Everything you need to know about herpes (cold) on the lips

Herpes on the lips is perhaps the most common manifestation of herpetic eruptions. Most people believe that catarrhal rashes in the lip area are only a cosmetic problem, and they are only afraid of getting scars or a scar in the affected area later. But a herpetic rash can indicate serious disorders of the body. Below we will consider where herpes comes from and, in fact, what herpes is, how it can begin, its variety, and different localization in the lip area.



Among the types of herpes viruses that are the causative agents of colds on the lips, 2 types are usually distinguished. These are HSV-1 and HSV-2 (1 and 2 types of herpes simplex virus). But the causes of the appearance of herpes on the lip in almost all cases determine the presence of a type 1 pathogen. And type 2 HSV mainly affects the genital area, but in rare cases it can provoke herpes in the face or lips, usually when the virus is transmitted from the genitals to the face.

The incubation period of herpes on the lips can last up to two weeks, and with primary infection up to one week. The causative agent is a DNA containing virus.

Causes of primary infection

Nothing depends on how herpes starts. The first infection with herpes can appear not only on the lips. Herpes of the first type can manifest itself in the form of herpetic stomatitis or rashes in the nose, cheeks, forehead and other parts of the face. It can manifest itself in the form of ophthalmic herpes, that is, herpes on the eye in the area of \u200b\u200bthe eyelids or on the retina. And in the future, with a relapse, as a rule, it begins to appear in the form of bubble rashes on the lips.

Very often, herpes is transmitted from mother to child. At the same time, up to six months, the titer of antibodies to herpesvirus in the baby’s body has a high level. Therefore, herpes most often manifests itself in children in the period from six months to two years.

The first infection occurs primarily through the following contact interactions:

through household items, if they were touched by a person who had herpes in an acute form;

through touch, for example, with a hand affected by herpes to the face or body;

through a kiss, not for nothing that a cold on the lips is called “kissing disease”;

through utensils, this is a common type of infection among household items;

through hygiene items, towels and other things used by the patient.

It must be understood that a cold can be transmitted from a person who does not have visual symptoms. Despite the fact that when herpetic sores dry up, herpes is no longer considered so contagious, it can be contagious when it has not yet begun to pop up.

Causes of recurrent herpes on the lips

When herpes appears on the lips, this is often already a recurrent stage of herpes. Usually, the manifestation of a cold occurs due to the fact that favorable factors appear for this. It is believed that if the immune system is strong, then herpetic eruptions can appear extremely rarely.

Let’s look at the factors under which herpes can jump up on the lip:

colds, in which the immune system often suffers;

taking steroid -containing medicines;

with intolerable diseases like hepatitis and others;

strong thermal drops, especially hypothermia;

depression, all kinds of stress and overwork ;

traumatic damage to the lips or the area near the lips;

various procedures related to cosmetology and dentistry.

Know that if herpes begins to appear too often in the area of the lips and also lasts a very long time with constant treatment, this may indicate that there are serious malfunctions in the body or complex diseases, in this case, consult a doctor immediately.


Symptoms of herpes on the lip has five stages. Thus, it is much easier to understand how advanced the disease is. And also by studying the signs of herpes in stages, it will be easier for you to navigate the chronology of the disease. When it comes to herpes on the lip, the symptoms in other localizations are almost the same if we affect the same types of herpes that are the causative agents of the cold on the lip. Namely, their external symptoms on the skin, since the symptoms on the mucous membranes may differ.

Let’s take a closer look at the stages of herpes on the lips in order to understand not only how herpes manifests itself in the lips, but also how it behaves for two weeks.


First day.

Initial stage. The symptoms of herpes on the lips on the very first day give more annoying itching than an external manifestation. Often there is a slight burning sensation with tingling, especially if you touch the affected area. During this period, the herpetic rash is at its most unprotected stage, so this is the most favorable time to suppress the virus. And it is better to start treatment as soon as possible, because the rash can go to the next stage after 6 hours.

From two to three days.

stage of inflammation. At this stage, the virus actively spreads in the form of division within the affected areas of the skin. At this point, swelling begins to be seen and individual elements of the skin turn noticeably red. The blisters at the same time look like a small rash, usually at this stage it is clear that a cold has popped up.

Four to five days.

Bubble damage stage. This stage is perhaps the most unpleasant of all the others. Herpetic vesicles begin to burst and infect the skin between the spilled elements. Because of this, this whole little rash turns into one big and wet bubble. In this case, the lymph nodes that are under the jaws can increase and the temperature rises.

