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What are the symptoms of oral herpes?

Oral herpes causes an outbreak of small red sores on the skin. While these blisters typically develop on the lips, they can also surface on the nose, hands, chin, or mouth. The sores usually have fluid in them, and they can be quite irritating and painful. Cold sores go away in about one to two weeks.

Oral herpes has 2 forms: acute or primary and recurrent or chronic. The acute form usually occurs in childhood and is associated with rapid onset of sores or ulcers in the mouth. This stage last for 1-3 weeks and can be treated with anti-viral medications. The sores heal without scarring. The recurrent form occurs only on the sun-exposed portion of the lower lip where the skin meets the lip. If treated when the lip begins to burn, the blister or vesicle stage can be avoided and the usual 2 week period from onset to healing can be shortened. Again, healing occurs without scarring.

Continue Learning about Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Can oral herpes spread to other parts of the body?
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It is possible to spread oral herpes to other parts of the body. Although cold sores tend to develop...
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Will my cold sore go away by itself?
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An outbreak of oral herpes, or cold sores, should go away on its own in about one or two weeks. Anti...
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What are cold sores?
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Cold sores -- caused by herpes virus Type 1 or Type 2 -- are contagious. The initial infection (...
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What is oral herpes?
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Oral herpes, or cold sores, develop as a result of the herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex virus ty...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.