Herpes on the lips (herpes simplex). Information for patients

what is herpes?

Herpes simplex, also known as a cold on the lips or herpes on the lip, is a common viral infection.
This disease manifests itself in the form of tiny, fluid-filled bubbles on the red border of the lips and nearby skin.
These bubbles are usually grouped, and the lesion is in diameter from a few millimeters to 2-3 centimeters.


 

After all the bubbles burst, a crust forms in their place. A few days
before the appearance of bubbles, and throughout the time of rashes –
herpes simplex causes local pain.
Herpes on the lips completely disappears within two to four weeks, leaving no scars.
Herpes is transmitted from person to person through close contact, such as kissing.
Usually,
herpes of the lips (oral) is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1
(HSV-1), but it can be caused by genital herpes (herpes simplex virus
type II, HSV-2).
Both types of these viruses can affect both the mouth and genital areas, and can be spread through oral sex.
Herpes is contagious even when there are no obvious rashes on the skin.

There is no radical cure for HSV infection, episodes of painful blisters come back again and again.
Antiviral drugs can shorten the time of an attack and slightly reduce the frequency of relapses.

 

Symptoms of herpes on the lips

Herpes on the lips, as a rule, occurs in several stages:

1 Tingling and itching. Many people feel itching, burning or tingling in the lips, a few days before the rash appears in this place.

2 Bubble formation. Small, filled with clear liquid bubbles usually form on the border of the red border of the lips and the skin around the mouth.
Herpes can also be localized near the nose, ears, or cheeks.

3 Weeding and crusting. Small bubbles can merge, then burst, leaving shallow open wounds, from which liquid oozes, subsequently covered with a crust.

 

Symptoms are different in the first case and subsequent relapses.

The primary episode can last from a few days to one month before complete healing occurs.
Relapses tend to appear in the same place each time, and are usually not as severe as the first case.

During the first outbreak, some people also have:

  • fever
  • Painful aphthae (ulcers) on the gums
  • Sore throat
  • headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Children under the age of 5 years can tolerate herpes aphthous stomatitis.

 

Causes of herpes on the lips?

Labial herpes is caused by some strains of herpes simplex virus (HSV).
HSV type 1 usually causes herpes on the lips.
HSV type 2 usually causes genital herpes.
However, any type of herpes can cause damage to both the lips and genitals.
Most people who are infected with the herpes virus never have obvious manifestations of the disease.

Herpes is most contagious in the phase of weeding burst bubbles.
But it is possible to transmit the virus to other people even without an exacerbation of the disease.
Shared utensils, razors and towels, as well as kisses, contribute to the spread of HSV-1.
Oral sex can spread HSV-1 from the lips to the genitals of the partner, and HSV-2 from the genitals to the lips.

After the first episode of herpes infection, the virus is dormging in
the nerve cells of the skin, and at any time can cause a recurrence of
herpes on the lips in the same place.
Relapse can be provoked by.

Diagnosis of herpes:

Usually, to make this diagnosis, the doctor will only need to look at the rash.
To confirm the diagnosis, he can take a smear from weeding rashes and send it to the laboratory for analysis.

 

Treatment of herpes on the lips

Usually, the exacerbation of herpes does not cause severe concern,
does not interfere with normal life and passes without any treatment in
2-4 weeks.
Several types of antiviral drugs can speed up the healing process:

 

Lifestyle changes and home remedies in the treatment of herpes on the lips?

To relieve the discomfort of herpes on the lips, you can follow some tips:

  • Apply an ointment against herpes, such as Zovirax.
    With frequent use, it is able to shorten an episode of herpes by several hours or days.
  • Try other local remedies.
    Some
    drugs recommended for herpes do not contain antiviral substances, but
    contain, for example, alcohol, and also accelerate the healing of
    wounds.
  • Use lip balms and face cream.
    Protect your lips from the hot sun.
  • Apply cold compresses, it can reduce redness, help remove crusts and promote wound healing.
  • Use pain creams. Creams with lidocaine or benzocaine can relieve pain and discomfort somewhat.

 

Prevention of herpes of the lips?

If you have exacerbations happen too often, or you have a high risk
of complications of herpes – the doctor may prescribe a long-term use of
an antiviral drug, regardless of the presence of exacerbations.
If sunlight provokes your exacerbations – constantly use sunscreens on the lips and skin around them.
To avoid spreading herpes to other people, or to other parts of your body:
Avoid
skin-to-skin contact with other people while you have herpetic
blisters. The virus spreads especially easily at the moment when the
bubbles burst and the wound gets wet.

Avoid sharing personal hygiene items.
Dishes, towels, lip balm and
other items can become intermediaries in the transmission of the virus
during the presence of bubbles on your skin.

Keep your hands clean.
During an exacerbation, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly before touching yourself or other people, especially children.

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