What are the signs and symptoms of herpes labialis recurrences?

Updated: Mar 17, 2020
  • Author: Sean P McGregor, DO, PharmD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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The disease remains dormant for a variable amount of time. HSV-1 reactivation in the trigeminal sensory ganglia leads to recurrences in the face and the oral, labial, and ocular mucosae. Pain, burning, itching, or paresthesias usually precedes recurrent vesicular lesions that eventually ulcerate or form a crust. The lesions most commonly occur on the vermillion border, and symptoms of untreated recurrences last approximately 1 week. Recurrent erythema multiforme lesions have been associated with orolabial HSV-1 recurrences. A 2006 study reported that HSV-1 viral shedding had a median duration of 48-60 hours from the onset of herpes labialis symptoms. They did not detect any virus beyond 96 hours of symptom onset. [33]

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