Herpes Simplex

Oral Herpes Simplex (fever blisters, cold sores)

Herpes simplex is a contagious infectious disease caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1. At the beginning state, it appears as a cluster of vesicles with fluid inside, later the vesicles rupture and the crust forms. The crust is raised and bleeds easily. Cold sores (fever blister, herpes) may occur inside or outside of the mouth; the recurrent is often at the same location in the lips area. It is considered a contagious disease.

There are two types of herpes simplex:

1. Primary herpes simplex: the initial exposure to herpes simplex virus produces a mild infection that may involve skin and oral cavity.  The oral cavity; acute gingivitis and scattered vesicles appear in various part of the mouth and lips. These vesicles rupture quickly leaving small ulcers; resulting in pain, halitosis, gingival bleeding and sore mouth.  The ulcers heal in approximately two weeks without scar formation. After recovering, the virus becomes dormant in the nerve ganglia until it reactivated again and appears as a recurrent Herpes Simplex.

2. Recurrent Herpes Simplex; secondary herpetic infection involve the lips (rather than the oral mucous membrane).  Frequently the dormant virus reactivates and triggers the outburst of herpes simplex. 

Symptom: usually appear 1-3 weeks after contracting the virus, or triggered by prolonging exposure to the sun, dental treatment, fever, or stress.
  • Warning symptoms include itching, tingling, burning in the lips area

  • Several small vesicles with fluid found in gums, lips, throat, and mouth

  • May experience fever, sore throat prior to having blister

  • Later stage, the blisters rupture and crust forms over the ulcers, when the crust falls off the pink skin underneath appears and becomes normal color skin within 2-3 weeks from the beginning of the outbreak.

Treatment:
  • Take over-the-counter 1000-3000 mg of L-Lysine a day when having a warning symptoms (itching, tingling, burning in the lips area) will promote healing and delay recurrences of cold sores.  If the lesion is present, apply Lysine Ointment for soothing and improve healing

  • Apply natural oils for cold sores at the lesion will accelerate the healing process
     
  • Use prescription drugs: Acyclovir, Famciclovir, Valacyclovir at the beginning of the symptom may help reduce pain and speed up the healing process.  However, administer these medications after the eruption of herpes does not provide much relief

  • Leave alone, symptoms will go away on their own within two to three weeks.  If there is pain involve, apply over the counter topical anesthetic agent such as Anbesol may help relieve some pain
Note: Many people mistaken Herpes simplex to Aphthous ulcer