Just hearing this word changes the look on your face. Herpes labialis is very annoying. It is also painful in some cases, especially for people who suffer from it frequently. However, we also want to reassure you that it is not a serious infection. In this article, we will explain the symptoms and how to combat it.
What is herpes labialis?
First of all, let’s briefly explain what it is.
Herpes labialis is a viral infection that appears, as its name suggests, on the lips. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).
It is easily identified because it manifests itself in the form of small, rather unpleasant-looking blisters.
Is herpes labialis contagious?
Yes. It is contagious, so you must follow the specialist’s recommendations to prevent it from affecting the people around you. It is most commonly spread through direct contact, mainly by kissing or saliva.
Another common cause of infection is sharing personal hygiene or cosmetic items, such as toothbrushes, lipstick or razors.
How does herpes labialis develop?
The following stages of infection can be identified:
- A first stage in which a red spot appears.
- This red spot then becomes blisters.
- These blisters burst and ooze fluid.
- The wound dries out and forms a scab.
- Eventually this scab falls off and new skin forms on the lip.
The incubation period for herpes labialis is 7 to 12 days.
When does it first appear?
It usually first appears during childhood and tends to reappear in adulthood. This is because the virus does not disappear, but rather remains dormant or lethargic.
Several factors play a role in the subsequent recurrence of herpes labialis:
- Lack of sleep.
- Low immune system.
- For women, possible hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstruation.
- In autumn and winter, cold and wind are very common causes, as they dry out the lips when temperatures are very low.
- And let’s not forget summer, as the sun can also trigger the appearance of herpes labialis.
How do you know if you have herpes labialis in your mouth? There are some signs that can warn you:
- Firstly, the appearance of lumps, which are actually the blisters so characteristic of this infection.
- There are also others that are less obvious but are also worth paying attention to, such as tingling, burning or swelling in the lip
How is it cured?
Herpes labialis disappears on its own within a week to a fortnight after it appears. If the pain is severe, the specialist may recommend an antiviral medicine or cream to relieve the pain.
If you have any doubts, contact IGB Dental and we will tell you the best way to deal with herpes labialis.