Herpes Labialis

Herpes labialis or cold sores is a common infection that causes the growth of small fluid-filled blisters on the lips or around them, on the mouth and other areas of the face like the nose. The infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and in some particular cases by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). You should know that the herpes simplex 1 is the virus which causes oral herpes while herpes simplex 2 is the one behind genital herpes.

herpes labialis

Herpes labialis symptoms

The first symptoms of an infection from HSV are sore, itchiness and the redness of the skin. After few days you have these symptoms, you will notice the formation of small pimples that eventually will become fluid-filled blisters. The fluid is clear at the beginning but it will become more yellow as the time passes. After other few days the blister are going to break open and heal slowly leaving you with some small crusts that will go away in about a week. Some symptoms you may have during the outbreak are headache, fever or nasuea.

What causes Herpes Labialis?

The herpes virus after it has infected the body, it lies dormant inside nerve cells until some events trigger its manifestation. Normally, the virus manifest on the skin in period of high level of stress or fatigue. This is because during these times our immune system is weaker than the normal. This is why it is also possible to experience herpes outbreaks in case of fever, menstruation, dehydration, when there are seasonal changes or very high or low temperature.

Herpes Labialis transmission:

The most common way to get infected with herpes labialis is through saliva. An infected person can transmit the infection just talking very close to another one. The easiest way to transmit the virus is through kisses. When the virus is going to manifest on the skin with blisters and vesicles I strongly suggest you to not touch the infected area and to be very careful when interacting with other people. This is because during this phase it is very easy to transmit the virus and infect others. I suggest you not to get in direct contact or talk too close to anyone until the blisters have been replaced with crusts.

Another way to transmit the virus is through indirect contact. For example, just touching an object previously handled by an infected person such as a towel or cutlery could be enough to get infected. As I previously mention, it is also possible to cause herpes labialis through the transmission of the HSV-2 which is the virus that cause genital herpes. This happens in the case you have oral intercourse with an infected partner. Since, this type of herpes can be sometimes asymptomatic you should be very careful if you are not too familiar with the person.

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Cold Sores

Cold sores are an infection that affects the area of the mouth and causes the formation of itchy and painful fluid-filled blisters. They are also called fever blisters and they are caused by the herpes simplex virus in particular the herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). The virus can spread from person to person very easily through physical contact or using an objected previously infected, such as a lipstick, cutlery or a towel. Once you get infected it is very important to treat them immediately since they are very contagious.

cold sores

What causes cold sores

Behind the formation of cold sores there is the herpes simplex virus. The HSV-1 is what causes it. Usually it manifest on the lips and around the mouth but in some cases it can spread to the nose and the cheeks. The easiest way to get infected is through kissing. You should know that cold sores can be spread even if they the infected person doesn’t show any symptom. After the infection, there is no way to eliminate the virus from the body. The only option available is to make sure it will remain in a dormant state. If you don’t make sure of this, cold sores can manifest any time when the virus is triggered again.

A cold sore is the most contagious when it is visible on the skin. You should know that they can be transmitted to others also through body fluid which in this particular case will be the saliva. This means that not only kissing infected people can get you infected but also talking to close to them or sharing an object they have used such as a drinking glass or a toothbrush. Common symptoms of cold sores are a tingling or burning sensation on your lips or where the blister is going to form. In some particular cases you may experience also fever and swollen lymph nodes.

How to cure cold sores

When you are infected with cold sores it is going to be normal being self-conscious about it. They are very visible and can make your interaction with others difficult. Since they are also very contagious it would be important to find immediately a cure. The treatment most commonly used are creams and gels that applied on the blisters can ease the pain and the burning sensation. All the creams and the gels are made with the same active ingredients (such as acyclovir or valacyclovir). These substances are not dangerous for the body if you are not allergic to them, but you will have to apply them for the rest of your life any time you will have an outbreak.

The reason why the herpes simplex virus can not be removed from the body is that it hides inside the nervous system. Once it has entered your body the only option you will have is to put it in a dormant state. In this way it is not going to manifest and it will not cause any outbreaks. External antiviral medication are only able to cure the symptoms of cold sores, they are not able to act on the virus. Also, using them for all your life any time a blister will appear, it is not going to be a real solution to the problem. The best thing to do is to find a method that will first cure the herpes and then make sure the virus will not be triggered again.

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