The word "herpes" sends many people into a panic, yet mouth herpes are really quite common. They are also known as cold sores, and are small, fluid-filled types of blisters that appear on the lips. They can be painful or just mildly irritating. They usually clear up on their own within a week or so, but there are cures that can help speed up the process.
Some people develop one small blister on the mouth, while others may form clusters of them in one area. The skin of the affected area may feel sore, sensitive or itchy right before the mouth herpes erupts. Cold sores are very common, and they are also very contagious. They may be transmitted from saliva through kissing or close contact. Care should be taken so as not to infect anyone else.
If a cold sore erupts, the area should be kept clean so as to avoid infections. Hot, spicy foods should be avoided so that the cold sore is not irritated worse. Do not touch the cold sores, as they are very contagious, and this can help spread them to other areas or persons. If the sores are swelling, ice can be applied to help keep the swelling down. There are many over-the-counter medicines that can be used to treat cold sores. Drying, or astringent, medicines can not only provide relief to the itch or pain, they can also help heal the cold sore more quickly. Campho-Phenique is one medicine that has been used for years to help mouth herpes symptoms. Abreva is a medicine that can also help clear up a cold sore fast. Ibuprofen and other mild pain relievers may be taken to help with pain in the area.
For those who suffer frequently from mouth herpes, and for long periods of time, seeing a doctor may be the answer. There are some drugs that can help lessen the frequency of cold sores, as well as help make the symptoms disappear. Two of these drugs are Zovirax and Valtrex, and are available with a doctor's prescription. There are also over-the-counter creams that can help keep the cold sore at bay and prevent it from spreading (Zovirax and Denavir).
Reduce the Risk
Mouth herpes occur more often in people whose immune systems are compromised in some way. Those who are suffer from other illnesses, too much stress and not enough sleep are also at a higher risk for an outbreak. The healthier you are, the better you'll be able to fight off flare-ups, so eat right, exercise, get enough sleep and avoid as much stress as possible.