Fever Blisters

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Fever Blisters

A small sore situated on the face or in the mouth that causes pain, burning, or itching before bursting and crusting over. The favorite locations are on the lips, chin or cheeks and in the nostrils. Less frequented sites are the gums or roof of the mouth (the palate).

Fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. It lies latent (dormant) in the body and is reawakened (reactivated) by factors such as stress, sunburn, or fever from a wide range of infectious diseases including colds. Recurrences are less common after age 35. Sunscreen (SPF 15 or more) on the lips prevents recurrences of herpes from sunburn.

The virus is highly contagious when fever blisters are present. It is spread by kissing. Children become infected by contact with someone who has a fever blister and then they spread the virus by rubbing their cold sore and touching other children. A person with fever blisters should be careful not to touch the blisters and spread the virus to new sites, such as the eyes or genitals.

Cold sores are often referred to as fever blisters because of their symptoms. Early symptoms may include a tingling sensation or pain around the affected area, sometimes accompanied by a fever, sore throat or swollen glands. Within a day or two you'll develop a cluster of small, fluid-filled blisters. After they've fully formed, fever blisters will ooze fluid and eventually crust over until they form a scab, which should not scar if left alone. Fever blisters can last anywhere from seven days to two weeks.
After entering the body, the virus remains inactive most of the time, but, if a trigger activates the virus, a cold sore can develop.
One person may have just one outbreak and no recurrence, while others may have two or three outbreaks each year.
Some people may carry the virus and never have an outbreak because it remains dormant.
Infection with HSV-2 may result from oral sex acts with a person who has genital herpe

Fever Blisters