Oral herpes refers to an infection of the tissues around the mouth with one of the two herpesviruses, herpes simplex virus 1 or 2. It is a very common infection that produces the characteristic cold sore or fever blister. The virus resides deep in the nerve roots and may reactivate at a later time, causing the same symptoms and signs in the same location. Oral herpes is also referred to as herpes labialis.
Signs and symptoms of HSV-1 infection include painful, sore lips with tiny fluid-filled lesions (blisters), ulcers, and redness. Other associated symptoms include tingling or burning pain in the lips. Symptoms go away within 1-2 weeks but often reoccur throughout life due to reactivation of the virus.
Cause of oral herpes (cold sores or fever blisters)
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the most common cause of oral herpes.
Other oral herpes (cold sores) symptoms and signs
- Painful, Sore Lips
- Skin Redness
- Tiny Fluid-Filled Lesions (Blisters)
- Ulcers Inside the Mouth
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Cold Sores Causes, Remedies, & Diagnosis
How do you get rid of cold sores? First learn about the herpes virus and how it causes cold sores. When are cold sores...
Picture of Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)
Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. See a picture of Cold...
Picture of Cold Sores Treatment
You can't cure HSV or a cold sore, but you can alleviate the pain it causes by avoiding spicy or acidic foods, applying ice, and...
Examples of Medications for Oral Herpes (Cold Sores) Symptoms and Signs
- acetaminophen rectal
- acyclovir, Zovirax
- artificial saliva
- docosanol cream
- famciclovir, Famvir
- gotu kola
- guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide
- Mucinex DM (guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide)
- oxymetazoline intranasal
- pau d’arco
- pectin oropharyngeal
- penciclovir cream - topical, Denavir
- phenylephrine nasal
- Side Effects of Claritin D (loratadine/pseudoephedrine)
- Side Effects of Mucinex DM (guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide)
- Side Effects of Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Zinc for Colds: Lozenges & Nasal Sprays
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