Warning: This common practice can cause herpes

Warning: This common practice can cause herpes

With holiday gatherings quickly approaching, you may be looking for that perfect shade of red lipstick.

But be warned – sampling makeup at the store can lead to contracting herpes.

The herpes simplex virus is categorized as HSV-1 and HSV-2. According to the World Health Organization, HSV-1 typically spreads orally. Approximately 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 have the highly contagious, lifelong HSV-1 infection.

Dr. Tanya Bulj, a dermatologist with Advocate Medical Group, says “Oral herpes┬ápresents as itching, burning and tingling followed by a blistering rash that resolves over a couple of weeks.”

Painful sores in or around the mouth frequently appear. Those appearing on the face are commonly known as cold sores. But even when no symptoms are present, HSV-1 can be transmitted.

And herpes isn’t the only thing to worry about when sampling makeup – countless other infectious organisms are spread through saliva and open mouth sores, including influenza, strep and the common cold, to name a few.

So what’s the best way to avoid getting sick from makeup samples?

“Avoid sampling makeup altogether,” says Dr. Bulj.

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  1. Really good advice.

  2. carol a. sanders December 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm · Reply

    also, bring your own nail polish to salons. i won’t use their polish, and i make sure all the tools are coming out of the cleaned area. carol

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.