Fever blisters


Fever blisters are familiar skin conditions that affect 15% to 30% of the United States population. Fever blisters are generally caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and are the most common manifestation of a herpes simplex virus infection. Fever blisters are caused more regularly by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) than herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). As an issue of fact, more than 85% of the world's population has been infected with HSV-1. These infections pursue the usual course of herpes simplex virus infections in that the first outbreak is usually more painful and lasts longer than recurrent infections.

Fever Blisters - A Primary Infection

The first time the skin in or around the mouth get in touch with with the herpes simplex virus, the outbreak occurs inside the mouth on the gums, tongue, and throat. This is known as gingivostomatitis. This first infection occurs most regularly in childhood, and the highest incidence of infection occurs between 6 months and three years of age. Children get pain, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and may develop difficulty in swallowing. These symptoms may last for about a week and resolve it spontaneously. Children with gingivostomatitis are at a risk for dehydration if the pain keeps them busy from drinking fluids. Water-based popsicles are sometimes and often used to provide hydration and pain-relief.

Fever Blisters - A Recurrent Infection

Once a person has been exposed to the herpes simplex virus, the virus duly remains in certain cells in the body and can only be reactivated at any time. This reactivation produces the lesions like that of fever blister. Fever blisters are most regularly seen on the border of the lip and consist of three to five vesicles. Over the next three to five days the vesicles become pustular, ulcerative, and then it crust over. Symptoms are generally most severe eight hours after the outbreak. Most people have about two outbreaks per year, but 5% to 10% have greater than six outbreaks per year. Recurrent infections are regularly preceded by a prodrome, symptoms that emerge before the outbreak occurs. Familiar prodromal symptoms for fever blisters are pain, tingling, and burning. A herpes prodrome can end from two hours to two days. Fever blisters are contagious and it spread through direct contact with infected saliva or droplets in the breath, or by skin to skin contact. The herpes simplex virus can be reactivated in retort to various stimuli including UV radiation, stress, a cold, illness, or dental work.

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