Talk:Herpes labialis

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Weak evidence for effectiveness of Acyclovir cream[edit]

"It has been claimed that the evidence for the effectiveness of topically applied cream for recurrent labial outbreaks is weak." – The comment letter at the origin of that claim dates from 1996. However, in the meantime there have been other large double-blind trials which have demonstrated the effectiveness of local Acyclovir cream application with high statistical significance (e.g. Since this article is not the place to discuss clinical studies, and the source of the ineffectiveness claim is "only" a comment, rather than a study, I will remove the claim and its source (instead of adding this conclusive counter-argument to the article). If someone wants to re-instate the claim, please provide a clinical study as the source, not the (inaccessible) BMJ comment. -- (talk) (talk) 21:21, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

I have several questions not covered by the articles[edit]

1-From reading the articles several of them, I understand that Herpes is permanent, and that it is very contagious and that many people have it. 2-What happens if one partner in a relationship has it in the lips and the other inside the mouth? Will each one contaminate the other,or will the worst of the two affect the other person? Or can it not be transmitted if a person already has it from a partner that also has it, are they simply already contaminated and cannot further be more infected? 3-How to emotionally deal with this issue? I met someone I like very much but she has Herpes of the lips, I am very scared now to "get close" and be infected???!! I feel now I must abandon the relationship and will I walk into another case???? since it is not so obvious!(latent)I am very saddened by all this. It is very sad to walk around with this disease in the lips! It is so obvious and spreadable to love ones such as children! 4-Where and how soon will I see the responses to these questions and remarks? 5-Yes many of the articles are too technical although I understand them. I had to read them 2-3 times to do so. I want to be educated not confused! 6-If anything, I am just contributing questions, not medical information. 7-Of all the things I liked the most was the comment that Aloe Vera is very helpful and that Herpes causes nausea, headaches and fever, my partner expeienced this now we know why, and also how it is contracted. 8-The articles seem to go around and around in circles not getting to the point and too many links, but it's ok. It helps, more information.

Sincerely, Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:12, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Are we certain that "herpes labialis" is the only infection or condition that results in cold sores as symptoms?[edit]

Or rather it's not whether "we" are sure, it's whether recent medical literature is unanimous in saying so. That's a responsibility of those who put this article in its current form. (talk) 05:10, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

"Cold sore" is not a technical term but I think it is synonymous with a lesion caused by herpes simplex on the lips. If you mean, can other things cause sores on the lips, then yes of course (same as there are many things which could cause a sore on the skin) but less commonly, and I personally don't think these would be called cold sores. Lesion (talk) 01:39, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Cold sores are NORMAL, and NOT FROM HERPES. You people have HIJACKED the term from an unrelated condition that has nothing to do with sex, and that isn't a life-long ailment, and which is a common winter issue, like getting the flu, except it's mostly just embarrassing and a turn off instead of all that bothersome because it looks bad. What the actual cold sore one is called, though, I don't know. Did you actually think all the cold sore medicines of the past numerous decades were for herpes, even among virgins, and people who are loyal to their spouses, and even in kids, and while these products are just lip balm type products? Whatever the scientific names is, cold sores are not herpes. They are very temporary, and only reoccur if you get exposed to it again. Whatever it is goes around in winter. It's blister-things are VERY different from herpes ones. And, it can't be spread to have more blisters, it's almost ALWAYS just one blister-thing around the mouth, which is BY the lips, not ON them. And, it's not an STD. A cold sore is usually located around one of the corners of the lips, not touching the lips. You only ever have one, at most two. How they are gotten, I don't know, but it must be from something of a contagious sort, despite it rarely spreads in one person, let alone gets passed from one person to another, yet it does do so enough that it sticks around in a population. I think I remember stuff about cold sores years ago saying they're not really sure what it is either, but I'm not sure. It's been a long time since I've looked it up. And, you people have the internet getting spammed with this lie that cold sores are an STD herpes virus, trying to make it out as more normal, and more shameless than it is. -- (talk) 03:17, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you thinking of an apthous ulcer? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 11:04, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Apthous ulcers tend to occur inside the oral cavity rather than externally on the lips so I doubt it. I would think that the vast majority of people use the informal term "cold sores" to refer to herpes labialis, which by the way can be easily spread in other ways than sexual contact. Matthew Ferguson 57 (talk) 07:01, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

