I got some sort of infection on my upper lip, can I still play?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by xRinat, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    I think I got something called Herpes virus 1 or something on my upper lip.

    Reason I got this might be because I played too much.

    It does hurt, but I wanna practise and play on my cornet, can I? The virus is only going to last for about 4 days, but I dont want to wait for that long, I have a huge concert going on and need to practise!
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Herpes simplex 1 (HSV1) infections are common (over here in the US, referred to as "cold sores" or "fever blisters").

    It has nothing to do with how much you play - roughly 60% to 80% of humans (depending on which study you read) have this virus. (Incidentally, HSV1 is closely related to the virus that causes genital herpes, sometimes called HSV2, and to the chicken pox virus).

    If it is HSV1, the outbreak might only last 3 or 4 days, but can recur (the virus goes into remission, but it never really goes away completely). Mine recur about every two years, usually in February.

    Practicing with a sore like this depends on exactly where it is in relation to the mouthpiece seating on you lip and how much pain you can endure. I don't like playing when I get one because it usually makes me sound terrible (that is, somewhat worse than usual ;)).

    What you don't want to do is something radical, like changing the position of the mouthpiece on your lip. This can lead to some long-lasting effects. If you can't play normally with the sore, it might be better to not practice than to practice incorrectly and get into bad habits.
  3. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    When I play with the sore, my mouthpiece gets placed ON the sore.
    Are you saying its not dangerous to play even though ? Wont it blast or something?
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    If it is a core sore, are you using any cream to reduce any friction between mouthpiece & lip? If not (and this depends on how much pressure you use), you may cause more damage to the infection, spreading it.
  5. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    Oh god no, then I will wait for it to heal. Dont have time for more infection...!

    Thank you for your help :)
  6. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... this happened to me only a few years back ... be warned!

  7. daveredhead

    daveredhead Member

    hi, i have found in the past that you need to steralize your mouthpiece after your practice with cold sores, else you just spread them more evry time you use mouthpiece, but use mouthpiece as normal when no sores
  8. flug_gal

    flug_gal Member

    It won't do you any harm to play on it, as long as you clean the mouthpiece with some antibac wash and hot water before and after, it's a question of the pain really. The trouble is the viruses ability to spread, if I were you I'd leave the playing for a few days until any moist exudate ceases to appear, you can speed the process along by using any coldsore treatment from the chemist.
    Make sure you wash your mouthpiece!
    Oh yeah, and it's not caused by playing, it's something you've caught and this sore is it's clinical manifestation.
    Make you're you use some decent mouthwash too, this can help prevent any furthur problems :)
  9. Tubamutha

    Tubamutha Member

    Cold sores

    Ouch! I really feel for you - I had one a couple of months back and thought I would be okay to play with my big 'bucket' Eb mouthpiece........ I was okay whilst playing but when I took the mouthpiece away it have stuck to my sore and the entire thing was ripped off my lip! It was not a pleasant experience although I have to say it cleared up immediately instead of lingering for another 3-4 days. I couldn't play on it for those few days though........ I sterilise my mouthpiece at least once a week, though mainly as my son plays my bass and it always seems to be sticky when he has finished with it! (Of course I sterilise after every blow if I have a sore).
  10. Think yourself lucky it's just your lip... I had this infection in my eyes a couple of years ago and ended up in hospital. Complicated story though.

    I had a friend who suffered badly with these and got a gel/cream from the US that worked miracles. Unfortunately, all I remember is that it was in a red and yellow tube. I would suggest that if you are going to continue to play to be careful as the infection can spread easily and like suggested above, cleaning your mouthpiece with an anti-bacterial rinse will help.

    The thing is though, usually once you've had it once it does re-occur.
  11. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    Use a tiny splodge of Zovirax cream at the first sign of a tingle...
  12. jezza23361

    jezza23361 Member

    A doctor friend told me to dab it with very strong cold black coffee as the caffeine kills the germ - although some web sites say the opposite.

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  13. flug_gal

    flug_gal Member

    Aciclovir (antiviral) is the primary treatment.
    Anything with this in will help.
  14. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The actual sore is a viral infection, which anti-bacterials usually will not kill. However, this is still an excellent idea - it is possible to get a bacterial infection in the same area as the viral infection, and that just makes it take longer to heal.

    If you really want to make sure your mouthpiece is sterile, boil it for 15 minutes.
  15. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    Im progressing thank you!
  16. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    There's a Boots equivalent to Zovirax that's the same stuff but a bit cheaper. (It may well be called "Avert"). There's also another version on the market called Soothelip which I know is the same stuff....
  17. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    I use a cream that dries up the sore. Now i only have blood there, no infection.
  18. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Chicken Pox is NOT HSV (either 1 or 2) - it is Vaccinia, which is completely different. The only similarity (so I'm told) is that they are both DNA viruses as opposed to RNA viruses. Thus there is no cross-immunity between Vaccinia and HSV 1/2.

    HSV 1/2 is quite transmissible to others (as well as re-infecting yourself), so good hygiene is important as others have said. Sometimes mouth ulcers can also be HSV - in effect cold sores inside the mouth.

    Apparently >50% of the population have antibodies to HSV present, so must have been exposed to it. Some people never get coldsores, others seem to still get them for a while....

    (with advice from wife, who works with viruses and understands far more about them than I do!)
  19. Toxophile

    Toxophile Member

    Be careful not to spread the virus to anyone else, but . . .

    Once you have the virus, I'm afraid it's with you for life and it will flare up whenever you are run down, stressed, under the weather or over tired. It lives in the roots of nerves round your mouth and is highly infectious when it is at the blister stage. I find they also pop up when I have been in the sun too much, but as you get older the frequency of outbreaks tails off.

    The best way to treat them is to zap them with Acyclovir cream before the blister shows, they are helpful in this respect as you will get a burning or tingling before the blister develop and with time you will recognise this quite well.

    Once the blister is there you have a couple of options, first stop playing until it has gone, this could be more than a week as the sore blisters, turns to an ulcer, scabs over and then heals. The other option is to keep playing, not always practical, but these days I do keep going and have found that if the sores are in certain places on my lip and I have used Zovirax cream, then they don't fully develop, though this may be more related to blowing a BB mouthpiece. I played a whole week in Brassed Off ayear ago with a great crop of cold sores with just discomfort to put up with, but in the past I have also split my lip completely blowing when at the scab stage and I once ended a concert with blood running down my chin.

    I suppose the choice is yours, you might be better to give playing a rest for a few days, and invest in tubes of Zovirax, jusdt remember that you need to chuck the tub out after abut 4 weeks, but supermarkets are selling a 2g tube for abut £2 these days.
  20. Toxophile

    Toxophile Member

    Herpes Simplex is however closely related to Herpes Zoster the virus that causes Shingles which is where the Chicken Pox confusion arises. HSV1 is generally seen as Cold Sores, HSV2 tends to be transmitted to more embarassing areas of the body although I have it on good authority that HSV1 can be passed to these areas as well.

    One nasty complication that can arise from HSV1 is if the virus gets into your eyes whaere it can cause very nasty ulceration and possibly blindness.

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