Herpes Simplex (Cold Sores)

This viral discorder causing small painful blisters can affect any area of the skin but most typically the mouth and lips and also the genital skin - see Cold Sores.

Tingling or painful blisters recurring in the same body position (eg the lips) time after time.

These are caused by the virus herpes simplex. Typically the lips are affected but any skin site might be involved. The virus causing the trouble never fully dies away but can arise from its dormant form at any time and reappear on the skin usually in the same place as before.

An individual attack lasts for about 1 week before settling down. Sunshine exposure or getting ill and run-down can all lead to attacks. Some patients remain apparently perfectly well but still get repeated attacks. Some quite rare patients can have very frequent attacks e.g. once per month. Treatment is with anti-viral creams or tablets. Patients with a tendency to eczema can get very extensive skin disease from herpes simplex and they should avoid contact with anyone who has an active cold sore.

The quicker these are treated the better the outcome.
To help institute rapid treatment, send your case to me at 'consult the specialist'.

by Dr John Ashworth

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