From five days to eight days.

Stage of transformation of blisters into crusts. At this stage, the bubble begins to dry out and becomes like a hard yellow or brown crust. A cold can hurt a little and it seems that the herpes has already passed and is just healing. But this is not the case, the viruses inside the crust are still active and, when the surface bursts, they flow out along with the liquid, being quite dangerous for infecting another organism.

Nine to fourteen days.

Recovery stage. At this stage, it is on the lips, under the crust of the dried herpetic bladder, that a new, pink skin is formed. In order for the herpes to heal faster, it is not recommended to touch the crust, let alone tear it off, otherwise it will take time to form a new dried crust.


It may seem that herpes rashes are easily diagnosed, but this is not entirely true. Indeed, if the rash is already at a stage when everything is clear, then the diagnosis is easier, but when a cold just begins to appear on the lips, it can be confused with other diseases. For example, atopic dermatitis on the labial surface is very similar to herpetic eruptions, and similarity with a cold can give a bacterial disease of impetigo.

When the doctor is not sure that there is a cold on the lips, he resorts to more professional diagnostics:

Enzyme immunoassay (ELISA). This method will give an understanding of whether the herpes simplex virus is present in the blood, and it will be type 1 or 2 ELISA will not show. The assay checks for IgG and IgM antibodies to herpesvirus.

HSV test. This analysis is just used to find out what type of herpes simplex virus it belongs to. In addition, he is also able to determine the presence of the virus in the blood.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For PCR, it is necessary to take a sample of biomaterial from a known affected area. That is, an analysis of saliva, mucous, etc. is taken. The analysis will show the presence of virus DNA in the sample.

Also, for a more accurate diagnosis, an immunofluorescence assay (MFA) may be required. For most tests, blood is taken.


The treatment of colds on the lips is most effectively done with the help of tablets and ointments. Of course, there are many methods and traditional medicine to try to suppress the herpes virus, but this article will only describe traditional methods of drug therapy. Since the treatment of herpes on the lips with home and folk methods is a rather extensive topic.

First, you need to understand that herpetic viruses are incurable. At least to date, no drugs have been found to completely cure this problem. Secondly, you need to know that the virus itself can only be treated in an acute form, even, better to say, suppressed. Therefore, you should not try to resort to treatment if, during the tests, you learned about the presence of a virus in the body, but at that moment it does not manifest itself in any way.

For a cold on the lip, the following ointments and tablets are used for treatment:

Ointment Viferon. It is used both for lips and for other localizations.

Gel Fenistil. Often used if there is an allergy to other drugs.

Acyclovir tablets. Perhaps the most popular remedy for herpes.

Ointment Acyclovir. This ointment effectively treats colds in the first stage.

Cream Zovirax . It works exactly the same as Acyclovir and is its analogue.

Ointment Herpevir . One of the most effective remedies for herpes of different localization.

Treatment of herpes on the lips is also carried out using Famvir tablets and Valaciclovir tablets , but they are only available on prescription. In general, if with herpes on the lip the treatment takes a long time without visible improvements, this can indicate serious problems. It is better not to self-medicate and immediately seek help from a specialist, it will be cheaper and more effective.


Herpes on the lips in men and women can sometimes appear more often than in children. This may be due to the frequent stresses of everyday life. Therefore, if a cold has come out on the lip, then after treatment it is advisable to take on maintaining a stable emotional state. Appearing herpes in the lips can speak not only about systemic problems, but even about improper sleep patterns and insufficient rest.

With frequent exacerbation of the virus, when a cold constantly appears on the lip, it is recommended to go to the clinic and check the immune system. In addition, the fact that herpes has jumped on the lip does not mean that this is a problem exclusively with the immune system, so it is worth taking tests to check for latent infections of non-herpetic origin.

Almost all preventive methods to prevent the activation of the virus in the body are aimed at stabilizing the immune system. Therefore, in order for herpes on the lip or other places to appear less often, it is necessary to support the body by observing the simple rules of a healthy and active lifestyle.

So, we examined in detail how a herpetic rash manifests itself in the lip area. Summing up, I would like to note that the herpes virus can sleep in the body for quite a long time, but this does not mean that preventive methods and a healthy lifestyle should be neglected. And it may also seem that the activation of the virus is easy to suppress without visiting a specialist and this will not cause tangible consequences. Know that by resorting to the independent use of immunomodulators and antiviral agents, you are at great risk of getting serious complications.

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