Signs, Symptoms and Treatment Herpes labialis (Cold Sores)

How are you? I hope you always healthy and can perform activities as usual. This time I will discuss about how the signs, symptoms and treatment of herpes labialis. Anyone know herpes labialis? No one ever knew or herpes labialis? Well, I'll just discuss it.

Herpes labialis or cold sores in the English language is an infection marked by the appearance of lesions are accompanied by pain in the lips or other parts of the mouth. This infection is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

Signs and Symptoms of Herpes labialis :
In general, appeared in four stages, namely:
Stage 1:
There is a tingling, itching or burning sensation around the lips or nose for 1-2 days. Some are accompanied by fever also swollen lymph nodes in the neck and there is not.

Stage 2 :
Emerging dots containing water, in the form of single or lined up like bunches, often accompanied by pain.

Stage 3:
The points of water will break up the wound wet. At this stage the virus is easily transmitted to others.

Stage 4:
The wound began to dry up and heal.
Usually from stage 1 to stage emergence takes 4 for 2-3 weeks.

When the disease is cured, herpes simplex virus is not destroyed but is hiding in the nerve cells, away from the immune system, so that in certain circumstances the virus can come back to the surface of the skin and cause re-infection.

Infection replicates normally triggered by:
- Sunstroke on the lips
- Fever
- Flu / colds
- Cold weather
- Food Allergies
- Injury in mouth
- Dental treatment
- Stress
- Too tired

In most patients, repeat infections Herpes Simplex type-1 might just cause a bit of pain disorders, but it can be fatal in:
- People with immune system disorders (eg AIDS)
- Patients who undergo chemotherapy
- Patients who undergo radiation therapy
- Patients who undergo a bone marrow transplant.

In these people, sores in the mouth that can interfere with eating large spread of the virus to the brain and can be fatal.

Thus this brief article, may be useful for you. I hope you still maintain healthy, exercise regularly and maintain nutrition and food hygiene you. This article please share with your friends. The next article I will discuss about the care for patients with herpes labialis. Continue to visit this website to read the latest article

The Diagnosis for the Primary Infection of Genital Herpes

The first appearance of herpes may not be noticed in the early period of being infected. If you think the necessary importance of diagnosis, you may visit the nearest Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) clinical service. They provide the easy executions and more accurate results. Generally speaking, the diagnosis is important as regards of herpes which sometimes has no any symptom at all. 

Primary Infection of Genital Herpes
The herpes simplex virus life cycle

The test must be necessarily taken the experts such as GUM specialists, as they provide mostly reliable report. Beside GUM, you may either visit the General Practitioner. The GP usually refer people who desire in diagnosing herpes to GUM for more trusted treatments. If you decide to go to the GP, they will firstly inquire you about the noticed symptoms, and then exam the possible herpes. 

The GP likewise swab the sample containing fluid from existing blisters. They need the sample, as it will be tested at the laboratory. Therefore, they will soon receive the report about the HSV. GP are not only detecting the presence of herpes, but other sexually-transmitted infections such as; chlamydia, yeast infection, gonorrhea and much more. 

The report from laboratory can come negative. Yet, the virus may keep remaining inside your body, so you will always need to be aware. However, the General Practitioner merely provide the confirmation, of herpes or other infectious diseases if you have the visible infections. The unnoticed will be necessarily be taken by formal tests. 

The Diagnosis for Relapsed Infections of Genital Herpes 

The recurrent of herpes can be repeatedly diagnosed by GPs, if you think the diagnosis is important. They are seemingly to become the first consultation whenever the outbreaks or symptoms happen. As, they will easily give suggestion and recommendation, which can be the first aids.

The General Practitioner will similarly ask you the same inquiry which are related to; symptoms, and the previous condition with herpes. They will ask you about noticing any triggers that cause the symptoms to appear. The common triggers such as; illnesses and distressing nuisance are likely to develop the recurrent.

The genitalia need to be examined likewise, in order to determine – how severe your infection is. As, once herpes viruses infect a human body, the recurrent will appear anywhere and anytime including buttocks, anal, mouth, facial and genital area. 

