Blistered lips are a condition that should not be taken lightly. Blisters in the mouth can be caused by various factors, one of which is a viral infection, such as herpes labialis. What is herpes labialis and what causes it?
Herpes labialis or oral herpes is an infection in the mouth area and is characterized by painful blisters on the gums, lips or throat. Check out more information about herpes labialis in this article.
Causes of Herpes Labialis
The main cause of herpes labialis is infection with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Transmission can be through saliva, open wounds, or direct contact. Here are some ways of transmitting the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1):
- Touching the blisters in the mouth area of an infected person.
- Sharing cutlery, lipstick, or razors with an infected person.
In addition, herpes labialis can be caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Transmission can be through oral sex with an infected person. However, herpes labialis due to HSV-2 is relatively rare.
Symptoms of Herpes Labialis
Once infected, a person will show symptoms of herpes labialis within 1 to 3 weeks. Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, the following are common symptoms of herpes labialis:
- Small, fluid-filled blisters around the lips or sometimes on the nose or cheeks.
- Itching and tingling in the area around the lips before hard, painful spots appear, and blisters erupt.
- The blisters burst and harden.
In addition, later symptoms of herpes labialis appear, namely:
- Sore throat.
- Muscle ache.
- Pain when swallowing.
- Lymph nodes in neck.
Handling Herpes Labialis
Herpes labialis can actually heal without medical treatment. However, to speed up healing, you can go to the doctor for a physical and laboratory examination. If the examination results prove that you have herpes labialis, the doctor will prescribe the following medicines:
The administration of these drugs aims to reduce symptoms and prevent transmission of the virus to other people.
Apart from giving medicines from a doctor, there are various treatments that can be done at home to reduce symptoms, namely:
- Take pain relievers.
- Apply ice to the area where the blister appears to reduce pain.
- Washing blisters with water and antiseptic soap to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas of the body.
- Gargle with cold water.
- Do not consume spicy and salty foods, and hot drinks.
Prevention of Herpes Labialis
There are various ways you can do to reduce the risk of transmission of herpes labialis, namely:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water, especially before eating and after urinating or defecating.
- Do not share personal equipment with others, such as cutlery, toiletries, makeup equipment, clothes or towels.
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle, for example eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
- Herpes labialis can recur at any time. One of the trigger factors is stress. Therefore, it is important to manage stress properly, for example meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, listening to your favorite music, and expressing your complaints to people you trust.