WHAT IS HERPES ON THE LIPS?
Herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). According to some information, around 80-90% of people are infected with HSV-1. Once a person is infected with herpes simplex virus, they stay infected their whole life.
The outbreak of vesicular rashes, full of fluid, is usually the worst after the first infection, because the body has not yet developed the antibodies. Typical rashes first appear on the area of infection, then they can spread into the surrounding area.
The immune system develops antibodies and restricts the infection. After the first infection, the virus withdraws to trigeminal ganglion, where it stays until the immunological processes in our organism are weakened and there is another outbreak of rashes. After the reactivation, the virus in the nerve cells begins to reproduce and travels back to the skin or mucosa via the nerve cell.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Herpes on the lips lasts between 5 and 10 days, and the development includes three phases. Characteristic for the first phase are tingling, itching, burning sensation, and pain. The skin becomes red and a blister appears that expands into a group of blisters, filled with liquid.
On the third day, the blisters usually burst, painful lesions develop and the surrounding area is inflamed. Then a scab forms, which lasts until the eighth day.
INFECTIOUSNESS AND TRANSMISSION?
Infection with the HSV-1 virus is transmitted by droplets or by direct contact with an infected person. We have to be careful not to transmit the virus to other parts of the body, such as eyes, genitalia and so on. The time from the infection to the first symptoms is usually 10 to 20 days, with the patient being infectious two days before the rash outbreak and five days after the last rash outbreak.
When the scabs form, the patient is no longer infectious. After convalescence, the virus stays in the body in latent form, but it can reactivate.
WHAT ARE THE TRIGGERS?
The virus can be triggered by many factors: physical exhaustion, stress, disease, fever, fatigue, hormonal condition, allergies, sun, diet, etc.
Nowadays a very common cause is stress. This is also why it usually appears before an important event.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF HERPES OUTBREAK ON THE LIPS?
We begin to treat the affected area immediately as the first symptoms, such as tingling and irritation, appear.
We make sure we are clean, we often wash hands and take care of oral hygiene. If our loved one has herpes, we save the kisses, hugs and touches, until the disease clears.
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