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Orolabial Herpes: What You Should Know About Cold Sores Around the Lips?

Labial herpes, fever blisters, and cold sores on lips are some other names of orolabial herpes, a condition caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. It is a common infection that affects several people, including kids. It causes red, painful blisters on and around the lips. It is a contagious infection that spreads through close contact and thus requires that you maintain a safe distance from the affected person.

In this blog, you will find everything about orolabial herpes and how to deal with it. Read now!

Prevalence of Cold Sores Around Lips

The HSV-1 virus is commonly known for causing fever blisters on the lips, also known as cold sores. Another significant factor contributing to the spread of orolabial herpes is through oral-genital contact. When you come into contact with open lesions, the infection can quickly spread to various areas around the mouth and any other areas you touch.

What is Orolabial Herpes Commonly Known As?

Herpes is of two types- HSV-1 and HSV-2.

In both cases, red, painful sores appear on and around the affected area.

HSV-1 is responsible for causing cold sores on the lips and around it, while HSV-2 is responsible for blisters around the genitals.

Orolabial herpes is also called cold sores, fever blisters, labial herpes, fever sores, etc.

Children are prone to orolabial herpes if they come into contact with infected adults. Thus, it is very important to identify symptoms of herpes and get treatment at the earliest.

How Does HSV-1 Causes Cold Sores?

HSV-1 is a virus that can be caught from multiple sources, such as kissing, touching, and sharing utensils or other items, including towels, razors, etc.

Once the virus enters your body, it establishes itself in nerve cells. It might remain dormant for a while before resulting in a sudden outbreak. Stress, weakened immunity, fever, or exposure to sunlight can trigger the reactivation of the virus, leading to the formation of cold sores.

Symptoms of Cold Sores

Multiple symptoms indicate that you might be coming down with orolabial herpes.

During the first outbreak, especially in children, the symptoms are severe and might include all or some of the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation in the mouth or around it
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Swollen glands
  • Body ache

However, the symptoms are less severe in further outbreaks, including:

  • Tingling on and around lips
  • Burning in mouth
  • Itching
  • Throbbing on and around lips

Slowly, small blisters start to appear on and around the lips. Touching them only spreads the infection to other parts of your body.

Treatment and Management

Once the cold sores appear, they might take a week or so to disappear fully before reappearing. They may reappear anytime, say in a month, six months, or even a year.

Several over-the-counter medications may reduce outbreaks and alleviate the symptoms of cold sores on the lips.

Laser therapy at Peace of Mind Dental Studio, Chandler, AZ, is the best way to treat cold sores. If you had an earlier outbreak of cold sores and feel the tingling and itching sensation again around the mouth, book an appointment with us.

Laser therapy for cold sores on lips is a non-invasive, quick, and simple procedure wherein a low-powered laser kills the virus responsible for the outbreak. It is a painless procedure that benefits you if you experience frequent and severe cold sore outbreaks.

Laser therapy is not a panacea for cold sores, but it reduces the outbreak to a significant extent and, thus, is recommended to all the patients out there.

Managing Cold Sores

Once the cold sores appear, there are certain remedies that you can try at home.

  • Keep the area hydrated. Use a lip balm or Vaseline.
  • Keep cleaning the area with a cotton swab to prevent the spreading of infection.
  • Wash your hands frequently and refrain from engaging in any close contact with others, such as kissing, sharing utensils, razors, towels, etc.
  • Take over-the-counter medications for pain management.

Final Words

Orolabial herpes, or fever blisters, has no cure. Still, by identifying triggers and managing symptoms, you can reduce the discomfort, and adopting preventive measures can help individuals effectively manage outbreaks and reduce the frequency of cold sore occurrences.

However, if you suffer from frequent outbreaks, book an appointment with Peace of Mind Dental Studio today. We offer laser treatments to help reduce cold sore outbreaks, significantly reducing discomfort.

Contact us today and learn more about laser therapy today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Que: Does laser therapy completely eliminate cold sore virus?

Ans: No, laser therapy does not completely eliminate the HSV virus, but it significantly reduces the frequency and severity of the cold sore outbreak.

Que: Can I treat cold sores with over-the-counter medications?

Ans: You can only reduce the pain, inflammation, and other symptoms, such as fever, nausea, etc. However, even after medication, cold sores take at least a week to disappear completely.

Que: How come kids get infected with cold sores?

Ans: Children might get affected by HSV infection through adults. Touching and coming in close contact might cause the infection to spread among kids. If anyone in the family is infected with cold sores, it is advised to keep a safe distance from the kids because their immunity is low compared to adults, and thus, they must be kept safe.

Written by Dr. Silverman

Dr. Silverman is the co-founder of Peace of Mind Dental, a Chandler Arizona, general dentistry practice.