Facial herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV 1). It is one of the most common herpes virus infections in human being. At least 85% of adult people all over the world may be sero positive of prior exposure to herpes simplex virus 1. Facial herpes, often known as cold sores or fever blisters are fluid filled blisters. They may appear anywhere on the face, the common site is lip and on the cheek. Seldom fluid filled lesions of herpes may also appear inside the mouth or in the nasal cavity.
Herpes simplex is described into two types of infection: primary and recurrent.
Primary infection: it is for the first time the patient is exposed to the virus. Here the person is sero-negative. Meaning there is no previous trace of virus. Most often there is direct contact between the infected individual with the uninfected individual. Fluid filled blisters may appear on face immediately or after 5 to 10 days. The blisters will complete its course of 7 to 10 days and before forming crusts. The lesions heal, but the virus remains latent in nerve cells.It may reactivate to cause disease recurrences.
Recurrent type: after a latent period, the virus can get reactivated again anytime in favorable circumstances. Fever, too much exposure to sun, injury etc can again trigger reactivation of virus and lesions may appear on face, on lip etc. unlike primary type, the severity of disease is restricted.
Symptoms Of Facial Herpes
- In Primary orofacial HSV1 virus infection manifests about 5 to 10 days after to an infected individual.
- It is most common in children and young adults.
- Patient may have fever, pharyngitis.
- Painful blisters filled with fluid, on face, lip, tongue and oral mucosa.
- Enlarged lymph nodes.
- Recurrent herpes infection occur after fever, exposure to sunlight, stress, trauma, menstruation, etc, they are less severe than primary infection.
- Itching, burning and numbness precede before the appearance of the lesions.
- Vesicles erupt quickly and crusts form within few days.
- They normally heal without scarring.
- It can infect the eyes and cause herpes keratitis.
Home Remedies For Facial Herpes
- Keep the lesions clean and dry. This will prevent secondary bacterial infection.
- Applying topical antibacterial and antibiotic solution is beneficial in many facial herpes cases.
- Take prescribed medications by the physician. Usually anti viral medications give favorable results. They reduce the intensity as well as shorten the course of infection.
- Patient should wash their hands frequently to avoid spread of the disease to other parts of the body.
- Avoid intimate kissing and oral sex when the lesions are present on face, lip and in the mouth.
- Apply cool tea bag on the affected area. Tea contains tannin. It is a natural antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It will shorten burning and pain.
- Apply ice on the cold sores. This will reduce the burning sensation.
- Topical application of Manuka honey is also found to be useful.
- Baking soda is useful to dry the sore and relieve itching.
- Aloe vera is also beneficial natural remedy for reducing burning sensation f facial herpes.