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Chicago Medical Dermatology Conditions Herpes Simplex (cold sores)

Oral herpes is an infection of the lips, mouth or gums caused by the herpes simples virus (HSV). It causes painful blisters that eventually progress to ulcers and then crusts. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) or 2 can spread to the oral region. They are transmitted with intimate or close contact as well as by touching something that has come in to contact with the virus (towels, razorblades, drinking cups). Most people are exposed to the HSV-1 virus by early adulthood. Cold sores can be brought on by direct sunlight, menses, stress, or other infection in the body (a common cold or flu).

Diagnosis
Physical exam and Tzanck smear can be performed in the office while a viral cultue or viral DNA test/DNA amplification test is sent to the lab.

Treatments
Acyclovir, Famciclovir, Valacyclovir; it is important to start these medications with 24-48 hours of symptom onset to reduce the spread, viral numbers, and the time of an outbreak


To discuss your Herpes Simplex (cold sores) Chicago condition with a Board Certified Dermatologist please make an online appointment or call (312) 585 7299 today.