Oral herpes or cold sores are a common viral infection among humans. They are not dangerous, but can cause outbreaks during your lifetime. For those with damaged immune systems, oral herpes can cause complications. For example: ocular herpes, encephalitis, herpetic whitlow and dehydration. Oral herpes can go away on their own without treatment. But if they persist or become more severe, consult a doctor for help. Here are a few important questions about oral herpes that you may want answered.
1. What is oral herpes?
The herpes simplex virus, or HSV is the culprit of herpes infections. This virus belongs to a group of viruses that cause shingles and chicken pox. Most of the time, it stays inactive, but only shows up once and a while.
HSV has two main strains. They are HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-2 only occurs in private parts of the body, causing genital herpes. HSV-1, on the other hand, causes oral herpes that appear on or around the mouth. Each HSV trains may also affect many different parts of the body. For example: the eyes, face, lips, buttocks, groin, genitals and anus.
2. How did I get them?
If you comes into contact with the skin or saliva of someone who has oral herpes, you can get infected. The condition is most contagious when the sores are open and wet. But, it still can be transmitted during other stages of oral herpes. Some people don’t even know they have this virus and spread it.
You can get oral herpes from kissing or having oral sex. Also, you can get it by sharing drinks, towels, utensils, lipsticks and toothbrushes. Some people touch a visible sore and then touch their mouth without washing hands. This act can also make them become infected with oral herpes.
Read more: 5 Terrible Diseases You Can Get From Kissing
3. What happens if I have oral herpes?
Oral herpes do not always show up symptoms. But when they do occur, you may experience a group of small fluid-filled blisters. Those blisters may occur singly. Commonly, they appear on the tongue, lips and gums. Also, they often come with many other symptoms. For example: pain, itching, burning and tingling. The first outbreak is the worst. It causes a fever and flu-like symptoms, like headache, body aches and swollen lymph nodes.
The blisters can burst, ooze fluid, and cause a lot of pain. Then, they will dry out and form scabs. During this time, itching and cracking can occur. The whole process can take around 2 to 4 weeks. Without treatment, oral herpes can go away on their own.
4. What can trigger an outbreak?
An outbreak of oral herpes can be triggered by a lot of factors. They may include: stress, fatigue, sunlight, cold weather and dental trauma. Fevers, infections and weakened immune systems can also cause an outbreak. Many women have oral herpes in their menstrual cycle. This is because of the changes in their hormones. Moreover, eating some certain foods can trigger these infections. For example: wheat, oats, chocolate, squash, spirulina, nuts and pumpkin seeds. So, avoiding these foods can help you get rid of oral herpes.
Read more: 8 Factors That Can Trigger Herpes Outbreaks
5. How can I treat and prevent oral herpes?
There is no cure for oral herpes. Once you get the disease, you will have the virus for life. But luckily, there are ways to manage these sores and minimize them.
Prosurx is one of the best over-the-counter medications for oral herpes. It can shorten the duration and reduce the severity of an outbreak. Besides, the medication can inactivate HSV on the skin, thus, preventing recurrences. Many people with oral herpes have been using Prosurx and reported that they got results in a few days. Usually, they use it in the first signs of outbreaks and stop them from developing and spreading.
Natural remedies can be effective for pain relief. These are: honey, aloe vera, peppermint, lemon balm, ice, tea tree oil, garlic, coconut oil and milk.
Lifestyle changes can help prevent future outbreaks. You should stay healthy, manage stress, use sunscreen and eat a healthy diet. Foods for better healing include fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, milk and vitamin C.
6. How can I reduce my risk of spreading them?
Oral herpes is highly contagious. If you’re suffering from them, take the few tips below to prevent the spreading.
Find out effective treatment.
Keep your hands away from the sores.
Wash your hands regularly.
Do not share personal items with others.
Avoid kissing others during your outbreak.
Do not have oral sex during this time.
Consume supplements to boost your immune system.
Read more: Supplements to Manage HSV Outbreaks
7. Can I get genital herpes if I have oral herpes?
Definitely yes. You can get genital herpes from oral herpes. There are two chances for this problem. First, you touch your oral herpes and then touch your genitals without washing your hands. Second, you receive oral sex from someone who has oral herpes. This act can transfer the virus from their mouth to your genital region. So, do not have sex with someone who has visible sores from HSV.