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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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not long ago I get cold sores from time to time

Resolved Question:

Julia only please. Hi Julia never fails I always need an answer to something. I told you not long ago I get cold sores from time to time. Well I have one that I got through the night, I had woke up felt it went back to sleep. Well in the morning not thinking I rub my eyes, got up tended to my aunt & I kissed her on the side of the face & got her eyelid. I was still half asleep, but suddenly I remembered about the cold sore, I used that antibacterial hand sanitizer it sits next to her bed, I patted her face with a little not her eye of course, ran in got a wash cloth with some soapy water, & washed along her eye & face. Those things are so contagious I read, & I never thought about it before, my aunt did get them years ago I remember when she would get too much sun. I don't know if you can give me any peace of mind about this or not, I am worried I may get them now in my eye & hers since I wasn't awake & thinking.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Hi Beth,

 

In term of your aunt - you do not have to worry about contaminating her at all. Since she has history of these cold sores that means she already has the virus (same virus as you do) and you cannot recontaminate her. This virus lives in the body forever. The reason you get cold sores more often then your aunt is because you are under more stress and because your sleep cycle is irregular. Your aunt's life you are making comfortable and, therefore, her virus stays inactive.

 

In terms of your eye...cold sores are caused by herpes virus. The virus lives in the body and again, wakes up to cause symptoms during the times of decreased immunity (stress can cause decreased immunity). The virus lives in the nerve cells and usually occurs the lips and nose but it can affect the eye, however, I do not believe that you can get the virus in your eye just by rubbing the eye, especially since it was several hours in between the contact. However, I am not 100% sure about this so I will check tomorrow with some of my colleagues and get back to you with a more certain answer. In the meantime, I would not worry about it. As many people as I know who have cold sores (including my husband who has really bad ones when they come up), I have never seen it transfer into the eye.

 

So I will get back to you tomorrow.

Have a good night,

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I really wish they would come up with something for these, I have had them since I was a teenager, back then I had no idea what they were til of course I got online, & was like wow that's what I have. I always heard about genital herpes, and didn't realize it was the same virus. I did read online you can spread it from your mouth if you touch it & then touch your private area. I had no idea like I said til I got online & discovered all this stuff, sometimes it really does cause more worry than not. Thank you for checking on this for me, talk to you later today as it is 1:30am here!

Good night,
Beth
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Good morning Beth,

 

Ok, so I have consulted with some of my colleagues and the senses were that although it is possible to transmit the virus into the eye, it is highly unlikely.

First, the cold sore needs to be opened (which it usually does a few hours after it forms), also you would have actually needed to poke your eye and touch the actual eye (not the lid) in order to transmit the virus. We worry about a condition called herpes keratitis which is the herpes infection of the eye (but not the eyelid). So I really don't think you are in any danger. Plus, the virus doesn't live that long on the dry surface of the skin (like your hand) so probably there was no virus by the time you rubbed your eye.

 

Probably 8 out of 10 people have this virus, it is really not a big deal but it does cause the ugly sores when it activates. You can take Valtrex (anti-viral medication) which is very very helpful but you need to take it as soon as you feel one developing (or as soon as possible) and medication will stop it from getting bigger. The dose is 2000 mg 12 hours apart (only 2 doses). We always have this at our house for my husband to take as soon as he feels one coming.

 

Julia

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Well that is comforting thank you for finding out for me. Hopefully one day they will find the cures to all these things, we know someone someday will. Mine hasn't been seeping I read that is the most time it is contagious of all the stages it goes through. Mine is always in the same spot it doesn't ever get that big, just uncomfortable cause I know it's there. I have read they can be contagious up to 2 weeks before they appear & 2 weeks after. I would think they wouldn't be contagious unless they are seeping fluid like a boil.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Usually the cold sores are contagious until they crust up. Not all of them are seeping (actually most don't), some just appear, get somewhat open/moist, and then crust. When they crust, they are no longer contagious. They usually always appear in the same spot because their activation happens through the nerve fibers.

 

I also hope that one day a cure can be found for many disorders, especially ones that can be so life-debilitating. Millions and millions of dollars go in research and something new always develops. There is always hope :)

 

Just want to let you know...I will be out of town from Saturday to Tuesday and most likely will have no access to a computer. So just in case you post a question for me and I don't answer, you will know why.

 

Talk soon,
Julia

Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience: 7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
Julia Kizhner and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I always think I won't have a question than something pops up like a dreaded cold sore! :)

Just wanted to wish you & your family a Blessed Easter, & safe travels!

Beth
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much.

 

Happy easter to you as well.

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