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Herpetic Whitlow as a Mom

I am almost sure I have herpetic whitlow. I have gotten what I referred to as a rash for years near my thumb and pointer finger, but then I realized it happened about once a year and started googling.  This is the first "outbreak" since my son was little.. so it was either 2011 or 2012.
I have a doctor's appointment but I'm worried by the time I get in it will have cleared up or cleared up enough to be unable to run tests.
Anyways, either way I want to know..
How easy is it to spread a herpetic whitlow?
Many times in the past I probably didn't even put a bandaid on it to give it air to help dry it out, what are the chances I spread it to my kids through bath time or diaper changes? (I went out and bought alchohol, gloves, neosporin, bandaids)
Is a bandaid enough or should I wear gloves?

I'm now terrified to even prepare meals, touch their clothing, hug them.. I've tried looking this up and every time someone asks about whitlow people bring up mouth herpes and I don't have and have never had, at least in any time I can remember, a coldsore or anything like it. So is herpetic whitlow in my bodily fluids like other types of herpes? Being a mom of toddlers my kids see my cup as the golden chalice and steal a sip, even if they have the same drink in their cup, whenever they can.

What are the chances I've spread herpes to my children in worse places? Can herpetic whitlow cause herpes in the groin?

I'm thinking of all the diaper changes and baths and quite terrified.

This discussion is related to Gave someone oral herpes, possibly whitlow, and may have gotten whitlow myself.
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Avatar universal

I too have been worried about herpetic whitlow.
I had bitten off a hang nail and then 2 days later the lymph nodes in my armpits were swollen and my upper arms hurt.
My left hand pinky finger has been itchy and I did develop a small split in the skin next to my fingernail.
I have had a bandaid on it ever since.
Not sure when it is o.k. to take the banddaid off.
I am also terrified about spreading it to my loved ones.
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101028 tn?1419603004
1out of every 3 of us on average contracts hsv1 orally by the time we step foot into public school. it's incredibly common and most of us don't get obvious cold sores to know that we have it.  It can cause whitlow too but odds are your rash isn't whitlow related.

so what do you do now? well for starters, since herpes is on your mind, why not seek out a type specific herpes igg blood test?  it's a start for knowing your status.  if you want to know if this rash is whitlow, you need to be seen within 48 hours max of its appearance for a lesion culture.  since you don't mention that this rash hurts like a s.o.b, odds are it's an eczema type rash or even a contact dermatitis. many of those are quite common in the drying winter months.  most rashes will heal the same and often it takes an experienced dermatologist to figure out what is going on.  

as for your children, usually just covering whitlow with a bandaid is all it takes. confirm what is going on for peace of mind so you can stop worrying :)

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Avatar universal
To my knowledge I do not have any other type of herpes.
BUT, in high school I did date someone who had herpes. We only had an encounter once and he was outbreak free and we didn't go too far but maybe far enough, obviously.
My "rash" (as I don't know what to call it exactly) looks exactly like many photos of herpetic whitlow. It heals up just as described. They usually don't burst on their own if I'm careful. When they have burst in the past it was from me picking at it subconsciously.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for be reassuring.

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Avatar universal
Why do you think you have whitlow ? Do you have herpes besides possible whitlow?
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3149845 tn?1506627771
Hi, whitlow is only contagious with an open sore and most often hsv1. Spreading to the babies groin area really not possible and if it were we would hear of many cases where the babies have genital hsv and we do not.
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