If there is one exterior body part that is always protected, it is the face. So when facial herpes occurs, you become restless and anxious. Why not? You would not want to go out – you would not socialize because of those blisters called facial herpes. Make-up, no matter how heavy, cannot hide the blisters and spots caused by the infection.
What is facial herpes?
This is a common viral infection. It is commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. It is manifested through fluid filled blisters that commonly appear on swollen red areas of the skin. Burning sensation on the affected area can be felt after which skin lesions develop. It may be painful but the blisters leave no scars. Nobody is spared from this infection. Anybody can contract it – and it may affect a person in one or more occasions. It is inevitable, so the best way is to prevent its recurrence.
The disease is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and there are two kinds of HSV. HSV-1 is the most common and these are the facial herpes. HSV-2 are genital herpes.
How are facial herpes contracted?
Facial herpes is acquired through close contact with a person infected with the HSV. The infection usually affects infants or children who come in contact with people through hugging and kissing. The symptoms are normally not visible when the disease is still in the incubation stage. There are no blisters yet. Children aged three to five years old are the most commonly infected with facial herpes. Studies disclosed that only one out of three herpes victims will have symptoms for the first occurrence.
When the facial herpes appears for the first time, the episode is called primary herpes. Affected children can have different symptoms – some are mild, some do not have any. For those who experience severe discomfort, there could be sores inside and outside the mouth. The sores can extend to the gums, throat and lips.
The first outbreak of facial herpes happens one to three weeks after the virus has affected the skin. It will subside within a few weeks. The infection is expected to recur at some other time.
The facial herpes is treated with antiviral drugs – either cream or tablet. Some take painkillers or to some extent local anaesthetics which are directly applied to the affected area to ease pain and discomfort. Pain relieving mouthwash can be helpful in easing the symptoms of the disease. A child infected with HSV may not be able to eat and drink because of the sore.
The virus remains in the nerves of the affected child and this may recur from time to time. However, there is diminishing recurrence as a person ages. Factors that can trigger recurrence are trauma, fever, menstruation, exposure to sunlight and extreme weather or any condition where the immune system goes down.
Hygiene is the best way to prevent being infected with the disease. Avoiding close contact with a person afflicted with herpes can be a good precautionary measure. When sick with herpes, you must avoid picking at the sores to prevent its spread on other parts of the body. Harsh detergents are a big No to this disease. As this disease is affected a low immune system, body defence must be strong. When a person is afflicted with herpes, he should avoid use of harsh soap on the skin.
Facial herpes has been identified to be caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. They are easily transmitted so when anybody is afflicted with herpes, one should observe all necessary precautions about the disease.