Expert Solutions for Cold Sore Worries

Expert Solutions for Cold Sore Worries
Published on, 04 June, 2024. Answered by Dr. Anna Chacon and Verified by Dr.Galen Team
Patient Question

Hello Doctor,

I wanted to ask about a recent concern. I had a cold sore on my bottom lip. After accidentally wiping my top lip, I masturbated 20-30 minutes later. Now, I'm worried I may have infected my genitals.

Answered by Dr. Anna Chacon


Thank you for reaching out to Dr. Galen. Please find the below response to your query.


Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1). This virus is highly contagious and can be transferred from one part of the body to another, particularly if there is an open sore and it comes into contact with a mucous membrane or an area of broken skin. However, it's important to note that the risk of self-inoculation (spreading the virus to another part of your body) is generally highest when you first get infected with the virus because your body hasn't yet developed a full immune response. If you've had cold sores for a while, it's less likely, though not impossible, to spread the virus to other parts of your body. If you develop any unusual symptoms in your genital area, such as itching, burning, blisters, or sores, it's crucial to seek medical advice promptly. These could be signs of a herpes infection. Please remember to wash your hands thoroughly after touching a cold sore, avoid touching other parts of your body, especially sensitive areas, and avoid intimate contact until the cold sore has completely healed to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.



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