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Herpes is a disease caused by two kinds of herpes simplex virus. The type one herpes virus causes lesions and ulcers on the lips and mouth region and it is also called mouth herpes. These cold sores are also known as fever blisters. The herpes virus type two usually causes genital herpes and in some cases oral herpes may also be cause because of this virus. Such a cross infection may occur when oral genital sexual contact occurs with an infected person.

Mouth herpes can be basically identified because of the presence of cold sores or fever blisters. These are small blisters that can be seen near the lips and in the mouth. These blisters are filled with clear or cloudy fluid. These lesions may in some cases be accompanied with fever. The cold sores ulcerate and finally crust over and heal. It takes around seven to up to twelve days for these sores to heal.

Individuals suffering from mouth herpes may have a cluster of blisters and before these blisters erupt the skin may feel itchy. Once the blisters break the fluid oozes out and eventually scabs are formed. This makes the skin slightly red. Cold sores are extremely contagious and the virus can be transmitted through saliva and other close social and sexual contacts.

The primary infection in mouth herpes heals completely without much scarring. However the virus travels to the nerve cells and remains there in a dormant or latent condition. After some time period recurrence of infection is observed. Recurrent infections tend to be relatively mild as compared to the primary infection.

Recurrent mouth herpes infection may occur because of a variety of contributing factors such as exposure to sun, fever, menstruation and physical and emotional stress. In many cases the recurrences cannot be predicted and the frequency of these recurrences can vary quite dramatically. Some possible complications with oral herpes infection include eye infections.

Treatment for oral herpes includes non specific treatment which is targeted at reducing the symptoms along with the lesions. Specific anti viral treatment is also provided to allow the lesions to heal quickly and also to avoid further recurrences. When the fever blisters in mouth herpes erupt the area should be kept completely clean so as to avoid any bacterial infections.

Patients suffering from oral herpes should ensure that the sores are not touched as this can result in the virus spreading to other areas. Likewise it is important to ensure that others are not infected by this virus and so kissing others should be avoided. Patients should also wash their hands after eating.

Ice applied on the site of the cold sores before the eruption of blisters can help in reducing any possible swelling. Those suffering from mouth herpes can use an ice cube wrapped in a cloth and apply it to the area of the cold sores for around five minutes. This can also be reapplied every hour. Applying a drying or other astringent agent containing camphor or phenol can provide relief particularly in the early stages of the infection.

Medicines for oral herpes include acyclovir and valacyclovir along with famciclovir. These can help in reducing the symptoms along with the frequency of the outbreak. Some other antiviral creams containing penciclocir and acyclovir can also be applied to the affected areas.


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