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Doctor insights on: Touch Cold Sore

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How long does the herpes virus live on objects? If my roommate touches cold sore, doesn't wash hands, puts away "clean" forks, and I eat 20 min later.

How long does the herpes virus live on objects? If my roommate touches cold sore, doesn't wash hands, puts away "clean" forks, and I eat 20 min later.

ANSWER: Herpes viruses last for 4 hours on plastic 3 hours on cloth and two hours on the skin. I would use 4 hours as a "safe" time...BTW your ROOM MATE IS A SLOB!
BUY some BLEACH or get a NEW ROOMATE!


Hope the helps!
Dr Z ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
1,055 Doctors shared insights

Cold Sore (Definition)

Also referred to as fever blisters, cold sores are small, painful fluid-filled blisters that are usually found around the lips. Cold sores are very contagious and can be spread by mouth to mouth contact and can spread to the genitalia and cause genital ...Read more


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Someone touches cold sore, then shakes my hand. I have a tiny wound. Risk of contracting herpetic whitlow/herpes on finger?

Someone touches cold sore, then shakes my hand. I have a tiny wound. Risk of contracting herpetic whitlow/herpes on finger?

Unlikely: If you touched the ulcer directly with a finger which had a wound you might get this, but by secondary transfer this would be quite unusual. Nothing is impossible. ...Read more

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Is it possible to contract herpes when you touch a cold sore?

Is it possible to contract herpes when you touch a cold sore?

Possibly: An estimated 80% of americans have been exposed to herpes simplex virus type 1. However, not all of those people will get cold sores. It depends on your immune system. If you have not been exposed to the hsv-1 before it is a possibility. ...Read more

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Can you transmit a cold sore to type 2 herpes if you touch your cold sore and went to the bathroom? Freaking out a little bit about getting type 2

Can you transmit a cold sore to type 2 herpes if you touch your cold sore and went to the bathroom? Freaking out a little bit about getting type 2

Herpes simplex: Herpes simplex I and II can both be on the face or genitals, although I is more common around the lips and II, around the genitals. Best not to contact an open sore and wash your hands thoroughly if you do or any other body part that could come in contact. Covering with a sterile band aid might help deter the tendency to forget and touch a cold sore. Abreva (Denavir) OTC can shorten the course. ...Read more

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How likely is HSV 1 to spread via multiple contacts. For instance, if a person touches their cold sore and then an object and I then touch the object?

How likely is HSV 1 to spread via multiple contacts. For instance, if a person touches their cold sore and then an object and I then touch the object?

"Objectively", no: Transmitting HSV or any STD for that matter is virtually impossible to do if an inanimate object is the intermediary. It takes one warm, moist place contacting another. ...Read more

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If you touch a cold sore and then a few minutes later pick a wedgie over your PJ bottoms. Can you get genital herpes from this?

I think you've: Asked this question at least five different times in five different ways. The answer is still no. The cold sore virus is not the genital herpes virus. And both viruses require close skin to skin contact. ...Read more

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Can you get herpes if someone touches there cold sore and then hands clean underwear and clothes to you? Is it safe to wear them?

Not likely: It's not impossible, but the herpes virus doesn't survive for long on clothing. Even if you put on the underwear right away, it would be unlikely that you would get herpes. ...Read more

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If a person touches their cold sore, then touches your hand (handshake) or clothes that then make contact with say your lips, could you contract it?

Yes...: It is possible if the lesion is in the early shedding stages and your resistance/immunity is low or if there is a break in the skin to allow the virus in. ...Read more

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A lady with a cold sore helped me at the store. I am worried about getting one/that it is on the items that she touched. Do I need to be concerned?

No risk, no worry: You're not at risk at all; oral herpes is transmitted almost entirely by kissing or oral sex. Anyway, this probably has happened to you a hundred other times. Up to half of all adults have oral herpes, and undoubtedly you have often been served at cash registers, by waiters in restaurants, and other service persons with active oral herpes. This event is no higher risk than all those others. ...Read more

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Make up pallete touched an old cold sore patch from a year ago that was faced down. I used the pallete and touched my phone. Can I get herpes whitlow?

Herpes: Herpes is a virus and requires living tissue to live. An old cold sore pad from a year ago will not have any live virus on it. Also, herpes is generally spread when it is active with erupted lesions. There is no cause for alarm in this case you have described. ...Read more

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I heard that if you have a cold sore and touch it and then touch an open wound that the wound will get infected. Is this true?

Yes: You may spread the virus into open skin areas by touching the cold sore. Please wash your hands and wear gloves if caring for someone with a cold sore as well. ...Read more

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What to do if it pains all the time and even more so when I touch/pull the skin around it. It's also a little larger than an average cold sore. How do I get rid of it?

What to do if it pains all the time and even more so when I touch/pull the skin around it. It's also a little larger than an average cold sore. How do I get rid of it?

Herpetic lesion?: Your doctor can prescribe valtrex (valacyclovir). Melissa Officinalis or lemon balm (cream) has been shown in European studies to help expedite cold sore healing. It can reduce healing time by 1/2. Studies also show regular use can help v recurrences. Brief supplementation w lysine 1, 000mg orally 3x a day at the onset, can hasten healing. Your dermatologist can provide laser treatments. ...Read more

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The person in front of me at the grocery store had a cold sore and now I am terrified I will get it. Is this possible? Is it on other items I touched after checking out? We both used the credit machine. I am worried it is now on my bags, phone, ect.

The person in front of me at the grocery store had a cold sore and now I am terrified I will get it. Is this possible? Is it on other items I touched after checking out? We both used the credit machine. I am worried it is now on my bags, phone, ect.

About oral herpes...: "Anything is possible" is the rule in life. Catching oral herpes this way in a grocery store is probably as possible as getting crushed to death by a falling 6-foot shelf of canned soup during an earthquake... not too likely to happen. That said, the majority of adults have herpes type 1 already. They catch it from parents and relatives during childhood, or from kissing others beyond childhood. ...Read more

Tactile (Definition)

Pleural fremitus is a palpable vibration of the wall of the thorax caused by friction between the parietal and visceral pleura of the lungs. See pleural friction rub for the auditory ...Read more


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