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Viral infections are very common among Americans for they are readily transmitted by saliva and other bodily fluids. Cold sores, fever blister or medically termed as herpes labialis is a common viral infection caused by the reactivation of the latent herpes simplex virus in the nerves after primary herpes infection. Cold sores can be mistaken as canker sores, another common oral condition, but both are very much different in their tendency to recur, in number and in duration. About 40 million Americans get cold sores each year with most of them experiencing one to three attacks annually.
After the primary infection by herpes simplex virus, the dormant virus can be reactivated in 20 to 30% of sufferers. Direct contact with cold sores can also spread the virus for the virus can enter through small breaks in the body.
Most cold sores will heal by themselves within one week to ten days but if the condition is uncomfortable and unsightly, medications may be prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will usually prescribe pencyclovir 1% cream or acyclovir 5% cream to apply in the early stages. Avoid sharing personal items that comes in contact with the mouth, for example toothbrush, with others. Avoid triggering factors that can reactivate the virus, for example applying sunscreen to cold sores areas before long exposure to sunlight, avoid trauma to lips and manage stress. Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching other parts of your body if in contact with cold sores. Oral herpes is easy to diagnose when a patient has visible sores or ulcers, but early stages of herpes on the face and mouth as well as on the genitals are harder to diagnose.
Herpes should be distinguished from herpes zoster, chicken pox, impetigo, and drug eruptions.
Herpetic sores are classified as heat sores in TCM because the lesions are red and follow febrile disease conditions. As with all treatment protocols, be sure to tailor and modify the basic treatments below to fit your patient's specific constitution, root cause, and symptoms. Treatment principle: Drain Spleen and Stomach damp heat, nourish yin, drain deficient heat .
Cash, checks and credit cards are also gratefully accepted if you prefer to donate in person. Pain, emotional upheaval, fatigue, people who are burned out, folks who want to try esoteric acupuncture. Herpes simplex infection of the mouth and face, known as orofacial herpes simplex, herpes labialis, cold sores, or fever blisters, is a common, recurrent skin condition associated with infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV infections occur in people of all races, of all ages, and of both sexes.Increasing age is associated with increased likelihood of infection.


The most common locations for HSV-1 infections include: Lips Mouth (including gums, tongue, roof of mouth, and inside the cheeks) Nose Chin Cheeks Shortly after exposure to the virus, a newly infected person may develop fluid-filled blisters, occurring singly or in a cluster of several blisters.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help reduce fever, muscle aches, and pain caused by cold sores.
This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here. The herpesviruses are the most frequent cause of viral infection in the mouth and herpes simplex virus (usually type 1) is the one responsible for cold sores.
They are usually fluid-filled blisters or sores found on the lips or around the mouth and are not an inherited condition. Early symptoms include pain, tingling or itching on the affected area a few days after exposure. Antivirals will only have maximum effect if given early in the disease but may be required for those with severe conditions, widespread or persistent sores, or those with weak immune systems. During active disease phases there are blisters on the skin which contain the infectious virus. Orofacial HSV usually appears as small blisters or sores around the mouth, nose, genitals, and buttocks, though infections can develop almost anywhere on the skin.
Up to 80% of Americans are infected with HSV-1 by the time they are 30 years old.Only 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores.
These blisters may be yellow to gray and are fragile, so that many people never notice blisters but instead see tiny open sores (ulcers). Seek medical advice as soon as possible, especially if you are at risk for more serious complications.
On occasion, however, a swab from the infected skin may be sent to the laboratory for viral culture, which takes a few days to grow.
Most people contract the herpes simplex virus for the first time during their childhood which will remain in the nerves till it gets reactivated.
Treatment is meant to reduce the duration of cold sores and decrease the pain and uncomfortable symptoms. Accompanying symptoms may include high fever and swelling of tenderness of the lymph nodes. Furthermore, these cold sores may periodically come back in the same sites.Infections with HSV are very contagious and are spread by direct contact with the skin lesions. That means that approximately 80% of people with HSV infections have not been diagnosed and are unaware of their condition. Blood tests may also be performed.Untreated HSV infections will go away on their own, but medications can reduce the symptoms and shorten the duration of outbreaks.


Blisters form after an hour or two, usually in clusters, at the junction of the lips but can extend to neighboring skin. Crusting of the lesions begins after three to four days of onset and complete healing within three weeks.
There are 2 types of HSV: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Viruses are transported along the sensory nerves to the nerve cell bodies where they go dormant and reside as long as the host is alive. HSV-1 infections usually occur around the mouth, lips, nose, or face, while HSV-2 infections usually involve the genitals or buttocks. They may come out of dormancy because of a variety of triggers (one of which is immunosuppressant drugs).
When it becomes active the virus multiplies, travels along the axon of the neuron to the nerve terminals in the skin and releases the virus particles. Because it so contagious, HSV causes a primary infection in most people who are exposed to the virus. In severe cases of HSV infection, cold sores may involve the entire lining of the mouth and both lips.
However, only about 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores.
These severe infections may be accompanied by fever, sore throat, foul breath, and difficulty eating.Repeat (recurrent) HSV infections are often milder than the primary infection, though they look alike. However, some people never develop the symptoms of a primary HSV infection and may mistake a recurrent infection for a primary infection.
Nevertheless, the virus remains in the body, hibernating in nerve cells.Certain triggers can cause the hibernating (latent) virus to wake up, become active, and travel back to the skin. These recurrent HSV infections may develop frequently (every few weeks), or they may never develop. Recurrent infections tend to be milder than primary infections and generally occur in the same location as the primary infection.Most people get cold sores as children, through contact with a friend or family member who is already infected with HSV. It can be spread (transmitted) by kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinking vessels, or by using the same towel.



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