Cold Sores

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Cold Sores Symptoms and Treatment

Herpes labialis is a skin infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are 2 types of the virus type 1 (HSV1) and type 2 (HSV2).

Cold Sores

Where it is observed

Herpes in the mouth, or oral herpes, usually manifests itself as blisters and small ulcers on the skin or lips. Although, as its name suggests, it most commonly occurs on the lips, in many cases it can also occur around the lips, within the oral cavity, or on the nose, chin and fingers.

Once the person is infected with the virus, it may remain dormant in the tissues of the facial nerves and ganglia and may be activated from time to time. It is a very common condition and usually disappears on its own within 10 days. Until it disappears on its own, it is infectious and often quite painful. It has been shown that more than 85% of people aged up to 23 years are carriers of the virus.

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Η εξειδικευμένη Ιατρική ομάδα, οι σύγχρονες ιατρικές μέθοδοι και οι μοντέρνοι και πολυτελείς χώροι των κλινικών προσφέρουν την απόλυτη εμπειρία φιλοξενίας, εξυπηρέτησης και παροχής υπηρεσιών υγείας και ομορφιάς.

Cold Sores


The following may be used to treat herpes simplex:

  • Oral antiviral drugs which are the most effective
  • Topical antimicrobial creams – reducing the risk of infections
  • Laser
  • Local antiviral creams – dubious effectiveness
  • Antiseptic soaps
  • Anti-inflammatories

Treatment with cream or anti-inflammatories is not a permanent treatment for herpes simplex. In addition, the use of topical antiviral creams has not been shown to be particularly effective in eliminating the virus.

The use of oral antiviral drugs is effective only if administered in time (within the 1st to 3rd 24-hour period), but does not lead to elimination of the virus. They are usually administered for 5 days and reduce the symptoms leading to a rapid cure of the episode. Antiviral drugs work by slowing down the multiplication of herpes and reducing the incidence of herpes.

Laser treatment has been described and tested and is particularly effective, especially in people who have frequent herpes outbreaks (more than 6 times a year). In people with frequent recurrences, oral antiviral treatment may be required for at least 6 months.

Finally, several alternative and homeopathic treatments have been proposed to combat herpes. Examples include: consumption of certain foods such as dairy products, herbal therapy – use of bee balm, and homeopathic treatment using the calendula plant. However, none of these practices are a true cure for the herpes simplex virus. They may soothe the painful and unsightly symptoms for a short time, but they do not provide effective eradication of the virus.

Cold Sores


The symptoms of Herpes Zoster are divided into mild or severe. Although in the majority of cases it is a mild disease, special attention should be paid to hygiene issues in order to avoid contamination and transmission of the virus to another part of the body.

Before the appearance of the rash at the site where the virus has been inoculated, there may be a feeling of itching, stinging, burning or itching. Several times, the person may suffer from fever, sore throat or painful swallowing.

The most common symptoms of herpes zoster are as follows:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Painful swollen lymph nodes in the area of infection
  • Pain at the site of the blisters, ulcers and erosions of the skin and mucous membranes
  • Herpetic stomatitis with dysphagia, pain and bubbles in the mouth
  • Often coexists with and recurs simultaneously with streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections

Cold Sores


The diagnosis of herpes simplex can be made by a simple clinical examination of the affected area. For a definitive and definite diagnosis, a special blood test is required, where antibodies against the virus are detected and a culture of a sample from the infected area is taken. By detecting antibodies we can distinguish whether an infection is a primary infection or a recurrent infection.

Cold Sores

How it is transmitted

  • Skin contact

  • Sexual contact

  • Contaminated objects