Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

Herpes Labialis (Oral Herpes)

Herpes Review

There are more than 80 types of herpes viruses, the most well-known of which is herpes simplex virus (HSV), of which there are two types: herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). Approximately 80% of HSV-2 infections are transmitted sexually and cause genital herpes. It was once thought that HSV-1 infections were not sexually transmitted, however today it has been shown that both types of herpes can be sexually transmitted and can affect all areas of the body. Even so, it is the HSV-1 infection that causes most cases of labialis cases, also known as oral herpes, cold sores, herpes simplex - oral, and oral herpes simplex.

What is Oral Herpes (Herpes Labialis)?

Oral herpes refers to HSV infections of the mouth, lips, cheeks or gums that can manifest in small painful blisters (popularly called cold stores or fever blisters).

Oral herpes can be asymptomatic but often there are mild to severe symptoms which appear 1-3 weeks after contact with the virus. Herpes libialis often goes away on its own (without treatment) within one or two weeks. However since herpes infections cannot be cured, the virus can lie dormant and be reactivated at a later time, causing recurrent cold sores.

Children under the age of 5 are the most likely to contract oral herpes, although the disease can affect individuals across the age spectrum. Most often oral herpes is transmitted via kissing or oral sex, but it can also be passed on by sharing eating utensils, toothbrushes and the like with an infected individual.

Symptoms of Oral Herpes

- Blisters/lesions/rash in the area of the mouth, lips, or gums

- Skin area raised, red, and painful

- Blisters contain a yellowish clear fluid

- Blisters rupture and appear as oozing sores

- Initial infections are more painful than recurrences

- Possibility (rare) of fever, chills, foul breath, or difficulty swallowing

- Sore throat feeling (in fact, oral herpes infections in young adults usually occur in the upper part of the throat)

Complications of Oral Herpes

Recurrences of oral herpes can be triggered by stress, sun exposure, fever, menstrual cycle, and even unknown causes. Sometimes people experience warning signs signaling an imminent outbreak, such as itchiness, burning, tenderness, or a tingling sensation.

Given that herpes is a highly infectious disease, oral herpes can easily spread to other skin areas. For example, oral herpes can cause genital herpes when an infected partner performs oral sex with a non-infected person. While condoms decrease the spread of the disease, they do not eliminate the risk of catching and spreading herpes. Furthermore, oral herpes can be spread even in the absence of apparent sores or blisters.

Herpes labialis can also spread to the eyes, giving rise to ocular herpes - a very serious eye infection that is the leading cause of cornea scarring and blindness in the United States.

Oral Herpes Treatment

Although the condition usually goes away without treatment, antiviral medications can decrease pain and speed up the healing process. For recurrent oral herpes sores, it is best to take antiviral drugs when the virus is just beginning to return, i.e., before the outbreak of any sores. Three current oral herpes medications are: Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir.