I have had Herpetic Whitlow on my left thumb for 12 years. I contracted it back in 1996 and I have no idea how. I have been struggling living with this debilitating disease and I find it really hard to care for my two children. I constantly wear latex gloves when bathing or changing them and am still in fear of giving this to them. From what I understand, in-tact skin doesn’t shed, so as long as I am not currently having an outbreak, I am not contagious. But I struggle with this aspect and even when I am not experiencing an outbreak, I still wear the gloves.
When I first got this, I was breaking out on an average of every other month, it was awful. But then my doc put me on Famvir, 500 mg, twice daily. Over the years, my OBs have become less frequent. I believe this is due to the Famvir and the virus getting weaker over time. I broke out a week before my first daughter was born, which sucked and then two years went by and I hadn’t broken out at all until I was pregnant with my second child. Then, I broke out at 7 months pregnant and again a week before the birth of my daughter. Luckily, I have a very caring and understanding husband who was willing to do all of the bathing and changing until my outbreaks healed.
This may sound completely ignorant, but I honestly feel that if I had Herpes genitally or orally, I wouldn’t struggle with this as much. For the simple fact that I would still be able to change diapers, bathe my children and interact freely with them without concern. Having this on my hand is very hard to deal with when having children. – M