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When I was a kid I got a cold sore / herpes simplex (1, I think) on the thigh. As far as I know, I haven't had any cold sores on the actual genital area, and it's been a while. I wonder if this is considered a genital herpes infection (on account of it being physically close) and thus an STI, or is it just exactly like a cold sore in the mouth? I wonder if I should be worried and take additional care.

I guess that sounds like a diagnosis question, but I'm genuinely curious how it is classified and the involved risks. Thanks!

  • Well I don't know how it appears on the thigh but herpes remains dormant in the body, sometimes never showing symptoms. – Jason Durulo Jun 30 '15 at 2:43
  • Are you interested in knowing whether somebody transmitted it to you in a sexual route, or whether it is possible for you to transmit it to someone else in a sexual route? – rumtscho Jun 30 '15 at 6:57
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It is not possible to tell what actions led to the thigh infection, because there are multiple possible actions that could.

Explanation: Close bodily contact of any kind can transmit herpes. That is, the virus jumps from an infected person to another person by close bodily contact (i.e. rubbing of some type).

If someone was engaged in a sexual act with you and rubbed an infected part of their skin on your thigh, then, yes, your infection would be considered a sexually transmitted infection.

If your lesion is reasonably far from the genital area, however, it's more likely to be an instance of herpes gladiotorum, which is a sports disease, not a sexual disease. Wrestlers, rugby players (in a scrum), and so on, engage in very close physical contact, and this can lead to spread of herpes from one person to another through a non-sexual route.

As a child, you may not have been playing rugby, but you might have been wrestling with an infected friend, or the friend may have bit you on the thigh, or who knows what. Where your friend got infected, or how, is of lesser importance.

If it has not come back since the original appearance, I would not worry about it. Could you as a child really tell a herpes vesicle from a bug bite? Could you as an adult?

  • +1 for an answer with no references :-) Last paragraph says all. Only lab test may have shown a positive, anything else is just a quess – TFD Jul 2 '15 at 9:26
  • This post has the makings of a very good answer, but here on Health, we strongly encourage using references. They are the only way in which we can tell if information is reliable or not. If you are struggling to find good sources, check out, What are reliable sources? If you want to learn more about our site's stance on answers without references, check out, Should answers without references be immediately deleted? Thanks :) – michaelpri Jul 11 '15 at 20:45
  • I disagree with the site's naive stance on references. – Iron Pillow Jul 12 '15 at 5:44

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