MEDRS sweep[edit]

Reflist sweeped per WP:MEDRS:

  • ^ Xu, Fujie; Fujie Xu, MD, PhD; Maya R. Sternberg, PhD; Benny J. Kottiri, PhD; Geraldine M. McQuillan, PhD; Francis K. Lee, PhD; Andre J. Nahmias, MD; Stuart M. Berman, MD, ScM; Lauri E. Markowitz, MD (2006-10-23). "Trends in Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and Type 2 Seroprevalence in the United States". JAMA (AMA) 296 (8): 964–73. primary source Yes check.svg Done
  • unreliable medical source -- unreferenced, advertising. Should be using sources published in peer review journals... Yes check.svg Done
  • Just advertising? Linked to a page of videos ... unreliable medical source Yes check.svg Done
  • deadlink Yes check.svg Done
  • ^ Emmert, DH (2000 Mar 15). "Treatment of common cutaneous herpes simplex virus infections.". American family physician 61 (6): 1697–706, 1708. PMID 10750877. MEDDATE- 13 year old source X mark.svg Not done
  • ^ Glick M.,Siegel M. A. (1999). "Viral and fungal infections of the oral cavity in immunocompetent patients". Infectious disease clinics of North America 13 (4): 817–831. PMID 8804508. case report + MEDDATE Yes check.svg Done
  • ^ Raborn GW, Chan KS, Grace M (January 2004). "Treatment modalities and medication recommended by health care professionals for treating recurrent herpes labialis". J Am Dent Assoc 135 (1): 48–54. PMID 14959874. primary source + borderline MEDDATE Yes check.svg Done
  • ^ Gilbert, S. C. (2007). "Management and prevention of recurrent herpes labialis in immunocompetent patients". Herpes : the journal of the IHMF 14 (3): 56–61. PMID 18371287. Borderline MEDDATE X mark.svg Not done
  •,W0307e Unsuitable medical source Yes check.svg Done Lesion (talk) 00:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


"... lies dormant in the facial nerve ... " I thought it was the trigeminal? Lesion (talk) 03:23, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

annually. The frequency and severity of outbreaks generally decreases over time.


In medical contexts, "labia" is a general term for "lip"; "herpes labialis" does not refer to the labia of the genitals, though the etymology is the same. When the viral infection affects both face and mouth, the broader term "orofacial herpes" is used to describe the condition, whereas the term "herpetic stomatitis" is used to specifically describe infection of the mouth; "stomatitis" is derived from the Greek word stoma that means "mouth".

EDIT REQUEST:SECTION Signs and symptoms[edit]

Please add this edit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Recurrent oral infection is more common with HSV-1 infections than with HSV-2. Symptoms typically progress in a series of eight stages (see viral life cycle)[1]:

  1. Latent (weeks to months incident-free): The remission period; After initial infection, the viruses move to sensory nerve ganglia (Trigeminal ganglion),[2] where they reside as lifelong, latent viruses. Asymptomatic shedding of contagious virus particles can occur during this stage.
  2. Prodromal Phase(day 0–1): Symptoms often precede a recurrence. Symptoms typically begin with tingling (itching) and reddening of the skin around the infected site. This stage can last from a few days to a few hours preceding the physical manifestation of an infection and is the best time to start treatment.
  3. Macule Phase: Inflammation (day 1): Virus begins reproducing and infecting cells at the end of the nerve. The healthy cells react to the invasion with swelling and redness displayed as symptoms of infection.
  4. Papule Phase: Pre-sore (day 2–3): This stage is defined by the appearance of tiny, hard, inflamed papules and vesicles that may itch and are painfully sensitive to touch. In time, these fluid-filled blisters form a cluster on the lip (labial) tissue, the area between the lip and skin (vermilion border), and can occur on the nose, chin, and cheeks.
  5. Vesicle Phase: Open lesion (day 4): This is the most painful and contagious of the stages. All the tiny vesicles break open and merge to create one big, open, weeping ulcer. Fluids are slowly discharged from blood vessels and inflamed tissue. This watery discharge is teeming with active viral particles and is highly contagious. Depending on the severity, one may develop a fever and swollen lymph glands under the jaw.[3]
  6. Postule Phase: Crusting (day 5–8): A honey/golden crust starts to form from the syrupy exudate. This yellowish or brown crust or scab is not made of active virus but from blood serum containing useful proteins such as immunoglobulins. This appears as the healing process begins. The sore is still painful at this stage, but, more painful, however, is the constant cracking of the scab as one moves or stretches their lips, as in smiling or eating. Virus-filled fluid will still ooze out of the sore through any cracks.
  7. Crust Phase: Healing (day 9–14): The area dries out and a reddish brown scab forms. New skin begins to form underneath the scab as the virus retreats into latency. A series of scabs will form over the sore (called Meier Complex), each one smaller than the last. During this phase irritation, itching, and some pain are common.
  8. Scabbing Phase: Post-scab (12–14 days): A reddish area may linger at the site of viral infection as the destroyed cells are regenerated. Virus shedding can still occur during this stage. The scab falls off and pain disappears; there may be some residual swelling or dry flaking.

Thank You. (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

This is not a suitable reference [1]. Please read WP:MEDRS regarding sourcing requirements. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 02:29, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 March 2014[edit]

Remove incomplete sentence.(100 million ...) The lifetime prevalence in the United States of America is estimated at 20-45% of the adult population. 100 million episodes Lifetime prevalence in France was reported by one study as 32.4% in males and 42.1% in females. DougMartin.toronto (talk) 19:23, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Done{{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 19:52, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

HSV-1 Rates in US/World[edit]

Article mentions lifetime prevalence of HSV-1 in the US is estimated to be 20-45% of adult population. However, the Epidemiology of herpes simplex article states: "HSV-1 affected 57.7% of Americans tested in a 1999–2004 study." I suggest going with the 57.7% figure. Further, this study appears to show world seropositive rate of HSV-1 in 15+ year olds to be 72.9%. 2605:A000:1107:8067:44B5:B425:AC7F:403D (talk) 08:57, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Technical tag unwarranted?[edit]

I find the article reasonably understandable, while stumbling over the technical jargon and wading through the elaborate detail of section Signs and Symptoms, and I don't have any specific medical knowledge of the condition. I propose replacing the current tag with two: 'Overly Detailed' for the named section, and 'Jargon' for the article. There's already an edit request above on the talk page for section Signs and Symptoms, though it doesn't specify what the edit(s) are supposed to be. It obviously has attracted attention, and probably for the same reason as mine.Sbalfour (talk) 18:53, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 May 2015[edit]

Cold sore treatment research has recently been testing new methods of eliminating cold sores using non-medicated options. Applications of heat or cold to a focused area have shown to have some results on the growth of a cold sore. Thermal therapy, which uses concentrated heat, is used to activate heat shock proteins that can make the bacteria self-destruct, without burning or scarring tissue. Applying an ice cube to an infected area has also proved to provide relief for some cold sore patients. ControlExpert51 (talk) 15:53, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 16:59, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Also please note that sources used to build such content need to meet WP:MEDRS, I.e. review articles, or systematic reviews/meta analyses or textbooks. Thanks. Matthew Ferguson (talk) 17:11, 12 May 2015 (UTC)