Weak Immune System and Pregnancy

Weak immune systems are likely to develop viral infections, so it is important to be aware when the system of immune is not appropriate in getting rid the incoming diseases. The complications may occur especially when taking chemotherapy while possessing HIV or herpes. Therefore, you will need the medical attention from the specialists for the required treatments for more intense medication. 

Conclusively, diagnosis is important to take, as the severity can be helpfully reduced by the immediate treatments. The early detection and medication for herpes will help reducing the adverse development of herpes viruses. Therefore, people who are living with herpes are suggested to firstly diagnose whether he/she is currently developing the virus or not. Thus, the chance of transmission may not aggravate due to the minimized growth of the virus.

Herpes Simplex Virus: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Herpes Simplex Virus - HSV
Herpes simplex virus: After clearing, herpes simplex sores can return. When the sores return, the outbreak tends to be milder than the first outbreak.

Herpes simplex virus is a common viral infection. If you’ve ever had a cold sore or fever blister, you picked up the herpes simplex virus. Most cold sores are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Other names for cold sores caused by HSV-1 are:
  • Oral herpes.
  • Mouth herpes.
  • Herpes simplex labialis.
Herpes simplex viruses are contagious, even when you do not see sores.

A closely related herpes simplex virus, HSV-2, causes most cases of genital herpes. But either HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause a herpes sore on the face or genitals.

Herpes simplex: Signs and symptoms

Herpes Simplex Virus - HSV
Herpes simplex: If a person has HSV-1, a bad sunburn can trigger a herpes simplex outbreak.

Herpes Simplex Virus - HSV
Herpes simplex: Outbreaks usually develop around the mouth or on the genitals, but the sores can appear almost anywhere on the skin.

Many people who get the virus that causes herpes never see or feel anything. If signs (what you see) or symptoms (what you feel) occur, a person may experience:
  • Tingling, itching, or burning: Before the blisters appear, the skin may tingle, itch, or burn for a day or so.
  • Sores: One or more painful, fluid-filled blisters may appear. Blisters break open and often ooze fluid and form a crust, before healing. The first time sores appear, they will show up between 2 and 20 days after a person has contact with an infected person. The sores can last from 7 to 10 days. Where the sores appear often varies with type:
  1. Oral herpes (HSV-1): Most blisters appear on the lips or around the mouth. Sometimes blisters form on the face or on the tongue. Although these are the most common places to find oral herpes, the sores can appear anywhere on the skin.
  2. Genital herpes (HSV-2): Sores typically occur on the penis, vagina, buttocks, or anus. Women can have sores inside the vagina. Like oral herpes, these sores can appear anywhere on the skin.
  • Flu-like symptoms. Fever, muscle aches, or swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck (oral herpes) or groin (genital herpes) are possible.
  • Problems urinating. People (most often women) with genital herpes may have trouble urinating or have a burning feeling while urinating.
  • An eye infection (herpes keratitis). Sometimes the herpes simplex virus can spread to one or both eyes. If this happens, you can have pain, light sensitivity, discharge, and a gritty feeling in the eye. Without prompt treatment, scarring of the eye may result. Scarring can lead to cloudy vision and even loss of vision.
  • If you develop signs and symptoms of herpes simplex, you can expect to have these for as long as listed below:
  1. Oral (mouth) herpes: 2 to 3 weeks
  2. Genital herpes: 2 to 6 weeks (the first outbreak)

Herpes simplex: Who gets and causes

Who gets herpes simplex?

Most people get HSV-1 (herpes simplex type 1) as an infant or child. This virus can be spread by skin-to-skin contact with an adult who carries the virus. An adult does not have to have sores to spread the virus.

A child can get this virus from an infected adult. A kiss, eating from the same utensil, or sharing a towel can spread the virus.

A person usually gets HSV-2 (herpes simplex type 2) through sexual contact. About 20% of sexually active adults in the United States carry HSV-2. Some people are more likely to get HSV-2. These people:
  • Are female.
  • Have had many sex partners.
  • Had sex for the first time at a young age.
  • Have (or had) another sexually transmitted infection.
  • Have a weakened immune system due to a disease or medicine.

What causes herpes simplex?

Herpes simplex viruses spread from person to person through close contact. You can get a herpes simplex virus from touching a herpes sore. Most people, however, get herpes simplex from an infected person who does not have sores. Doctors call this “asymptomatic viral shedding.”

How people get herpes around their mouth

A person with HSV-1 (herpes simplex type 1) can pass it to someone else by:
  • Kissing.
  • Touching the person’s skin, such as pinching a child’s cheek.
  • Sharing objects such as silverware, lip balm, or a razor.
How people get herpes on their genitals

You can get genital herpes after coming into contact with HSV-1 or HSV-2. Most people get genital herpes from HSV-2, which they get during sex. If someone has a cold sore and performs oral sex, this can spread HSV-1 to the genitals — and cause herpes sores on the genitals.

Mothers can give the herpes virus to their baby during childbirth. If the baby is born during the mother's first episode of genital herpes, the baby can have serious problems.

What happens once you have HSV-1 or HSV-2?

Once a person becomes infected with a herpes virus, the virus never leaves the body. After the first outbreak, the virus moves from the skin cells to nerve cells. The virus stays in the nerve cells forever. But it usually just stays there. In this stage, the virus is said to be dormant, or asleep. But it can become active again.

Some things that can trigger (wake up) the virus are:
  • Stress.
  • Illness.
  • Fever.
  • Sun exposure.
  • Menstrual periods.
  • Surgery.

Herpes simplex: Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome

How do dermatologists diagnose herpes simplex?

During an outbreak, a dermatologist often can diagnose herpes simplex by looking at the sores. To confirm that a patient has herpes simplex, a dermatologist may take a swab from a sore and send this swab to a laboratory.

When sores are not present, other medical tests, such as blood tests, can find the herpes simplex virus.

How do dermatologists treat herpes simplex?

There is no cure for herpes simplex. The good news is that sores often clear without treatment. Many people choose to treat herpes simplex because treatment can relieve symptoms and shorten an outbreak.

Most people are treated with an antiviral medicine. An antiviral cream or ointment can relieve the burning, itching, or tingling. An antiviral medicine that is oral (pills) or intravenous (shot) can shorten an outbreak of herpes.

Prescription antiviral medicines approved for the treatment of both types of herpes simplex include:
  • Acyclovir
  • Famciclovir
  • Valacyclovir
Taken daily, these medicines can lessen the severity and frequency of outbreaks. They also can help prevent infected people from spreading the virus.


The first (primary) outbreak of herpes simplex is often the worst. Not all first outbreaks are severe, though. Some are so mild that a person does not notice. When the first outbreak of genital herpes is mild and another outbreak happens years later, the person can mistake it for a first outbreak.

Some people have 1 outbreak. For others, the virus becomes active again. When they have another outbreak, it is called a recurrence. These tend to be more common during the first year of infection. Over time, the outbreaks tend to become less frequent and milder. This is because the body makes antibodies (defenses) to the virus.

Serious complications rarely occur in healthy people with herpes simplex. They occur most often in unborn babies, newborns, and people who have a long-term illness or weak immune system. If you have cancer or HIV/AIDS, or you had an organ transplant, seek medical help right away if you have signs or symptoms of a herpes infection.

Herpes simplex: Tips for managing

There are things you can do at home to help manage herpes sores. 

Relieve discomfort

The following can help:
  • Apply medicine that you can buy without a prescription, such as benzocaine and L-lysine, to the blisters.
  • Put ice on the blisters.
  • Avoid things that could trigger another outbreak, such as stress and getting a sunburn.
Avoid spreading the virus

The following may reduce the risk of spreading the herpes simplex virus:

Oral herpes (herpes simplex type 1)
If you have sores on your face:
  • Do not kiss anyone.
  • Do not have oral sex.
  • Do not share items such as silverware, cups, towels, and lip balms.
If you have tingling, burning, itching, or tenderness where you had a herpes sore, keep that area of your body away from others.

You can prevent spreading the sores to other parts of your body by:
  • Washing your hands after touching a cold sore.
  • Using a cotton-tip swab to apply herpes medicine to a cold sore also helps.
Genital herpes (herpes simplex type 2)

When you have sores or symptoms do not have sex with uninfected partners.

