An Overview of Oral Herpes
Oral herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 or HSV-1, is a very common condition. Approximately 50 to 80 percent of the population is living with HSV-1, the virus causing cold sores or fever blisters. Cold sores are typically red, painful, fluid-filled lesions occurring on or around the mouth and lips. Further, cold sores caused by HSV-1 can also manifest genitally.
Oral herpes symptoms vary. Signs of herpes can be subtle and mistaken for other conditions such as a bug bite, pimple, small cut, or even chapped lips. Oral herpes may be inconvenient and painful, but do not pose major long term health risks.
STDtesting.com, a division of the Institute of Sexual Health, uses a 99.9 percent accurate, type-specific antibody test to detect the presence of oral herpes or HSV-1. This test can differentiate between oral herpes (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2) infections. Positive results can be detected as early as three to six weeks after potential exposure.
There is no cure for oral herpes, but outbreaks can be managed with medication. Medication can reduce the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks.