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Ask A Skin Doctor: Herpes Labialis

Dear Doctor

please advise..I have never had anything like this happen before and have been w the same sexual partner for years.. what can this be?

I’m worried it’s herpes..

herpes labialis

Dear PatientĀ 

Your symptoms are suggestive of herpes labialis or oral herpes.

This herpes which affects the lips, gums and areas around the mouth is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1).

It can also be caused by the herpes simplex virus 2 that causes genital herpes after sexual contact with an infected person.

Treatment of Herpes Labialis

Oral herpes does not generally require treatment since the symptoms usually resolve in 1 to 2 weeks spontaneously.

It can be managed by washing the blisters and sores with warm salty water (1 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 pint of water) twice a day to prevent transmission of the virus to other parts of the body.

Antiviral creams like Acyclovir cream can also be prescribed to reduce the duration of the symptoms.

Antiviral tablets like Acyclovir, Famciclovir and Valacyclovir are also prescribed to reduce the duration of the symptoms.

AnalgesicsĀ like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be taken to reduce the pain.

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