If you do not have sores or symptoms, use a latex condom to lower the risk of spreading the virus. You should know that even with a condom, it is possible to spread the virus if it lies on nearby skin that the condom does not cover.

If you are pregnant tell your doctor if you or your partner has genital herpes. You may need to take medicine at the end of your pregnancy to prevent passing the virus to your baby.

Related resources:

Herpes is not life-threatening. But it can be life-changing. Learning more about this infection and networking with others who live with it can help you feel better.

Herpes Resource Center

The American Sexual Health Association offers coping tips, message boards, links to support groups, and a hotline.


Genital Herpes: The basic - What is Genital Herpes?

Read this QA from the National Women's Health Information Center to learn the basics of genital herpes.

What is genital herpes?

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and type 2. Most genital herpes is caused by HSV type 2.

Most people have no or minimal symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection. When symptoms do occur, they usually appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters break, leaving ulcers or tender sores that may take up to four weeks to heal. Typically, another outbreak can appear weeks or months later.

Although the infection can stay in the body forever, the number of outbreaks usually decreases over a period of years. You can pass genital herpes to someone else even when you experience no symptoms.

How common is genital herpes?

About 45 million Americans, age 12 and older have genital herpes. It’s estimated that up to one million people become infected each year. Genital Herpes (HSV-2) is more common in women than men.

How can I get genital herpes?

Herpes is a virus that can be passed through sexual contact. You can get genital herpes by having sex with someone who has open sores and when someone has no sores. However, herpes is most contagious when a person has open sores. People with herpes should not have sexual activity when sores or other symptoms of herpes are present. HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips or “fever blisters.” Condoms can lower the chances of getting herpes. Along with condoms, Valtrex ®, a drug used to treat herpes, can help lower the chances of passing the virus during vaginal sex.

What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

The symptoms of genital herpes vary from person to person. Some people have severe symptoms, such as many painful sores, while others have mild symptoms. An initial outbreak of genital herpes usually brings about symptoms within two weeks of having sexual contact with an infected person and can last from two to three weeks. The early symptoms can include:
  • An itching or burning feeling in the genital or anal area
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever
  • Swollen glands
  • Pain in the legs, buttocks, or genital area
  • Vaginal discharge
  • A feeling of pressure in the area below the stomach

Within a few days, sores (also called lesions) show up where the virus has entered the body, such as on the mouth, penis, or vagina. Sores can also show up on a woman’s cervix, which is the opening to the uterus or womb, or in the urinary passage in men. The sores are small red bumps that may turn into blisters or painful open sores. Over a period of days, the sores become crusted and then heal without scarring.

Other later symptoms of genital herpes may include:
  • Small red bumps on the penis, vagina, or wherever the infection began. These bumps may become blisters or painful open sores that can take up to four weeks to heal.
  • Itching or burning in the genital area
  • Pain in the legs, buttocks, or genital area
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Feeling pressure or discomfort around your stomach
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Pain when urinating
  • Swollen glands in the genital area

Some people may have no symptoms – but they can still spread herpes! Sometimes only very mild sores appear, but are mistaken for an insect bite or other skin problems. If you have HIV, a genital herpes infection can be worse.

If you have herpes, do not have any sexual activity with someone who does not have herpes when you have sores or other symptoms of herpes. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass the virus to others.

Can genital herpes come back?
Yes. Herpes symptoms can come and go, but the virus stays in the nerve cells of your body even after all signs of the infection have gone away. In most people, the virus becomes “active” from time to time, creating an outbreak. Some people have herpes virus outbreaks only once or twice. Other people have many outbreaks of herpes each year. Scientists don't know what causes the virus to become active, but the number of outbreaks a person has tends to go down over a period of years. Some women say the virus comes back when they are sick, under stress, out in the sun, or during their period.

How do I know for sure if I have genital herpes?

Doctors can diagnose genital herpes by looking at visible sores if the outbreak is typical, and by taking a sample from the sore for testing in a lab. Herpes can be difficult to diagnose between outbreaks. Blood tests, which detect HSV-1 or HSV-2 antibodies, can help to detect herpes in people without symptoms or during the time between outbreaks.

What is the treatment for genital herpes?

