Does Herpes Labialis Treated?

Cold sores are an infection of the mouth and lips caused by a virus called herpes simplex virus type 1. Their injuries are typical and are characterized by small grouped blisters that appear on the infected patient's lip. These blisters are painful and will break down after a few days, leaving small scabs instead.

Herpes labialis
Herpes labialis

The cold sores seizures usually last less than seven days and are recurrent, reappearing whenever the patient's immune system suffers some stress. While there are bubbles, the patient remains contagious. When all lesions dry up and saw crusts, the chance of the patient infect someone is greatly reduced, though not become fully null. Even in the asymptomatic stage, some patients continue to have virus samples in the oral cavity, serving as a source of virus spread.

About 80% to 90% of the population over 40 years has had contact with the cold sore virus at some point in life, most only 1/3 of these develop the disease, with recurrent lesions of the mouth. The other 2/3 develop antibodies show no symptoms and become immune to the virus.

The Herpes simplex virus type 1 can affect other areas of the skin, eyes, liver and central nervous system to the, but the vast majority of cases, it is even restricted to the mouth area. Genital herpes may be caused by Herpes simplex virus type 1, but, most often, genital lesions are caused by other subtype of the herpes viruses, herpes simplex virus type 2.

Is there a cure for cold sores?

There are two ways of looking at the question above. We can say that cold sores can be cured, since two thirds of people who are infected by the virus can manage it alone, eliminating it from the body permanently. The problem is that these people are generally those who never developed symptoms of herpes, and therefore is a little strange talk about a cure for a disease that actually never expressed.

If, on the other hand, we are talking about a group of patients who contracts the virus and develop herpes labialis lesions on the lips, the answer to the above question is no, there is no cure for herpes labialis. And why not?

The herpes virus usually enter our body through the skin, moving quickly to the nerves that innervate the region. Once the nerves, the virus travels up the spine, one going to stay in the dorsal root ganglia, spinal cord location containing a group of neurons. Here, the herpes simplex can be "hidden" from the immune system and drugs that we administer. From time to time, where the immune system undergoes a low, some of these viruses travel back through the nerves to the skin and cause a new labial herpes outbreak.

Existing treatments so far can treat herpes simplex crises, but are unable to attack the "sanctuary" of the virus in the ganglion cell in order to eliminate it from the body instead.

The failure of drugs and own immune system to eliminate the virus predisposes infected patients with recurrent episodes of herpes labialis crisis. The frequency and intensity of each recurrence depends on the immune status of the individual. Stressful situations in the body, such as excessive sun exposure, lack of adequate sleep, psychological stress, strenuous exercise, surgery, etc. can be a trigger for recurrences. While some people have herpes labialis attacks almost every month, others are present only one or two attacks per year.

Is there a treatment for cold sores?

As mentioned above, although there is no cure for cold sores, there is treatment for recurrences. The goal of treatment is to shorten the crises and relieve pain. Antivirals such as acyclovir, Valacyclovir and Famciclovir are good options for treatment. The oral medications are more effective than the ointments or creams.

For patients who have few relapses per year and whose lesions are less painful, no treatment is necessary. In cases of frequent crises or when the lesions very physical or aesthetic nuisance, treatment with antiviral drugs may be indicated. In general, the earlier the beginning, the better the result. The ideal is to start treatment when the patient does not have visible lesions, but it starts to sense the signs of relapse, for example, numbness, tingling or burning of the lips.

If treatment is not started early, it did not significantly improve in the evolution of the crisis. After 48 hours, not only is better treat because at this stage the drug can no longer bring any benefits. But have patience and wait for the lesions heal spontaneously.

There is still no vaccine against herpes virus.

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