Oral Herpes Symptoms can be quite problematic.
They seem to come at the most inconvenient time and appear in the most inconvenient place: the lips.
It can also get really annoying when they come out right before an important date or job interview, so it’s no surprise that we want them gone—and we want them gone fast!
Oral Herpes is quite a common infection that does not discriminate. In fact, about 50-80% of adults in the US have acquired the virus since childhood.
If you're tired about your symptoms of oral herpes, then read on to find out what you can do about them...
Symptoms of Oral Herpes are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV 1). It is a highly infectious virus that never goes away once it lodges inside the body.
But the good news is that oral herpes is not life threatening. It is easily manageable and heals on its own in 2-3 weeks.
Oral herpes sores are also known as cold sores or fever blisters. These manifest as fluid-filled lesions around the lips or inside the mouth. It is not to be confused with canker sores which may look similar.
Before the appearance of an oncoming oral herpes sore, you might experience:
In a matter of days a strange tingling and itching sensation can be felt around the lips. Reddish sores will then develop that may sometimes bleed or ooze with pus. After a few weeks, these herpes sores will dry up and finally form a crust or scab.
Symptoms of oral herpes are transmitted via direct contact with the saliva or skin of a person who has the virus. This means anyone can get it through kissing or engaging in oral sex.
More recently, transmission via sharing of utensils and towels has been speculated. However, more evidence is needed to support this as the herpes virus dies relatively quickly outside the body.
Although transmission rates are higher with an active cold sore present, the virus can still be passed on even without the visible signs of an outbreak.
Doctors call this phenomenon “viral shedding”, in that the herpes virus travels a few times a year to the skin surface of the initial site of infection. This makes the person with the herpes virus contagious but unaware, due to the lack of the tell-tale signs and symptoms of an outbreak.
Unfortunately, most people with herpes are asymptomatic and can unknowingly pass the virus on to their unsuspecting partners.
Cold sore symptoms can be easily managed and prevented with a few simple rules—don’t kiss or engage in oral sex with an active cold sore, and implement an antiviral therapy prescribed by your doctor.
Antiviral herpes medication such as acyclovir can effectively suppress the virus and reduce its chances of shedding. Staying away from herpes outbreak triggers, such as stress and an unhealthy lifestyle, should also be considered.
Currently, there is no cure for oral herpes nor is there for the virus that causes it. It takes 2-3 weeks before the oral herpes sores can fully heal and go away on its own.
Fortunately, we don't have to wait that long for the sores to vanish because there are herpes treatments available that can speed up the healing process and reduce our oral herpes symptoms.
There is also the option to use topical creams and ointments to help ease the pain and itchiness associated with symptoms of oral herpes.
If you (or your partner) may be experiencing these oral herpes symptoms, best is to see a doctor or healthcare specialist immediately. They are the licensed experts who can diagnose your condition and prescribe you with the appropriate medication to treat your cold sores.
You’re doing the right thing by reading and researching about the herpes simplex virus. If you might have any questions or would like to talk to someone in the same boat, why not join a Herpes Support Group? That way you can share your sentiments with people like-minded.
If you have an inspiring story to share with others, our Success Stories page is the place do it. On the other hand, if you have a specific question or concern about herpes, head over to our Herpes Advice Forum.