There is no treatment that can cure genital herpes; the virus will always be in your body. Certain drugs such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir can shorten outbreaks and make them less severe, or stop them from happening. Depending on your needs, your doctor can give you drugs to take right after getting outbreak symptoms or drugs that you can take on a regular basis to try to stop outbreaks from happening. When used along with safe sex practices, Valacyclovir (brand name Valtrex ®) can also help prevent you from passing the infection to someone else. Talk to your doctor about which treatment plan is best for you.

During outbreaks, these steps can speed healing and prevent spreading of the infection to other sites of the body or to other people.
  • Keep the infected area clean and dry.
  • Try not to touch the sores.
  • Wash hands after contact.
  • Avoid sexual contact from the time the symptoms are first noticed until the sores have healed.
Is there a cure for genital herpes?

No. Once you have the virus, it stays in your body and there is a chance that you will have outbreaks. Medicine can shorten and stop outbreaks from happening.

Does genital herpes cause problems during pregnancy?

Yes. If the mother is having her first outbreak while she is pregnant, she is more likely to pass the virus to her baby. If the outbreak is not the first one, the baby's risk of getting the virus is very low. Babies born with herpes may be premature or may die, or they may have brain damage, severe rashes, or eye problems. Doctors may do a C-section to deliver a baby if the mother has herpes lesions near the birth canal to help prevent passing the virus. Also, acyclovir can help babies born with herpes if they are treated right away.

It is not yet known if all genital herpes drugs are safe for pregnant women to take. Some doctors may recommend acyclovir be taken either as a pill or through an IV (a needle into a vein) during pregnancy. Let your doctor know if you have genital herpes, even if you are not having an outbreak. He or she will help you manage it safely during pregnancy.

Can I breastfeed if I have genital herpes?

If you have genital herpes, you can keep breastfeeding as long as the sores are covered. Herpes is spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to a newborn. If you have sores on your nipple or areola, the darker skin around the nipple, you should stop breastfeeding on that breast. Pump or hand express your milk from that breast until the sore clears. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting engorged or overly full. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle at another feeding. If the parts of your breast pump that contact the milk also touch the sore(s) while pumping, you should throw the milk away. 

What can I do to prevent genital herpes?

There are things you can do to protect yourself from getting genital herpes:
  • Don’t have sex. The best way to prevent any STD is to practice abstinence, or not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
  • Be faithful. Have a sexual relationship with one partner who has been tested for herpes and is not infected is another way to reduce your chances of getting infected. Be faithful to each other, meaning that you only have sex with each other and no one else.
  • Use condoms. Protect yourself with a latex condom EVERY time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Condoms should be used for any type of sex with every partner. For vaginal sex, use a latex male condom or a female polyurethane condom. For anal sex, use a latex male condom. For oral sex, use a dental dam. A dental dam is a rubbery material that can be placed over the anus or the vagina before sexual contact. Know that some methods of birth control, like birth control pills, shots, implants, or diaphragms, will not protect you from STDs. If you use one of these methods, be sure to also use a latex condom or dental dam (used for oral sex) correctly every time you have sex.
  • Talk with your sex partner(s) about STDs and using latex condoms. It’s up to you to make sure you are protected. Remember, it’s YOUR body! For more information, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (800) 232-4636.
  • Talk frankly with your doctor or nurse and your sex partner(s) about any STDs you or your partner have or had. Try not to be embarrassed.
  • Know the symptoms. Learn the common symptoms of genital herpes and other STDs. Seek medical help right away if you think you may have genital herpes or another STD.
 What should I do if I have genital herpes?
  • See your doctor for testing and treatment right away.
  • Follow your doctor’s orders and finish all the medicine that you are given. Even if the symptoms go away, you still need to finish all of the medicine.
  • Avoid having any sexual activity while you are being treated for genital herpes and while you have any symptoms of an outbreak.
  • Be sure to tell your sexual partners, so they can be tested.
  • Remember that genital herpes is a life long disease. Even though you may have long periods with no symptoms, you can still pass the virus to another person. Talk with your doctor about what you can do to have fewer future outbreaks, and how to prevent passing the virus to another person.
This publication was written by the National Women's Health Information Center, a project of the Office on Women's Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.