Question:

Hey, I’m taking 500 mg Valtrex, and breaking out on my shoulder and brow. This is super dumb. I thought if I was taking it, I wouldn’t break out! Does a break out on suppressive therapy mean I’m shedding H everywhere?

Answer:

What you’ve described possibly could be shingles – another form of Herpes(“Herpes Zoster”, the varicella-zoster virus). The pain associated with shingles, however – generally beforehand – often causes a neuralgia (pain) so severe that doctors have even had to prescribe narcotics to make it tolerable. “There have been quality-of-life studies showing that a bad case of shingles is worse than a heart attack in terms of how long the pain lasts” (Karl R. Beutner, MD, PhD).

If your bumps aren’t causing severe pain in the areas preceding their arrival, it’s probably not Herpes Zoster, but it honestly could be one which nobody’s mentioned: Herpes Gladitorium, (nickname: “Wrestler’s Herpes”), a cutaneous (skin-based) version of HSV-1 (but sometimes HSV-2).

It’s one of the most infectious types of herpes, spread by skin-to-skin contact and is common to, although not exclusive to wrestlers, as they make so much physical contact. They get it from one another, give it to their girlfriends, who give it to their next boyfriends… and it’s into the general public. To me, it sounds like what you’re experiencing may indeed be that. Not nearly as painful as shingles, although certainly not pleasant, either.

 

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