A dermatologist in New Taipei City said that lipstick and lip balm products should not be shared, after a young woman contracted herpes from applying lip balm on display at the counter of a chain pharmacy.
The unnamed college student, 22, only used the store’s lip balm on her upper lip, but painful sores broke out three days later, Chao Chao-ming (趙昭明) was quoted as saying by local online media outlet ETToday on Saturday.
As sores only appeared on the woman’s upper lip — causing it to swell to nearly the size of “a sausage” — and she had not reported any stressful event or an abnormal sleep pattern, it was likely just a case of contaminated lip balm, Chao said, adding that the recovery time would be about a week.
Infections caused by sharing cosmetics is a common problem, Chao said, adding that he previously treated a woman whose face became inflamed after using her assistant’s skin ointment during a business trip to China.
Herpes simplex is one of the diseases that can be contracted via shared lip balm, he said, adding that yeast or fungal infections can spread to the respiratory system or digestive tract, causing more serious health problems.
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