How does herpes labialis (cold sore) present in patients with herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections?

Updated: Mar 01, 2018
  • Author: Folusakin O Ayoade, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

This is the most common manifestation of recurrent HSV-1 infection, referred to by many as ”cold sores.” A prodrome of pain, burning, and tingling often occurs at the affected site, commonly the face, around the lips, followed by the development of erythematous papules that rapidly develop into tiny, thin-walled, intraepidermal vesicles that become pustular and ulcerate. In most patients, fewer than two recurrences manifest each year, but some individuals experience monthly recurrences. [6]

Maximum viral shedding is in the first 24 hours of the acute illness but may last 5 days.


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