(Fever Blisters; Herpes Labialis; Herpes Stomatitis; Herpes Simplex)
|Herpes Simplex on the Lips|
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- Contact with the fluid from a cold sore of another person, or genital herpes sores
- Contact with the eating utensils, razors, towels, or other personal items of a person with active cold sores
- Sharing food or drink with a person with active cold sores
- Contact with the saliva of a person who has the herpes virus even if no sores are present
- Infection, fever, cold, or other illness
- Exposure to sun
- Physical or emotional stress
- Certain drugs
- Weakened immune system
- Physical injury or trauma
- Dental or other oral surgery
- Over-the-counter cold sore cremes and ointments
- Cold compresses on the blister
- Rinsing with mouthwash that contains lidocaine
- Be careful around people who have active cold sores. Avoid skin contact and kissing. Do not share food, drink, or personal items.
- Avoid performing oral sex on a person with genital herpes. The virus spreads more easily when active sores are present.
- Avoid long periods of time in the sun.
- Use sun block on your lips and face when in the sun.
- Get enough rest. Try to minimize stress.
- If you have outbreaks often, talk to your doctor about taking antiviral medications.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Skin Care Guide Canadian Edition http://www.skincareguide.ca
Arduino PG, Porter SR. Oral and perioral herpes simplex virus type 1(HSV-1) infection: review of its management. Oral Diseases. 2006;12(3):254-270.
Emmert DH. Treatment of common cutaneous herpes simplex virus infections. Am Fam Physician. 2000;61(6):1697-1706.
Groves MJ. Transmission of herpes simplex virus via oral sex. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(7):1153.
Herpes simplex. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/herpes-simplex. Accessed January 14, 2015.
Herpes. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/herpes.html. Updated May 2014. Accessed January 14, 2015.
Herpes simplex. DermNet NZ website. Available at: http://dermnetnz.org/viral/herpes-simplex.html. Updated December 7, 2014. Accessed January 14, 2015.
Oral herpes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 8, 2014. Accessed January 14, 2015.
Schmid-Wendtner MH, Korting HC. Penciclovir cream—improved topical treatment for herpes simplex infections. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2004;17(5):214-218.
Spruance S, Bodsworth N, Resnick H, et al. Single-dose, patient-initiated famciclovir: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for episodic treatment of herpetic labialis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;55(1):47-53.
Spruance SL, Jones TM, Blatter MM, et al. High-dose, short-duration, early valacyclovir therapy for episodic treatment of cold sores: results of two randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter studies. Antimicrobial Agent Chem. 2003;47(3):1072-1080.
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD
- Review Date: 02/2016 -
- Update Date: 05/02/2014 -