A Californian woman claims she contracted oral herpes from a sample in a Sephora cosmetic store back in October 2015. This Thursday, she suited the company for $25,000 saying that she never suffered from the virus before she used the lipstick. Now, she will suffer from herpes for the rest of her life.

Elena Davoyan is warning fans and buyers of being careful with samples offered in any store from the makeup giant. According to the New York Daily News report, this is the first time she sees cold sores in her mouth, and it happened to be just before she used the sample.

In the court documents showed in the report, Davoyan suits Sephora for emotional distress over the “incurable lifelong affliction,” liability, negligence and intentional infliction.

The lawsuit filed by lawyer Robert Kransey argues that the cosmetic stores offer common samples to a public who don’t know how well clean these are. According to the suit, it fails in reviewing something that’s able to harm people easily.

Oral herpes, Woman suits Sephora, Oral herpes from cosmetics
Woman claims she got oral herpes for trying a sample at the cosmetic store. Image credit: Sephora

Davoyan said she doesn’t believe that Sephora is thinking about their costumers’ health by avoiding herpes exposure just like other companies who offer “lipstick wands or swabs” at their stores.

“The bottom line is that (there) are numerous simple solutions to prevent the spreading of diseases through lipstick testers, and that is Sephora’s responsibility,” the lawsuit reads.

In front of the lawsuit, Sephora announced that one of the company’s first concerns is the safety of its public.

“The health and safety of our clients is our foremost priority. We take product hygiene very seriously, and we are dedicated to following best practices in our stores,” the company told the Daily News.

However, it’s not very common that a person gets infected after using a sample from a cosmetic store.

How typical is to catch oral herpes from a common sample?

According to the Johns Hopkins University’s infectious disease specialist, Amesh Adalja, it’s possible that a person catches the virus from a lipstick recently used by someone suffering from oral herpes. But this is not always the case  not in the majority of them, at least.

Adalja, also a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Public Health Committee, told Live Science that it would be more likely for a person to get infected with herpes before and not after trying a sample in a cosmetic store because this is “such a common and unavoidable infection.”

While is not very common to catch oral herpes by using a lipstick samples, there’s still a tiny chance.

Adalja said that the virus could stay on the product depending on the conditions of the environment  like humidity, as well as the ingredients in the product. This is why anyone who’s concerned about getting infected with it should avoid using any sample or sharing their makeup with somebody they don’t know.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says on its webpage that around 67 percent of people over the age of 50 around the world live with the herpes simplex virus type 1, and stay with it for the rest of their lives.

Source: New York Daily News