Fever blisters (cold sores) are skin changes that occur due to infection caused by Herpes simplex virus. They develop around the mouth, nose and during the initial outbreak of the infection tend to affect the inside of the oral cavity.
It is confirmed that reactivation of the virus and recurrent infections occur due to emotional and physical stress, some infections, weakening of the immune system etc. It is also reported that pregnant women may frequently experience recurrence of fever blisters throughout their pregnancy. However, the virus itself may be detrimental for the unborn baby, particularly if the woman experiences the initial infection once she gets pregnant.
Fever Blisters - Recognizing the Symptoms
The first infection caused by Herpes simplex virus manifests through fluid filled blisters which are distributed inside the mouth and/or on the lips. These lesions are rather painful, may burst easily and generally if they are located on the skin occur in clusters. The content of blisters is rich in viral particles and allows further spread on the infection. Before the formation of blisters a woman may notice changes in the area such as tingling or burning and itching. Fever blisters in the oral cavity easily burst and are rather painful causing difficulty chewing and swallowing. Additional problems include general malaise, fatigue and sore throat. Pregnant women who experience any or all of the mentioned require prompt consultation with their health care providers.
Fever Blisters Diagnosis and Treatment for Pregnant Women
It is not hard to diagnose fever blisters because symptoms and signs of initial oral herpes infection are practically the same in pregnant women and other people. However, the doctor may need to take a culture by swabbing the affected skin and testing samples for the presence of Herpes simplex virus.
After confirming the infection, women with the first outbreak of oral herpes simplex infection may be prescribed antiviral medications that are allowed during pregnancy such as Valacyclovir, famciclovir or acyclovir. Furthermore, they may benefit from topical medications and should always opt for sunblock cream for lip protection. Pain and tingling are brought under control with cold compresses and ice cubes applied directly to the affected skin. Lesions inside the mouth may heal rapidly if one uses hydrogen peroxide diluted with water and salt-water rinse twice a day.
The best thing is not to develop Herpes simplex infection during pregnancy at all. Oral form of the disease can be prevented by not sharing lipsticks, lip balms, utensils as well as drinks with other people. Pregnant women are also due to avoid kissing people who may have an outbreak of the infection. Frequent hand washing is recommended as well.