Cold sores are tiny blisters that develop on the lips or around the mouth. The herpes simplex virus strain HSV-1 normally causes them. The virus is highly contagious and can be passed on through close direct contact. After someone has contracted the "cold sore virus", it remains.
Causes of cold sores
Cold sores are usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
In most cases the virus is passed on in early childhood – for example, when a child is kissed by a family member or friend with a cold sore.
The virus passes through the skin and travels up the nerves, where it lies inactive (dormant) until it's triggered at a later date.
How Cold Sores Spreads
- By saliva (kissing or shared drinks).
- By having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
- By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs).
Symptoms of cold sores
You won't usually have any symptoms when you first become infected with the herpes simplex virus (the primary infection).
An outbreak of cold sores may occur some time later and keep coming back (recurrent infection).
However, if the primary infection does cause symptoms, they can be quite severe.
Herpes simplex virus primary infection In children
Symptoms of the primary infection are most likely to develop in children younger than five years old. Symptoms include:
swollen and irritated gums with small, painful sores in and around the mouth – this is known as herpes simplex gingivostomatitissore throat and swollen glandsproducing more saliva than normalhigh temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or abovedehydrationfeeling sick (nausea)headaches
Herpes simplex gingivostomatitis usually affects young children, but adults can also develop it. It can last 7 to 14 days, with the sores taking up to three weeks to heal. However, gingivostomatitis doesn't usually recur after the primary infection.
Herpes simplex virus primary infection In Adults
herpes simplex viruses are rare in adults, but the symptoms are similar to those experienced by children.
You'll usually have a sore throat with or without swollen glands. You may also have bad breath (halitosis) and painful sores in and around your mouth. These can develop into ulcers with grey or yellow centres. If you develop the herpes simplex virus at an early age, it may be triggered periodically in later life and can cause recurring bouts of cold sores. After the primary infection, the symptoms are usually reduced to just the cold sores themselves.
Recurrent Infections (cold sores)
Recurrent infections usually last for less time and are less severe than the primary infection. The only symptom is an outbreak of cold sores, although you may also have swollen glands.
An outbreak of cold sores usually starts with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth. Small fluid-filled sores then develop, usually on the edges of your lower lip.
If you have frequent recurrent infections, you may develop cold sores in the same place every time. They may grow in size and cause irritation and pain. Initially, they may ooze before crusting or scabbing over within 48 hours of the initial tingling sensation.
If the cold sores are very troublesome, it's possible to suppress them by taking an antiviral tablet called acyclovir regularly, every day for a few months. This is usually only recommended if cold sores are causing a lot of problems, and they may come back when treatment is stopped.
Most cold sores disappear within 7 to 10 days without treatment and usually heal without scarring.
Whether you call it a cold sore or a fever blister, oral herpes is a common infection of the mouth area that is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
Once infected, a person will have herpes simplex virus and can only be Cured with the help of Natural African Herbs and Roots. When inactive, the virus lies dormant in a group of nerve cells. While some people never develop any symptoms from the virus, others will have periodic outbreaks of infections.
Symptoms of Oral Herpes
The initial (primary) infection of oral herpes is usually the worst. It may cause severe, flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes and headache. However, some people have no symptoms at all. During the initial infection, sores can occur on and around the lips and throughout the mouth.
Recurring infections tend to be much milder, and the sores usually erupt on the edges of the lips. Some people never have any additional outbreaks beyond the initial infection. The following are the most common signs and symptoms of a recurring oral herpes simplex virus infection.
- Initial redness, swelling, heat/pain or itching may develop in the area where the infection will erupt.
- Painful, fluid-filled blisters may appear on the lips or under the nose. The blisters and fluid are highly contagious.
- The blisters will leak fluid and become sores.
- After about four to six days, the sores will start to crust over and heal.
- The signs and symptoms of an oral herpes outbreak may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always take an action towards this signs immediately you notice it.