Herpes is a viral infection triggered by the eponymous virus. It can affect either the area around the face, including the nose, the mouth, chin and cheeks etc., or appear in the genital area, being a much more serious health condition.
However, there are many other forms of herpes too. In fact, a vast majority of people contract herpes during their childhood and the virus, after its initial outbreak, remains dormant inside our organism, waiting for suitable moments to become active again.
Oral Herpes Outbreak
Note that herpes is not always properly diagnosed, especially by people who suffer from it. Rather, many individuals mistake their strange skin growths for something else, other that herpes. On the other hand, some people may believe that their regular and harmless rashes, pimples or some other conditions of this type are herpes, even when they are not.
As far as the oral herpes variant is concerned, it involves the lips, the gums and the mouth area, appearing in the form of an inflammation. It is an infection triggered by the herpes simplex type 1 virus, which initially results in fever and some common cold-like symptoms. Later on, when the real symptoms start appearing, the affected person may experience a flare-up, even when the infection is, in fact, not yet visible. The area where the herpes outbreak will appear may seem itchy or painful, burning and leading to a sensation of discomfort. Later on, however, this unpleasantness evolves into a formation of small blisters, called fever blisters, appearing close to one another, forming a greater blister together. Once this blister bursts, the next stage, cold sores, appear. This stands for a formation of a lesion which produces discharge, forming a crust which allows one to become free from the virus once again. However, this stage is known to be very painful.
Keep in mind that about 90% of all people are bound to experience oral herpes outbreak at least once in their lives. Moreover, some children who get infected by herpes for the first time may find it incredibly hard to battle this condition, becoming seriously ill. Fortunately, most individuals, after being initially exposed to herpes, develop adequate antibodies, preventing any future outbreaks. Unfortunately, in the US, about 40% of people are not so lucky and they experience repeated herpes outbreaks throughout their lives.
Herpes is a highly contagious virus and people can get it from getting in contact with anything that got in contact with the cold sore of some other individuals. Thus, kissing an infected person, sharing utensils or personal hygiene items with him/her, both are some of the main ways through which people get infected with herpes. Subsequently, people who do not have any of the above mentioned problems should not spend time near people who are experiencing herpes outbreaks. Also, those who are affected by herpes in this way should be careful and do their best not to transfer their infection onto someone else through kissing or other forms of direct and indirect physical contact.
Keep in mind that the cold sore you have should not be touched, especially with dirty hands. Therefore, keep your hands clean and your levels of overall hygiene high.
How Does Herpes Look Like?
Due to the fact that this condition can be mistaken for many others, it is best to explain some of the most basic rules of the thumb, related to herpes and herpes only. First of all, herpes appears active during an outbreak and stays that way only for a limited period of time after which it returns inside the body and becomes passive once more. When this happens, the symptoms of a herpes outbreak disappear as well.
Basically, depending on each affected individual, the herpes outbreak can last for up to six weeks. Yet, in most cases, people get rid of this condition in about 14 days, in most cases. So, if you cannot manage to free yourself from herpes until the 12th day of the outbreak, seek medical assistance since the condition you are suffering from may easily be something else.
Also, keep in mind that herpes results in a cold sore outbreak only sometimes. On the other hand, some people experience no symptoms whatsoever.
Therefore, when in doubt, the best possible step to take regarding your condition is to seek medical assistance from your doctor. After examining you, he/she will either rule out or diagnose herpes, depending on a wide array of symptoms you are or are not expressing.
All in all, there are no secret cures for oral herpes and, in most cases, this condition comes and goes, taking into consideration that it stays inside our organism forever. However, once you seek medical assistance for helping you dealing with your herpes outbreak, you may be given certain medications which speed up the healing process. In fact, you should react in such a way as soon as you notice the first signs of this viral infection, being burning, redness and discomfort affecting a spot on your face, in your mouth or on your lips.