What is Herpes Labial

What is Herpes labial?

Herpes labial or commonly known as cold sores is a small sore located on the face or in the mouth that causes pain, burning sensation, or itching before bursting and crusting. The general position of cold sores or herpes labial is on the lips or the labia from where it gets its name, chin or cheeks and even in the nostrils. Less common sites are the gums or roof of the mouth or the palate. Labial herpes is also known as fever blisters. Learn more about herpes labial here.

Herpes labial

Herpes labial is originated by herpes simplex virus type 1. The herpes virus lies dormant in the body and is activated by reasons such as stress, sunburn, pyrexia or fever from a wide range of contagious diseases including colds. Recurrences are less frequent after the age of thirty five. Labial herpes reappears usually at the same location each time or only a few millimeters away from the original site.

Causes of Herpes Labial

Herpes labial or Cold sores are caused by a virus called herpes. Herpes is one of the most general viral infections in the world. The medical or scientific name for the particular virus that causes herpes labial is herpes simplex. There are two categories of herpes simplex infection one is herpes simplex virus one or HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus two or HSV-2. Both the virus can cause herpes labial in the region of a patient’s mouth but most are caused by HSV-1. HSV-1 is so common that most people get infected with it, although many never show any symptoms of herpes labial. People can contract HSV-1 by kissing someone with a cold sore or sharing a drinking glass or utensils around.

Symptoms of herpes labial

Patients who get infected with HSV-1 may get cold sores sporadically for the rest of their lives. That is because even after the sores heals and dry up, the virus resides in the body waiting for another time to come out and cause herpes labial. When a cold sore re-emerges, it is frequently in the same place as the earlier one.

People are more susceptible to this illness during the cold months because of the abrupt change in temperature although few people may suffer from this condition anytime during the year. After an incident of very high fever, deep emotional stress, sun exposure, low and compromised ability to battle stress may also set off the problem. Women tend to experience herpes labial peak during premenstrual phase or menstrual periods.

Treatment of herpes labial

There is no cure for herpes labial as it is a viral infection however doctors would prescribe medications that could reduce the pain or the sore sensation. Ointments which lessen the crests and numb the blisters may be used. Antibiotics may be administered in order to control the secondary bacterial infections caused. Antiviral drugs are also given to stop the virus from multiplying further.

In cases of recurrent herpes labial, sores start as inflamed red spots that swell up and become fluid-filled blisters. These blisters ultimately subside and form an ulcer. This may take two to three days to happen. It often takes seven to ten days before these herpes labial ulcers totally vanish and the skin returns to normal condition.

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