The President of the Global Dentistry Association, Dentist Zafer Kazak, gave information about the subject. Lip herpes, with its scientific name, is a type of herpes caused by the Herpes Labialis HSV type 1 virus. It often occurs around the mouth, nose and chin, especially on the lips. It appears as water-filled vesicles and after an average of one week, these vesicles heal by crusting.
Lip herpes usually occurs for the following reasons;
- Psychological conditions such as stress, excitement, trauma
- A lifestyle that lowers body resistance, such as fatigue and insomnia
- Diseases where the immune system is weakened, such as colds, flu and fever
- Conditions in which the immune system is suppressed due to drugs used in AIDS, cancer and organ transplant patients
- Physical causes such as exposure to excessive sun or UV rays
Lip herpes is seen in two-thirds of the world population, and it was seen in the tests performed in 3% of adults that this virus was found, but it was observed that it only manifested itself in cases where the immune system was weakened and the above reasons occurred. In other words, in order for the virus to cause disease in the lips, it must overcome the immune system.
So what are the symptoms of this cold sore? Is it contagious? How should we be protected?
Symptoms of the first virus attack appear within 3 weeks after contact with the person with herpes. It is mostly seen in children. In this process, common water-filled blisters in the mouth, fever, weakness and restlessness accompany the picture. People often experience a burning, itching and stinging sensation on the skin with a rash. The first attack is always the most painful and subsequent attacks are not so painful.
The first entry of the virus into our body usually takes place in our infancy and childhood with the contact of our family or our immediate environment. The herpes virus is always contagious, but especially the vesicular stage where water bubbles are seen is the most contagious stage. It is mostly transmitted by kissing, using common items, and items that come into contact with the lips, such as razors.
Since a vaccine against this virus has not been developed yet, there is no way to prevent transmission and disease, so protection is the most effective method. We should avoid contact with people with cold sores, limit the use of common items, and avoid cuddling and kissing behaviors!
Herpes diagnosis and treatment methods
Cold sores are often a disease that dentists or dermatologists can easily diagnose, and for the definitive diagnosis, they can take a swab sample from water-filled vesicles and apply to laboratory tests.
Acyclovir derivative antiviral drugs are used in the traditional treatment of herpes. These drugs can be used in creams, pills or, in severe cases, by injection (injection). It is important to start drug treatment in the first 1-2 days in order to relieve the painful process and prevent the size of the lesion. The disadvantages of these drugs are that some unwanted side effects, viruses develop resistance to these drugs and do not show enough effect in subsequent recurrent attacks. Another problem that cannot be solved is the reappearance of herpes in the place where herpes usually occur once. Lack of an effective treatment of herpes with medication can cause restriction in social life and discomfort in terms of aesthetics.
On the other hand, with the developing laser technology, the treatment of herpes viruses is now very effective. The rapid inactivation of viruses in the area exposed to laser beams ensures that the painful process ends in a short time. According to studies, almost no herpes ever appears in laser-treated areas compared to those treated with medication, making laser treatments a more popular treatment option day by day.
Among the advantages of using laser in herpes treatment;
- The likelihood of recurrence of herpes is very low compared to drug treatment,
- providing comfort to people by acting in a short time,
- its application is very simple and painless
- To prevent the possible damages of the side effects and drug interactions of the antiviral drugs used
- Especially in elderly people and people with weak immune systems, we can count the rapid recovery by reducing drug interactions.