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Signs herpes outbreak is coming

Herpes of the lip, also called oral herpes, results in a fever blister or cold sore that erupts around your mouth.
The HSV-1 that causes you to get a herpes outbreak on your lip is inadvertently passed along from one person to another through direct contact--sometimes an innocent kiss or face-to-face contact. Cold sores, or fever blisters, usually resolve on their own between seven and 10 days, according to the Mayo Clinic. Although most people with oral herpes don't require oral medications, those who get frequent fever blisters can get a prescription from a doctor for an antiviral medication such as acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir.
While you have an outbreak, refrain from kissing others or making contact with the infected area of your skin with other's skin so you won't infect anyone else with HSV-1. Painful cold or canker sores in or around your mouth are alarming and can cause great discomfort.


The herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) that causes herpes on the lip is very common and is nothing that should cause you shame or embarrassment--aside from the fact that cold sores can affect your cosmetic appearance until they heal. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) estimates that about half of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes, and by age 50, around 90 percent will have it.
This includes avoiding oral sex until the blisters have thoroughly healed because HSV-1 can cause genital outbreaks. There's no true cure for herpes on your lip, but there are ways to treat these painful, watery blisters. Once you are infected, HSV-1 is always present in your body, residing in the trigeminal ganglia at the top of your spine, where it "sleeps" until the virus activates and causes an outbreak around your mouth or on your face.
There are creams and ointments that numb the skin, but ASHA cautions that these might delay the healing process.


A doctor might also prescribe an antiviral topical cream to treat oral herpes, such as acyclovir ointment or penciclovir cream.
Even after oral herpes goes away, you can still pass it on to others through asymptomatic shedding of the virus.
Around 75 percent of people exposed to HSV-1 will have one fever blister or cold sore and never experience an outbreak again. ASHA recommends using a dental dam or condom to reduce the chance of giving sexual partners genital herpes.




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