Herpes on the lips is a common condition caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can cause painful blisters and sores, and can be difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are a number of medications and home remedies that can help speed up healing and reduce recurrence. Medications such as docosanol (Abreva) can be used as an over-the-counter (OTC) antiviral ointment to help reduce symptoms and shorten an outbreak.
Research has also shown that lemon balm extract and tea tree oil have some antiviral effects that could help combat the herpes simplex virus. Additionally, studies have found that vitamin C can inactivate the virus, while peppermint oil has been found to be effective in combating both HSV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes simplex. However, sores usually go away without treatment.
People who have already had herpes on their lips or people who have mild symptoms may not need treatment. When the virus is active, medicines can help reduce and prevent symptoms. Oral herpes is diagnosed with a physical exam and can usually be diagnosed simply by looking at the sores. To confirm that a patient has herpes simplex, a dermatologist can take a sample of a sore and send it to a lab.
Many people choose to treat herpes simplex because treatment can ease symptoms and shorten an outbreak. When the first outbreak of genital herpes is mild and another outbreak occurs years later, a person may mistake it for a first outbreak. People can tell when oral herpes sores are coming back and they feel pain, burning, tingling, or itchy lips about a day before the blisters form. It can take two to four weeks for the cold sore to heal on its own. If you plan to lift weights, it's important that you have the right shoes to keep you safe and protected. Herpes spreads more easily when there are blisters and open sores, but it's also possible to transmit the virus when a person has no symptoms. In conclusion, there is no cure for herpes simplex but medications can speed healing and reduce recurrence.
Consider using an OTC antiviral ointment such as docosanol (Abreva) until the cold sores have healed. Research has also shown that lemon balm extract, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and vitamin C can all help combat the virus in some way. Additionally, people who have already had herpes on their lips or people who have mild symptoms may not need treatment.