaks from close contacts with them like kissing, drinking with the same glass, use of same toys in contact with their mouth.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Monika Dede 4 hours later
How could we prevent it for the kids? Is there anything I could do as a parent? In school they do share things but it is infectious only if they put things in the mouth which was used by a kid with active lessons or shedding phase?
What is a shading phase is it after someone got infected, if it is what is the risk?
Can we get it from hair salon or places like that?
Does the virus stays dormant in the body ?
How long does the virus stays alive on the toys or glass, does it die when it is exposed?
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 20 hours later
Brief Answer:

You can advise your children in order to prevent.

Detailed Answer:


In this situation the only thing you can do in order to prevent the infection is to advise your children about the risk and how to behave at school (not to share and touch the things of the others and not to put in face or mouth).

The HSV1 could be transmitted from direct skin to skin contact (or mucous) or through touching and putting in the mouth the objects contaminated probably more with infected saliva or from active lesions and less from shedding phase.

You should know that HSV can live outside the body in anonimate objects for a short time according to some studies (few hours till 3 weeks depends on the humidity).

Related shedding phase, you should know that exist several days throughout the year after the primary infection with HSV, when the virus after being dormant in the body, reactivates yet causes no symptoms.

Usually, you cannot get the HSV1 from hair salon till the moment you have a close contact with the infected person.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Monika Dede, Infectious Diseases Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana

The User accepted the expert's answer

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