Cold Sores From Lipstick?

Date: December 26, 2010      Publication: HealthyWoman from Bottom Line      Source: Lynne J.  Goldberg      Print:

Q: I’m prone to cold sores. Do I need to replace my toothbrush and lipsticks every time a blister appears?

A: No, that’s not necessary — because the reappearance of a cold sore does not mean that you have somehow “reinfected” yourself through contact with a contaminated object. Cold sores are caused by an infection with the herpes simplex virus, and once you catch the virus, you have it forever. Most of the time, the virus lies dormant in nerves in the skin… but when the virus is reactivated by some type of stimulus (such as fever, illness, sunburn or stress), the blisters reappear.

As for infecting others, the virus generally is transmitted via direct person-to-person contact — and this can occur even when no blisters are present, due to what is called asymptomatic viral shedding. But you do not need to worry about infecting someone else with your toothbrush or lipstick because the virus particles do not live for very long off the body. We have no routine recommendations for disinfecting objects because transmission from an object such as a toothbrush or lipstick would be rare.

Source: Lynne J. Goldberg, MD, is a professor of dermatology and pathology at Boston University School of Medicine in Boston.

  • Dusty Lindley

    I got diagnosed with herpes approximately seven years ago, when I was in college and had a stupid one night affair. I know many of girls will say this but I swear I never did that sort of thing. I jus made mistake that one time and, suddenly, it seemed like I was going to have to live with it for the rest of my life.

    The awful part was thinking I would never date guys again. After all, who wants to go out with a woman who has sores around her you-know-what?

    But after a good friend showed me this website , everything has changed. Not only was I able to remove all traces of the herpes virus from my system in less than 20 days, but I was also able to start dating again. I even met the man of my dreams and I’m so blessed to say that just last week, in front of everyone in a restaurant, he got down on one knee and proposed to me! This program gave me back the chance to be happy, and to experience true love.