How to get rid of a cold on the lip
What we call a cold on the lip or fever is actually a manifestation of a viral infection, or rather, a herpes simplex virus type 1. (There is also the herpes simplex virus type 2, which affects the genitals.)
Yes, a commonplace cold that popped up on my lip is a viral infection, but you should not panic about this. The fact is that the vast majority of the world’s inhabitants are carriers of this virus. It’s just usually that it’s not active and doesn’t appear in any way. But as soon as immunity is weakened, the virus begins to multiply and descends from the nerve nodes, where it usually lives, along the nerve endings to the lips. And here it “blooms” in all its glory – weeping vesicles, sores, and finally crusts. So the well-known common cold on the lip develops.
Then the crusts disappear, and the virus “leaves” back, where it exists until the next favorable moment for it.
The herpes simplex virus penetrates the human body in most cases even in childhood: through small abrasions, scratches, cuts or, more often, through contact with the skin and mucous membranes of an infected person, as well as through hygiene items, dishes, etc. This is the primary infection of the herpes simplex virus. But, as a rule, it goes unnoticed, since the symptoms at the first infection are mostly absent. Well, secondary rashes on the lips occur most often with colds, severe stress, damage to the lips, fatigue, dehydration, removal of the tooth nerve, as well as immunodeficiency conditions.
When the virus activates, at first the person feels itching and constriction in the affected area: on the lip, mucous membrane of the mouth, chin or near the nose. Then, bubbles form with liquid in this place. Sometimes several of these bubbles merge into one big bubble. After a couple of days, the bubbles burst, leaving behind erosion. Erosions dry out, and crusts form on them, which sometimes crack and bleed. Then the crusts fall off, and there is no trace left of the manifestations of the common cold. Usually this whole cycle takes 1-2 weeks.
Sometimes the disease is more severe: with a low temperature, pain when swallowing, salivation, bad breath. Irritability or lethargy, poor appetite are possible.
As a rule, a cold on the lips does not give complications. But it is possible to transfer the virus to other areas of the skin or mucous membrane. For example, if a person touches his blisters, and then rubbing his eyes, he will transfer the infection there. This can lead to herpetic inflammation of the cornea – keratitis, which is dangerous for deterioration or loss of vision. If the virus enters the finger of the hand, the development of herpetic panaritium is possible.
In infants, herpes can cause dehydration, and if a bacterial infection also joins herpes, blisters with pus will appear on the skin. Fortunately, other complications of the common cold on the lip are herpetic meningitis, encephalitis, erythema multiforme.
In addition, constant rashes in the same place can contribute to scarring.
It should be remembered that herpes in an active form, that is, when a cold appears on the lip, is contagious. The most dangerous stage in this regard is when the bubbles burst and fluid oozes from them. It is in it that the particles of the virus live, and there are a huge number of them. Usually, when crusts appear, the virus is almost gone. But it is believed that it is possible to talk about the complete safety of infection only after the final recovery, when all the signs of a cold on the lip disappear.
How to get rid of a cold on the lip
It is impossible to destroy the herpes virus once and for all. If it enters the body, it will exist there while its “owner” is alive. It is believed that if the disease is mild, then no treatment is required. Nevertheless, it is possible to accelerate recovery (and who wants to walk with a nasty plaque on the lip or under the nose) and relieve irritating manifestations of the virus, such as itching, burning, and soreness. For this purpose, antiherpetic drugs are used. They also help reduce the frequency of relapses of the common cold on the lip. These drugs are available in the form of ointments, creams, and oral tablets. There are quite a lot of them, but the active substances they have are the same – acyclovir, valacyclovir, penciclovir and famciclovir.
The greatest effect of the use of antiherpetic drugs can be obtained if you use them in the very early stages, when there is only a sensation of a slight tingling sensation on the lip, chin or under the nose. That’s when you need to use ointment or cream.
If the cold on the lip has already popped up and spreads further, the sores heal poorly, perhaps the doctor will prescribe pills for herpes infection.
There are folk remedies that help get rid of a cold on the lip. This is, for example, aloe juice – a houseplant known to everyone, also called an agave. A leaf of aloe is incised, applied to the site of the virus and kept for 30 minutes.